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February 24, 2007 - 11:00 am

Are workplaces just an extension of the playground at the elementary or middle school? Evil HR Lady (it is hard for me to call her this–although it is her blog name–for she seems more charming and witty than evil)a href=”http://evilhrlady.blogspot.com/2007/02/workplace-bullies.html” has an interesting post /aon workplace bullies that looks into this question and wonders if abusive co-workers could be dealt with by peers just as bullying kids can sometimes be stopped by the intervention of other kids. I think the answer is yes, sometimes. br /br /In my experience in working with violent and threatening workers in businesses, the bullying co-worker has often gotten off scot-free from both management and other co-workers for quite some time before a blow-up that cannot be ignored occurs and results in a referral for a violent risk assessment. It certainly seems better to nip abusive behavior in the bud ASAP at work before it escalates–both for the abusive employee and for other co-workers, but many people are afraid of confrontation in our society, having been taught to bite their tongue and allow themselves to be screamed at, scorned, and threatened. br /br /I have never understood this–why would one allow themselves to be treated this way? It is amazing what a calm cool voice using direct eye contact while conveying to the co-worker that one will not tolerate their nasty behavior will do–and it is even more helpful if other co-workers stick together and back up the messenger with a similar message. People need to learn to control their emotions at work, but those who feel entitled, will continue to hurl abuse at co-workers if they think they can get away with it without any repercussions such as the embarrassment of being called out on the carpet for their tacky and unprofessional conduct.br /br /Did you ever have a workplace bully? What did you do, stay and stand your ground or turn tail and run or say nothing?

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