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A bully or not?

Bullying exists in far too many workplaces in the United States. We now recognize that. But to declare any difficult person a bully—that’s jumping to name calling.

I’d not seen the difference between a difficult person and a bully explained well until I read a post on Bully Free Workplace, which happens to originate in Canada.

That post says, “Difficult people are not necessarily out to harm another; they are out to protect their own needs. Therefore, if you can reason with a difficult person in order to show good will for their needs, they may change. A bully will not change; they are out to destroy your needs.”

Read the full post at http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=128

This week, Oct. 19 - 25, 2008 is Freedom From Bullies Week.

The Workplace Bullying Institute out of the state of Washington calls this a week for support, inspiration, peace and health. See the institute’s to do list at http://workplacebullying.org/freedom.html


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Some generalizations in this article - entitled to being invited to a meeting. I find more often the frustration is rooted in not being informed but being in the position of needing that information. Or worse, being subjected to solutions made in meetings that either aggravate the problem or create a solution that relocates problems into other people's space. Meetings have outputs, information, decisions, resolutions and there are stakeholders in those issues. My best director once said we have no obligation to support resolutions we weren't consulted about. I think his point was that every answer is easy if you shield yourself from the complexities of context.

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