How to Handle Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Annie was almost sure of quitting her job in the current company. She’d had enough. And this last incident forces her to think if she would return to her workplace the next day or not. It has been more than a year now that Annie is working in her current organization and reporting to the same boss. However, today she feels she would get choked if she had to report to her boss for just another single day of her life!Workplace Bullying

During her initial days at work, she was told some “not so pleasing things” about her boss. She had also overheard two of her coworkers describing him as one of the most ill-tempered people one can come across. She was a little disappointed; however, she decided to carry on. Annie knew very well that landing such a promising career is not an easy task. It takes huge efforts indeed. “ Come what may; I shall perform;” is what she reminded herself each day and perhaps this is what kept her going for all this time.

However, today was a different story, and she was sure that she would not continue with this bullying nature of her boss. She had already written a resignation letter, and just as she was ready to click on the send button on her email; something drifted her attention.Bullying bossThis was the morning newspaper that she had carried to her table; however, did not read. The newspaper headline read – “Fighting Workplace Bullying and Harassment.” Annie somehow felt that she needs to go through the article before resigning . Perhaps, deep inside she did not want to resign from her position at this moment and was ready to accept anything for a solution to her problem. Therefore, she took some time to go through the article, and this is what she found:

Some facts about workplace bullying and harassment:

  • Almost 45% of the American workforce is experiencing some form of workplace harassment and bullying. Goodness! That almost rounds off to half the working population.
  • Every one in five employees has witnessed coworkers getting bullied at some point of their entire professional span. Unfortunately, these are the ones who choose to have blind eyes and deaf ears to such situations.
  • A good percentage of absence leave arises due to these situations. Many employees have agreed that they take time off from work, just to stay away from bullies.
  • Most workplace harassment is suffered by women and yet 40% employees say that they have been bullied by female superiors! More precisely, Women who have been bullied previously present themselves as “Greater Bullies” before their subordinates.
  • A considerable part of workplace stress issues are related to harassment suffered in the workplace that are causing clinical depression cases.

Reading this, Annie is now convinced that she is not alone who is going through such a difficult situation. And when half the working population is suffering from similar issues, somebody has to find a solution. As the topic caught her interest, Annie proceeds to read the next section:

How do you know if you are really getting bullied?

Now, this is not something very difficult to realize. We do not need people to tell us that someone else is not treating us properly. It is only that we do not want to accept the fact.

Well, getting chided by your boss after a mistake is not what is known as harassment; until it is restricted to the cabin. However, if this becomes a regular affair; irrespective of you committing a mistake or not, then it becomes a harassment case.employees bullyingEmployers are not allowed to yell, humiliate or insult their employees. Your bosses can give you deadlines; however, they cannot restrict you from taking occasional breaks or participating in any fun activity. Further, no one can tell you to stay away from other coworkers in the office. It is absolutely up to you to choose your companions.

In addition, handle job tasks related to your profile for which you are getting paid. If someone is burdening you with other unrelated tasks, that neither interests you nor pays you; then at least try knowing the reasons behind getting assigned to such tasks. If it can add value to your performance in any way, you need to continue. However, if you feel it has no relevancy, then you can consider yourself getting harassed as your workload is increasing and equally suffering.

Annie finds this section so close to her own personal experience. She has had thousands of similar experiences in this short span of time. A gush of anger flows within her. She has now decided to fight the situation and not escape. Moving towards the concluding section, she reaches some essential tips to handle workplace harassment and bullying. This is what she read and recommends others to implement:

How to handle workplace bullying and harassment?

Do not allow the bully to rejoice over your distress:

Be it a bully in school or a coworker at the office, all bullies have one single motive. They want to see you emotionally stressed out. There are people who ascertain their power and right by ill-treating others and seeing them bogged down.workplace harassment

So, you need to keep calm and stay strong. If you lose your composure and behave emotionally, you will not be able to defuse the issue. If you lose your self-control, you can behave inappropriately that can work advantageous for your bully. Therefore, stay calm and have control over your actions.

Keep a written record secretly:

Each time you have been treated inappropriately, make sure that you have entered it in your personal folder on the computer or write it down in your diary. Mention everything in details, including the names of people who were around. Unless, you are sure of discussing these issues officially, do not let anyone to peep into your personal diaries and folders. Bring these records only before HR managers or concerned officials.

Make sure you have a few of your coworkers supporting you:

Now, this is very essential. It is evident that a person who is ill-treating other at the workplace, hold an influential position in your organization. Therefore, taking drastic steps just instantly may not be that effective. So, try informing others before you decide to counteract. It is important to note that you speak only to those who were a clear witness of the situation. Try to find if they are going to spell out the truth at the right time. coworkers supportRecover quickly:

Finally, when you are done with handling such people, it is important that you erase them from your memory. Regain your confidence and know that you are a fighter. Get back to your work and keep improving on the job front everyday.

Employers never want their workers to gain bad experiences while they are working with them. However, there is always a black sheep in every organization who needs to get eliminated.

Annie is now convinced of changing her decision. She has at present learned that it is indeed very easy to come out from such traps. And if you also find yourself stuck up in a similar situation, pull up your sleeves and take actions. It is your bully and not you who needs to quit my friend.

How to Grab a New Job Opportunity with Your Current Company

Well, you have spent a couple of years reporting to the same boss, amongst the same colleagues, handling the same job profile. What next?? You continue working in the same profile and your career growth gets stagnant for a life time. Perhaps it will collapse, if you do not look for something new, something more challenging.

However, the thought of a new job instigates slight discomfort within, Isn’t it?? New job implies new work environment, new colleagues, a new boss- who may not be that supportive, Scary Indeed….Thinking about new jobSo, will you just continue in the same profile just because you are scared of the change? Certainly not.

What if you get a new job in the same office? Sounds interesting.

Landing a new job does not necessarily mean a new workplace. Employers also prefer spinning amongst existing employees; rather than recruiting new ones. Of course if is definitely easier for them. They know you already, they know your talents, they know your limits. Therefore, they can use the whole of it to the benefit of the organization.

However, there is a way to curve out the desired path. You just cannot demand for a job role change when you are already experienced and doing well in your current profile. Again, your employers may desire to drive out some extra work with the same or slightly hiked salary offers. Therefore, before you approach your boss for a job role change, make sure you know how to go about it.

To aide you with this, this article aims to suggest measures of grabbing new job opportunities with your current company. Lets know how:

Am I a perfect fit for the desired job role:

Before you announce your secret desires, make sure you are capable enough and will be equally efficient while handling new job responsibilities.

Now how do you know that?? Try finding out the exact job role from team members of particular department, you want to be a part of. Preferably, speak to the team lead. If you have really built a good rapport with everyone at workplace, you will definitely get a close picture.Discussing about job

Once you are done with your research, question yourself a thousand times if you can really be efficient in this job role. Your employers while recruiting new employees may not have such high standards of selection. However, when they are trying to figure out ex employees handling new job role, they really need to scrutinize sharply. And it is important, as slightest of inaccuracy can impact both job roles. Thus, hampering company growth.

Know What your boss thinks of you:

Again, you have one more reason that screams out the need of having a good relationship with your boss. If you have really worked hard to have impressed your boss, to an extent that you can even discuss your disinterest in the current profile; talking to your boss can be of great help.talking to boss

He/ she can pave out the path for you. Your boss can arrange an interview for you in desired departments just through a phone call. Your probable team lead or new boss can acquire every detail of your relevant proficiency, directly from you boss. And this serves to be of utmost importance.

On the contrary, if you do not really have such good rapport with your boss; never let him/ her know about your secret plans. This is damaging more than what you can even think of.

You may suddenly have someone to assist you in your current responsibilities and gradually this new comer can snatch all the limelight, that was exclusively meant for you. You may stop receiving appreciation despite of your good work and so on and so forth.

Place your sincere suggestion:

Well if you have really worked to add value to your department and organization as a whole, your team mates and even your boss may be slightly upset with your decision.sincere suggestion

Don’t present yourself as someone who is least bothered, as now you are all set to leave. Rather, place your sincere suggestions before the team. You may suggest names of colleagues or newbies, whom you see of great potential. If you feel they can handle additional job tasks and can take the entire department to greater heights of success, let your team lead or boss know about it.

In addition, you can also extend your help for some period of time, until the entire department stabilizes and recovers from the great loss of one very efficient employee. Tell them that it was a career driven decision and you will always remain connected to your former team mates.

Fighting all odds:

Now, you need to know that your performance will undergo a microscopic scrutiny and therefore you will need to be prepared for every scenario – good or bad.Fighting all odds

Everything is not simple. Today we may find 10 people to point fingers and not even one to pat your back. It is frustrating to know this fact, that you will have your former team mates, who can spoil your reputation with your present team mates. They can present your weaknesses in the most magnified manner. There is nothing much you can do about it. You only need to keep trying to be better than the best.

Again, you cannot expect yourself to show hundred percent efficiency, right from your first day. And you cannot compare the comfort level you had at your previous job role to the one you have just started with. You will need to have patience and retain self confidence.

If you loose your calm now, you loose the winning game forever. Take some time to get acquainted with your new job role and then work hard to push your limits.

Now that you are almost at the end of this article, landing a new job, just across the next cubicle or the opposite hall does not seem to be a distant dream isn’t it??

The above mentioned were few essential tips to make a successful transition from one job role to other; while you continuing being at the same workplace, with your colleagues and exchanging occasional Hellos with your former boss.

Small Talk is Important to Grow Big Career

I have always wondered about how this guy sitting in the next cubicle can continue working the whole day without sharing a word or two with any of our colleagues. While it becomes extremely difficult for me to concentrate in the last working hours of a week, he does it with the same enthusiasm.

Well, I guess many of you can relate yourself with my position and some definitely with the guy in the next cubicle. However, there is something that was bothering me for quite sometime. Do I really waste my time in these occasional chit chats?small talk in office

Perhaps, many of you must have been through these crossroad scenarios similar to mine. This thought comes most strongly when you are rushing to meet deadlines. Isn’t it?

Small talk for many of us is similar to life-saving oxygen. 24/7 routine work with no occasional breaks does not drive out the best in us. Rather, it works against our efficiency. However, there are many people who find it difficult to communicate with people around.

We, on the other side consider it as an advantage for them; as they are always a way ahead of time in accomplishing the assigned tasks. On the contrary, they talk in a completely different context. And according to them, this behavior works as a hindrance to their day to day work.

I say this with conviction as I heard it from the horse’s mouth. Yes, you call it my curiosity or anything, I had initiated a brief communication with the guy in the next cubicle, and then he had shared his story. While many of you may not agree to this, there are definitely various positive impacts of having small talk with colleagues and bosses. Believe it or not, these small talks work as a stimulant for accelerating career growth.

Do you want to know how small talk can have some positive impact on your career development? IF Yes, then you will be happy to know that the following section discusses various positive aspects of small talk on your career. So gear up to unveil these untold truths.

Know how small talk can affect career growth:

Add branches to your existing network:

Now you definitely know the importance of good networking in professional life. Don’t you? And how can you build this network without communicating.

Climbing high up on the corporate ladder does not only require expertise, it also requires the art of presenting your skills to people around. And this does not mean writing a perfect resume.good communicator

When you communicate and participate in informal discussions, people identify your interest. Do you enjoy humor, or are you someone interested in facts? Do you take time to listen to what others have to say, or you are only blabbering about yourself? People get to know you as a person and this is important.

If you can be the limelight of any discussion, if you can find your friends getting glued to your discussion, if you can really convince people around – you can call yourself a good orator. While your superiors can consider you suitable for some Human resource or sales position.

Again, being a good communicator attracts more people around. Some of them can bring you different opportunities as well. This is how you add branches to your network.

You can enlighten yourself with fresh ideas and knowledge:

Some things are better understood when heard, rather than reading the same somewhere. Yes, we have the internet to provide us answers to every question we have; there is a difference in communicating with a human and a machine. listening others

You can learn many things listening to the experiences of others, and you can also share yours. You may come across people with common interests and may start-up with new ventures. You may come across new job opportunities from people around .

An easy way to put things before your boss:

There was this thing that you wanted to communicate with your boss. However, you did not know how to go about it. It can be anything. Perhaps, a job role change in the same company or an extended leave that you need to take from regular work schedule. Simply anything.put things before your boss

If you cannot do it through a mail, you can definitely do it over a cup of coffee. Provided, you had built a good rapport with your boss by now.

Working out tiff with colleagues:

If you know this art of small talk, you can never have anyone hating you for a life time. We spend the major part of the day in our workplace. It is not unnatural that you may have some difference of opinion with your colleagues sometimes.Working out tiff with colleagues

However, how can you sort out this awkward situation? Maintaining cordial relation with colleagues at the workplace is an essential professional gesture. Your HR managers do notice these while forming your appraisals. Therefore, the earlier you end the cold war the better it is. Yes, just an occasional Hello with your colleague and then short conversation can definitely ease out these difficult situations.

References play a great role in recruitment:

This is not a secret that when you have someone influential to back your resume, you have better chances of selection. Employers conduct background checks before they confirm your selection. Therefore, if you have built good networks, and they do know your skills and expertise, they can refer you to potential employers.references

You can also learn about new job opportunities if you keep in touch with important and relevant personalities.

Now, these were a few of the reasons that support small talks at a workplace to enhance career prospects. If you are a person similar to me and convinced with these above-mentioned discussions, you can definitely continue with your occasional chit chats that do not hamper your work. For those who are similar to that guy in the next cubicle, you can work out ways of getting used to these required professional gestures, if you do not want to miss out some opportunities.

This was all about the positive impacts of small talks on your career growth. Hope you have found this article useful in your search.

How to Approach Your Boss After a Mistake

How you wished to have a time machine, to go back to that unfortunate moment and erase that one mistake you had made in your assigned task. However, now you have already processed your assignment and it is in front of your boss who has perhaps quickly identified the mistake. You are almost sure of getting chastised by your boss and you know you cannot escape this. You cannot bury the mistake, neither yourself.Approach Your Boss After a MistakeWhat a dreadful scenario and ironically all of us go through similar situations atleast once in our lifetime. Well, man is to err and even though it may appear that you had committed an unforgivable crime; it is not so. In our busy schedules and work load, anybody can make an unintentional mistake – even your Boss.

Now, you need to come out of such situations as soon as possible; so that it does not affect your mental and emotional health; along with your productivity at work. 

Two crucial strategies of efficiently handling these issues are – Accepting or owning your mistake and coming up with a perfect reaction before your boss.

This post has been written with an effort to bring forth some effective proactive approach expected from employees after committing some severe mistakes in their professional life. Please note that the below mentioned techniques are a subset of the two golden strategies mentioned above.

NO excuse please:no-excusesAvoid excuses. No one intends to make mistakes purposely. All of us have genuine reasons behind such blunders. Whatever, the case may be, know that your boss is not interested to know your reasons and therefore, don’t spoil the situation explaining them.

The three “A’s” trick:

accept mistakesAccept- Analyze- Approach. You know you made a mistake and therefore accept it. However, don’t just rush to your boss’s cabin to own it.

So what do I do? Its not that difficult now. Take some time. Sit back and analyze the potential impact it can have on the entire business or the day’s work plan.

Visiting your boss without preparation in such situations is more damaging than going unprepared for interview sessions. Ideally, research on the scenario and come up with effective solutions.

Again, if you are not being able to curve out remedies, simply realizing the potential impact it can have, also counts in your favor. Approach your boss now. You either provide remedies or realize the bitter consequences. Both give an impression that you are seriously concerned and sorry about the entire mishap.

Too much “Sorry” is not your tool: 

no sorryIt has been repeatedly said that you need to own your mistake; however, it is important that you do not term yourself to be a convict, before everyone else does the same for you. Do not over emphasize or be highly apologetic about the situation.

Be humble as well as confident when you approach your boss. Apologize and assure that this will not happen in the future. If you have solutions, place them before your boss. This will give an impression that you are someone who can handle pressure.

Remember this is one of the most important aspect any employer looks for while hiring candidates. So if you don’t prove this ability now……time for doom friend!

Don’t look for shoulder and stop dramatizing:

Once you have realized the gravity of the situation, you are scared. You feel this can lead to huge financial loss or effect company good will. You feel like crying your heart out and you are sure to get sacked.

However, you need to be poised now. It is difficult, but not something that can’t be achieved.

Many of us tend to loose our composure in such situations. We almost narrate the entire story to every person we come across. We spend most of our time walking up and down the smoking zone holding our heads in distress. And we fail to realize that the time we are wasting on such things could be used to drive out solutions.Telling your co workersTelling your co workers about these issues before informing your boss; may have some serious consequences sometimes. One, you are wasting their time as well as yours. Second, your boss can get this information from some of your friends who might have turned foes. BEWARE OF BACK STABBERS.

Feel free to seek help:seeking helpWhile your supervisors are trying to mend and repair the damage, you too ask for help from someone you feel can act as a problem solver. Do not hesitate to ask help. One very important rule of professionalism is to assist others when needed, as all are working towards reaching the common goal.

However, show your gratitude towards that person who helps to clear your mess. Again, inform the authority as someone else is assisting you to solve issues. If you are seeking help from any outsider, be very cautious, as you may need to share some information as well.

A silver lining behind every cloud:

silver lining behind every cloudThe quicker you get easy on yourself, the faster others are over it. You made a mistake and did everything possible to repair the damage. Do not be too tough with yourself now. Get back to your normal life and help others as well to be the same with you.

Remember, mistakes are doorways towards reaching the impeccable. Easy Success is not a good teacher, however mistakes are.

Keep track of subsequent events that are taking place thereafter. Talk to people who are trying to sort out these issues. If you are also working on it, give frequent updates to all concerned people. However, do not be apologetic now. Present yourself in the same manner as you report your daily work schedules.

While you are still working on those issues, definitely you will come up with fresh ideas for areas of probable future follies. Be optimistic and thank yourself for the mistake committed as it revealed these areas that otherwise could not have been investigated. Report the same to your boss. May be this time you are doing something to impress him or her.

Now as we wrap up this section, it is essential to realize that making mistakes does not demean your worth; however, how aptly you deal with such situation is something that defines you as a person. Know how to change your follies to greater accomplishments.

The above mentioned are simple suggestions that you can use when required. You can also add several tricks to this list; however, always remember the two golden rules mentioned above.

How to Spot a Bad Boss in an Interview

Working with a good boss is a pleasure for any employee. A good boss knows how to make their employees work in a healthy environment. An employee who enjoys his work will produce good work. Thus an employee’s productivity can be negatively affected by his relationship with his boss. Bad bosses are not common in workplaces. Even if you are working in a company of your choice, your boss can turn your job into a nightmare. But you can spot such a toxic boss during your interview. Interviews are tough times for candidates; but interviews also provide you opportunities to assess your future manager- whether you can work with him or consider some other companies for job openings.bad boss

It is not always possible to predict whether a person will prove to be a bad boss during interviews, as candidates themselves remain nervous and pre-occupied with their performances. Knowing a few warning signs beforehand will surely help them to spot such a bad person:

1. Arriving late for the interview: Being late for the interview is a warning sign that the manager does not know the value of time. Or he is not enjoying his work. On the other hand, if he informs you well ahead of time that he will arrive late or says ‘sorry’ or asks for apology on being late, he may be a nice person to deal with.

2. Unimpressive body language: A person who displays negative body language, being in an important role like that of manager is sure to prove a bad boss. He may look at the door, phone or watch again and again, avoid making eye contact, attends to personal calls over his phone, recheck your resume. Again he may look down or point fingers at you while talking. Such behaviour shows his disinterest in conducting the interview.

3. Choice of Words: If he is a good manager, positivity will dominate his ideas and use of language. It may happen that most of his sentences begin with negative words or ideas and he tries to justify that or change the topic in a tactful way. This is a clear sign that the person takes things negatively and this negativity may prevail in his work also.

4. Willing to discuss irrelevant and illegal topics: The hiring manager is here to judge whether you are the best candidate to suit the company’s job requirement. His discussions should be focussed on your education, experience and any topic regarding the company, job profile or current affairs. If he asks you questions regarding illegal topics like gender identity, nationality, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, etc. it means that the person is unethical and surely not trained.

5. Not ready to listen: Listening is an art; not everyone can be a master in this. But a boss is expected to excel in this basic mannerism. During the interview, if a person is not ready to listen to your answers, he will probably be a bad boss who would like to dominate and let people listen to his thoughts only. The common gestures these persons do are signalling you to speed up, interrupting you to listen to what they have to say and jump to the next question before you finish the previous answer.

6. Not knowing about the company’s culture and immediate goals: A good manager will surely know for sure what is happening within the company, it’s goals and mission. If you ask 2 or 3 questions regarding the company’s culture, annual turnover and current projects, his answers will be indicators of whether he is a resource or burden to the company.

7. Pre-occupation with his own self: If he is a toxic boss, he will be pre-occupied with his own self and own ideas. He will not listen to what you are saying in order to explain his own view-point. He will probably interrupt you and try to glorify himself. Usually these narcissist people try to impose their thoughts on you and take credit for your achievements.

8. Employees try to avoid him: To spot a bad boss, you need to be a bit cautious. Try to observe the behaviour of other employees when the boss passes by. If the employees go back to their seats hurriedly and start working, he may not be an easy person deal with. If his co-workers are not friendly towards him and quickly turn around to avoid eye-contact with him, it’s time for you to look for the exit door.

9. Conducting the interview in unprofessional ways: Any manager must follow the basic rules of interviewing. For example, he must greet the interviewee, introduce himself and take efforts to make the candidate comfortable. He must be calm, polite so that a good atmosphere is built for the upcoming conversation. But if he comes straight to the point and starts asking questions, he is probably too professional and is concerned only about his work. He might give you a tough time in the future when you will be requesting him for leaves, promotion or any other work-related issues.

Again if the manager asks you too simple questions, answers to which can be found in your cover letter or resume, he himself might not be a very efficient person who knows his work well. A good manager must ask you questions that help them to know your talents in a way that can benefit the company.

10. Some common bad behaviour: Bad-mouthing other employees, lack of trust, stressful behaviours, lack of enthusiasm for the company, lack of serious thoughts etc. are some dangerous signs. Besides, if the person yells at others (including employees, peons or office boys), throw things, slams doors and over-reacts to simple things or comments you must not opt for the current position in the current company.yelling boss

A good boss is an efficient leader who must not be scatter-brained. A bad boss can use means of threatening, public humiliation to make your professional life hell. If you notice some of the above-mentioned signs existing in the boss during the interview, you know that he is surely not the person you would like to work with. Assess him and make good decisions for your future life.