Is There a Bully in your Workplace?


Are employees inspired by the vision and values of your company? Are they proud of you and their work? Do they look for ways to bring value to the service you provide? Do they acknowledge each other?

Or do people tiptoe around a bully?

As you assess the success of your firm or project, it’s important to access the culture as well. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do you think of yourself as a boss or a leader?
  • How do your employees perceive you?
  • Do you have an office manager who is trusted by all?
  • How do your partners impact the staff?

It’s important to be sensitive not only to the culture of your workplace, but how your partners and employees perceive you and each other. Whenever there is more than one employee or employer, there is a possibility of hidden resentment, jealousy, or competition.

According to the research by AAUW, (The American Association of University Women) 72%of employees report being bullied or witnessing bullying in their workplaces.  65 Million employees report being affected by bullying in the workplace.

Workplace bullying can include passive/aggressive behavior, such as withholding needed resources or information or avoiding communication. It could be subtle bullying such as microaggressions such as repeated commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities that communicate a derogatory racial slight. It could include yelling, insulting, or blaming, or being told not to speak in a meeting.

The effects of bullying on a victim can be severe and can even manifest in stress symptoms associated with domestic violence. It decreases morale, discourages team building, increases turnover and good job performance. People who feel bullied cannot be free to be creative, resourceful and trusting. In the most extreme case, bullying can result in workplace violence.

I had a workplace experience in which I worked for a bully. I have had a family member be at the affect of a bully. I know what it’s like to throw up before going to work or to have an entire family experience the impact of that stress. It is no way to live. The impact of such a relationship can last for years. The only way to handle this is to have a policy of no toleration. But first, you need to closely investigate!

Even if you work at home, for yourself, you can assess your work culture. Are you inspired by your environment? Do you take breaks or are you driven? Are you having conversations with others that are stimulating, fun, and affirming? How do you communicate with your support person? Do you take time to acknowledge them? Is there an opportunity to listen and share?

Here are 3 books that might offer some guidance or thought-provoking awareness for your culture:

  • The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom Line Performance by James Autry
  • The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R Covey
  • The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with their Feet on the Ground by Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Simon Sinek, author. Start with Why.


A good coach can provide a safe place for you to explore, address, and improve a work culture.  Work relationships are crucial not just for success and but for well-being! I invite you to schedule a discovery session to explore what you would like to create in your workplace. Click here to schedule a time.