Bullying in the workplace

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By Rose Jessica Octaviano

A Sound Mind

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LAST May, the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA)-Negros Chapter organized a seminar on “How to Manage Bullying in School and in the Workplace,” with Dr. Charibel Escandelor as speaker.

Bullying, says Escandelor, is a form of overt and aggressive behavior that is intentional, hurtful and persisitent (repeated).

There is an unequal level of affect - usually the bullied is distressed and upset while the bully is calm. There is also an imbalance of strength (power and dominance).


Many people perceive bullying as something that happens only in school but in fact, it is also present in the workplace. Bullying in the workplace are acts or verbal comments that are hurtful to the person involved.

Sometimes even the “victim” does not realize that he or she is already being bullied because in some cases, it may not be obvious until a pattern is discovered (repeated behavior).

The intention of the bully is to isolate, degrade, offend or humiliate the colleague at work.

These are some covert behavior that can determine bullying in the workplace:

Overloading a person with work
Setting difficult to achieve timelines
Constantly changing deadlines
Setting unreasonable tasks
Deliberately denying access to information and resources
Unfair treatment in relation to work benefits like a leave or training

Other actions could also be:
Constant criticism
Gossiping and telling lies about a person
Remembering one’s mistakes or falsely accusing the person of an error
Stealing one’s work. One’s work or project is credited to a boss or another colleague
Lots of yelling
Not invited to a meeting or luncheons

Some reasons or factors for these actions (bullying) could be personal and/or organizational:

Perceived as a threat
Low self-esteem
Working arrangement
Professional jealousy
Organizational culture
Working arrangements

Inadequate supervision
New owners/managers and supervisors
Job insecurity
Poor people management skills

The impact to the victim or the bullied may include depression, panic attacks, sleep depreviation/disturbance, stress, anxiety, incapacity to work, physical injury or even be suicidal.

Employers are recommended to have a bullying policy and to take this seriously.

The bullied (victims) should keep a record of the incidents and seek advice or counseling when needed. It is also important to inform management of the incidents.

For more information or when in need of professional help, please contact PMHA-Bacolod Negros Occidental chapter at 433-8868 or email us at pmha_bacolod@yahoo.com.ph or this writer at jet.octaviano@gmail.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 12, 2014.


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