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What would you do when a colleague is bullied at work? What to do about workplace bullies?

Bullying is something we all hope not to have to deal with. Unfortunately workplace bullies are a problem many people face. Workplace bullies generally use words and actions to intimidate their victims. A workplace bully may be your boss or your co-worker.

What would you do if you know the victim of bullying in your workplace?

What's the best way to deal with it?

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    Nov 20 2011: Bullying is a major topic in psychological literature and it is the focus of human rights legislation in Canada. I have attached, below the web location of a pdf file which deals with it from Ontario Canada. The type you refer to is called Type 3 bullying. I hope this is helpful.

    Here is an excerpt:

    What Co-workers Can and Should Do
    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved
    in it as he who helps to perpetrate it” — Martin Luther King
    1. Stand by a bullied co-worker immediately after an attack. Go up to
    her or him immediately after a closed-door session that leaves your
    co-worker obviously beaten.
    2. Refuse to betray your co-worker when the bully boss tells you to.
    This is the “divide and conquer” game. Siding with the bully brings
    short-term immunity but at what ethical cost? How can you have
    integrity if you stand by and watch a co-worker being mistreated?
    3. Sit in on meetings with the bullying manager as a witness, a representative.
    Witnesses can temper the most outrageous bullies because they are
    careful to not show their tactics in public for fear of exposure.
    4. Provide testimony at hearings, arbitrations and mediation sessions.
    This can be as simple as a written statement or in-person testimony.
    (Of course, this carries the risk of retaliation by the bully. But if the
    workplace is that fear-laden, the outcome you fear most is no worse
    than your current reality.)
    5. Gather the group when a co-worker is being bullied (even if behind
    closed doors) and invoke what operating room nurses call Code Pink.
    Circle the bully as a unified group. Tell her or him to stop; make it
    clear that the outrageous tactics are unacceptable and unprofessional.
    Threaten to stop all productive work if the bully does not stop attacking
    that targeted person or attempts to attack anyone else in the group

    (Adapted from:
    • Dec 9 2011: Dear Debra.
      Again, thank you so much for your interesting information!
      I am studying Human Resources and we are now handling this topic! I will certainly use this precious information! Thank you so much!
      Have you ever dealt with this situation at work? Because in theory it seems quite logic and easy to defend and to help a bullied colleague, but I am not sure in real life it is that easy.
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    Nov 20 2011: I'm going to focus on the last question. "What's the best way to Deal With It?"
    Because there are other effective ways but obviously will affect the workplace.
    I think the best way to deal with it is just to make the aggressor understand that is putting a person uncomfortable or showing not interested at the time of bullying.
    Anyway I think the best way would be to appeal to the workers union or maybe anyone that matches of the organization.
    • Dec 9 2011: Thank you Tomas!
      So you would take action to help the bullied colleague? If you would, wouldn’t you be afraid to be the next victim and lose your comfortable situation?