Tips for Preventing and Dealing With Workplace Bullying

PMI Canadian West Coast Chapter, and Inland Northwest Chapter

Bullying is an epidemic in the workplace, and the costs of bullying are astounding. Studies indicate bullying affects as many as 70 million Americans in the workplace.

Most importantly, for those of us in project management, bullying almost always leads to project and PMO failure. It tears down collaborative PMO culture and the innovative spirit needed for success. It increases absenteeism and decreases employees’ capacity to be focus at work. It negatively impacts the health of workers, increases stress and reduces work performance and morale.

Finally, workplace bullying increases employee turnover and, sadly, it is often the best and brightest who leave PMOs after being targeted by a bully.

  • What is workplace bullying? Unwanted, aggressive behavior repeated or escalated over time. It is often an imbalance of power with the intent to control or harm, embarrass, sabotage, make threats and verbally attack others. It is rude behavior that can include cyber or even physical attacks.
  • What is not workplace bullying: Conflict such as differences of opinion, constructive feedback or guidance about work-related behavior, unpopular but defensible decisions or a single act of poor behavior (usually in a highly stressful situation).
  • Who is targeted by a workplace bully? Simply put, the person targeted is, in some way, a threat to the bully. For children on the …

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