Tuesday, September 15, 2009


1) How do bullies select their targets?

The bully selects their target using the following criteria:

  • bullies are predatory and opportunistic - you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the main reason - investigation will reveal a string of predecessors, and you will have a string of successors
  • being good at your job, often excelling
  • being popular with people (colleagues, customers, clients, pupils, parents, patients, etc)
  • more than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; your presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear
  • being the expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional (ie you get more attention than the bully)
  • having a well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise
  • having a strong sense of integrity (bullies despise integrity, for they have none, and seem compelled to destroy anyone who has integrity)
  • having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited
  • being too old or too expensive (usually both)
  • refusing to join an established clique
  • showing independence of thought or deed
  • refusing to become a corporate clone and drone

Jealousy (of relationships and perceived exclusion therefrom) and envy (of talents, abilities, circumstances or possessions) are strong motivators of bullying.

2) Events that trigger bullying

Bullying starts after one of these events:

  • the previous target leaves
  • there's a reorganization
  • a new manager is appointed
  • your performance unwittingly highlights, draws attention to, exposes or invites unfavorable comparison with the bully's lack of performance (the harder you work to address the bully's claims of under-performance, the more insecure and unstable the bully becomes)
  • you may have unwittingly become the focus of attention whereas before the bully was the center of attention (this often occurs with female bullies) - most bullies are emotionally immature and thus crave attention
  • obvious displays of affection, respect or trust from co-workers
  • refusing to obey an order which violates rules, regulations, procedures, or is illegal
  • standing up for a colleague who is being bullied - this ensures you will be next; sometimes the bully drops their current target and turns their attention to you immediately
  • blowing the whistle on incompetence, malpractice, fraud, illegality, breaches of procedure, breaches of health & safety regulations etc
  • undertaking trade union duties
  • suffering illness or injury, whether work related or not
  • challenging the status qua, especially unwittingly
  • gaining recognition for your achievements, eg winning an award or being publicly recognized
  • gaining promotion

3) Personal qualities that bullies find irresistible

Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:

  • popularity (this stimulates jealousy in the less-than-popular bully)
  • competence (this stimulates envy in the less-than-competent bully)
  • intelligence and intellect
  • honesty and integrity (which bullies despise)
  • you're trustworthy, trusting, conscientious, loyal and dependable
  • a well-developed integrity which you're unwilling to compromise
  • you're always willing to go that extra mile and expect others to do the same
  • successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, having fortitude
  • a sense of humor, including displays of kindheartedness
  • imaginative, creative, innovative
  • idealistic, optimistic, always working for improvement and betterment of self, family, the employer, and the world
  • ability to master new skills
  • ability to think long term and to see the bigger picture
  • sensitivity (this is a constellation of values to be cherished including empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance etc)
  • slow to anger
  • helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience
  • giving and selfless
  • difficulty saying no
  • diligent, industrious
  • tolerant
  • strong sense of honor
  • irrepressible, wanting to tackle and correct injustice wherever you see it
  • an inability to value oneself whilst attributing greater importance and validity to other people's opinions of oneself (eg through tests, exams, appraisals, manager's feedback, etc)
  • low propensity to violence (ie you prefer to resolve conflict through dialogue rather than through violence or legal action)
  • a strong forgiving streak (which the bully exploits and manipulates to dissuade you from taking grievance and legal action)
  • a desire to always think well of others
  • being incorruptible, having high moral standards which you are unwilling to compromise
  • being unwilling to lower standards
  • a strong well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise or abandon
  • high expectations of those in authority and a dislike of incompetent people in positions of power who abuse power
  • a tendency to self-deprecation, indecisiveness, deference and approval seeking
  • low assertiveness
  • a need to feel valued
  • quick to apologize when accused, even if not guilty (this is a useful technique for defusing an aggressive customer or potential road rage incident)
  • perfectionism
  • higher-than-average levels of dependency, naivety and guilt
  • a strong sense of fair play and a desire to always be reasonable
  • high coping skills under stress, especially when the injury to health becomes apparent
  • a tendency to internalize anger rather than express it

The typical sequence of events is:

  • the target is selected using the criteria above, then bullied for months, perhaps years
  • eventually, the target asserts their right not to be bullied, perhaps by filing a complaint with personnel
  • personnel interview the bully, who uses their Jekyll and Hyde nature, compulsive lying, and charm to tell the opposite story (charm has a motive - deception)
  • it's one word against another with no witnesses and no evidence, so personnel take the word of the senior employee - serial bullies excel at deception and evasion of accountability
  • the personnel department are hoodwinked by the bully into getting rid of the target - serial bullies are adept at encouraging conflict between people who might otherwise pool negative information about them
  • once the target is gone, there's a period of between 2-14 days, then a new target is selected and the process starts again (bullying is an obsessive compulsive behavior and serial bullies seem unable to survive without a target on to whom they can project their inadequacy and incompetence whilst blaming them for the bully's own failings)
  • even if the employer realities that they might have sided with the wrong person in the past, they are unlikely to admit that because to do so may incur liability
  • if legal action is taken, employers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep targets quiet, usually by offering a small out-of-court settlement with a comprehensive gagging clause
  • employers are often more frightened of the bully than the target and will go to enormous lengths to avoid having to deal with bully (promotion for the bully is the most common outcome)

How to spot a bully in your workplace

If you have a serial bully on the staff they will reveal themselves by their department showing excessive rates of

  • staff turnover
  • sickness absence
  • stress breakdowns
  • deaths in service
  • ill-health retirements
  • early retirements
  • uses of disciplinary procedures
  • grievances initiated
  • suspensions
  • dismissals
  • uses of private security firms to snoop on employees
  • litigation including employment tribunals or legal action against employees

Why do people bully

Why do people bully?
The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy. Bullying has nothing to do with managing etc; good managers manage, bad managers bully. Management is managing; bullying is not managing. Therefore, anyone who chooses to bully is admitting their inadequacy, and the extent to which a person bullies is a measure of their inadequacy. Bullies project their inadequacy on to others:

a) to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it;
b) to avoid accepting responsibility for their behavior and the effect it has on others, and,
c) to reduce their fear of being seen for what they are, namely a weak, inadequate and often incompetent individuals, and,
d) to divert attention away from their inadequacy - in an insecure or badly-managed workplace, this is how inadequate, incompetent and aggressive employees keep their jobs.

Bullying is an inefficient way of working, resulting in disenchantment, demoralization, demotivate, disaffection, and alienation. Bullies run dysfunctional and inefficient organizations; staff turnover and sickness absence are high whilst morale, productivity and profitability are low. Prosperity is illusory and such organizations are a bad long-term investment.

Bullying is present behind all forms of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, persecution, conflict and violence. When the bullying has a focus (eg race or gender) it is expressed as racial prejudice or harassment, or sexual discrimination and harassment, and so on. When the bullying lacks a focus (or the bully is aware of the Sex Discrimination Act or the Race Relations Act), it comes out as pure bullying; this is an opportunity to understand the behaviors which underlie almost all reprehensible behavior. I believe bullying is the single most important social issue of today.

types of bully

Sadistic, narcissistic bully

Lacks empathy for others. Has low degree of anxiety about consequences. Narcissistic need to feel omnipotent. May appear to have a high self esteem but it is actually a brittle narcissism.

Imitative bully

May have low self esteem or be depressed. Influenced by the surrounding social climate. May use whining or tattling or be manipulative.

Impulsive bully

He/she is less likely to be part of a group. His/her bullying is more spontaneous and may appear more random. He/she has difficulty restraining him/herself from the behavior even when authorities are likely to impose consequences. He/she is also likely to be bullied.

Physical Bullies

Physical bullies are action-oriented. This type of bullying includes hitting or kicking the victim, or, taking or damaging the victim's property. This is the least sophisticated type of bullying because it is so easy to identify.

Verbal Bullies

Verbal bullies use words to hurt or humiliate another person. Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insulting, making racist comments and constant teasing. This type of bullying is the easiest to inflict on others. It is quick and to the point. It can occur in the least amount of time available, when no one else is around and its effects can be more devastating in some ways than physical bullying because there are no visible scars.

The lack of visible scars often leads people to think that the victim is exagerating and so cutting off support that the person needs as there is no visible trail for others to follow.

The effects of bullying on a victim can be a good clue also any other reports a

bout the bully, talking to co-workers and discussing it with the bully looking at how they behave when confronted with whats happened. The last needs to be done with care as it may make matters worse for the victim.

Stressed, impulsive or unintentional bully

Occurs when someone is under stress or an institution is undergoing confusing, disorienting changes. This is the easiest to redirect.

Cyber bully

This includes hateful emails and cyber stalking. Some feel that employers who monitor employees' email are using intimidation but this position can be debated. If it is used unfairly, it can be seen as intimidation.

Subordinate bully

Bullying perpetrated by subordinates (such as boss being bullied by an employee, nursing staff being bullied by a patient.)

Serial bully

An individual who repeatedly intimidates or harasses one individual after another. A victim is selected and bullied for an extended period of time until he/she leaves or asserts himself/herself and goes to Human Resources (HR)

The bully sometimes deceives HR by being charming while the victim appears emotional and angry.

Since there are often no witnesses, HR may accept the account of the bullying staff member, possibly a serial bully. The bully may even convince the organization to get rid of the troublesome victim. Once the victim is out of the organization, the bully usually needs to find a new victim. This is because the bully needs someone on whom he can project his inner feelings of inadequacy. The bully may prevent others from sharing negative information about him by sowing conflict.

If the organization eventually realizes that it has made a mistake, it can difficult for them to publicly admit as they feel to do so might make them legally liable.

This is very risky for the company.

A good set of policies and procedures should be in place to avoid this problem.

Secondary bully

Others in the office or social group start to react to bullying by imitating or joining in on the behaviour. This can lead to institutional bullying. Even if the primary bullying individual is removed, the secondary bullies may fill in the gap because they have learned that this is how to survive in this organization.

Pair bullies

Two individuals, sometimes people who are having an affair, or who are just peers collude to intimidate others. The participation of the second individual may be covert.

Gang bullies

The primary bully gathers a number of followers. He may be a loud, highly visible leader. If he is a quieter sort, his role may be more insidious. Some members of the group may actively enjoy being part of the bullying. They like the reflected power of the primary bully. If the primary bully leaves the organization, and the institution does not change, one of these individuals may step in to fill the shoes of the primary bully. Others of the gang join in because they feel coerced. They fear that if they do not participate, they will be the next victims. Indeed some of these individuals do become victims at some point in time.

Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying

Is where the stress of the moment causes behaviour to deteriorate; the person becomes short-tempered, irritable and may shout or swear at others. Everybody does this from time to time, but when the pressure is removed, behaviour returns to normal, the person recognises the inappropriateness of their behaviour, makes amends, and may apologise, and - crucially - learns from the experience so that next time the situation arises they are better able to deal with it. This is "normal" behaviour and I do not include pressure bullying in my definition of workplace bullying.

Regulation bullying

Is where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures or laws regardless of their appropriateness, applicability or necessity. Legal bullying - the bringing of a vexatious legal action to control and punish a person - is one of the nastiest forms of bullying.

It is often done "upwards" with financial gain in mind however this is not always the case.

Residual bullying

Is the bullying of all kinds that continues after the serial bully has left. Like recruits like and like promotes like, therefore the serial bully bequeaths a dysfunctional environment to those who are left. This can last for years.

Client bullying

Is where employees are bullied by those they serve, eg teachers are bullied (and often assaulted) by pupils and their parents, nurses are bullied by patients and their relatives, social workers are bullied by their clients, and shop/bank/building society staff are bullied by customers. Often the client is claiming their perceived right (eg to better service) in an abusive, derogatory and often physically violent manner. Client bullying can also be employees bullying their clients.

Institutional bullying

Is similar to corporate bullying and arises when bullying becomes entrenched and accepted as part of the culture,and all of this is without consultation.

# People are moved

# Long-existing contracts are replaced with new short-term contracts on less favourable terms with the accompanying threat of "agree to this or else"

# Workloads are increased

# Work schedules are changed

# Roles are changed

# Career progression paths are blocked or terminated

Corporate bullying

# May occours when an organisation struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations, and other external pressures.

Or where the employer abuses employees with impunity knowing/thinking that the law is weak and jobs are scarce, eg:

# Coercing employees to work after hours days or weeks on a regular basis then making life hell for (or dismissing) anyone who objects

# Dismissing anyone who looks like having a stress breakdown as it's cheaper (in the UK) to pay the costs of unfair dismissal at Employment Tribunal (eg £50K maximum, but awards are usually paltry) than risk facing a personal injury claim for stress breakdown (eg £175K as in the John Walker case)

This behaviour can back fire on the company but short sighted employers may take the risk.

# Introduces "absence management" to deny employees annual or sick leave to which they are genuinely entitled. Company sick pay in itself is not an entitlement but statutory sick pay may be.

# Deems any employee suffering from stress as weak and inadequate whilst aggressively ignoring and denying the cause of stress (bad management and bullying)

# "Encourages" employees (with promises of promotion and/or threats of disciplinary action) to fabricate complaints about their colleagues The above 2 are very risky but go on never the less.

# Employees are "encouraged" to give up full-time permanent positions in favour of short-term contracts; anyone who resists has their life made hell.

# The following may be a normal practice, especially for a big company but the employee should be made aware of the practices when they go for the interview. The company must also make sure that the practices are not abused in any way and should also study the Data Protection Acts about collection and acess to information

Listening in to telephone conversations, using the mystery shopper, contacting customers behind employees backs and asking leading questions, conducting covert video surveillance (perhaps by fellow employees), sending personnel officers or private investigators to an employee's home to interview the employees whilst on sick leave, interview the moment they return from sick leave. And possibly other practices that may be taken as bullying if the employee is unaware of them.

What is bully..?

Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.
Bullying can occur in any setting where human beings interact with each other. This includes school, church, the workplace, home and neighborhoods. It is even a common push factor in migration. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes and even between countries

Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.

Behaviors may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kalis Buli

WALAU di sekolah mana anda berada sama ada sekolah biasa atau sekolah berasrama, gejala buli bukan lagi sesuatu yang pelik lagi.

Ia seolah-olah satu kelaziman dan pasti dihadapi oleh semua yang pernah menempuh zaman persekolahan.

Kerap kali, pelajar lelaki lebih ramai terlibat dengan kes-kes membuli.

Terdapat tiga jenis buli melibatkan fizikal seperti menendang, menumbuk, mengambil atau merosakkan barangan orang lain.

Buli jenis kedua melibatkan verbal seperti memanggil nama seseorang dengan gelaran-gelaran yang memalukan dan meminta duit saku daripada pelajar lain.

Sementara itu jenis ketiga melibatkan emosi seperti mengejek, mempersenda atau menyebarkan fitnah-fitnah mengenai seseorang.

Seperti yang diketahui, buli berlaku pada pelajar yang dilihat sebagai lemah berbanding pembuli.

Masalah buli di sekolah ini sebenarnya menjadi antara punca utama pelajar yang dibuli tidak suka ke sekolah dan akhirnya menyebabkan pencapaiannya lemah.

Perasaan takut dibuli juga menyebabkan pelajar yang dibuli enggan ke sekolah. Ada juga mangsa buli yang mula membenci sekolah.

Lebih buruk lagi, jika berterusan, kejadian buli akan memberikan tekanan emosi kepada mangsa.

Mangsa akan menjadi kesunyian, murung dan tidak selamat.

Menurut kajian yang pernah dilakukan oleh pakar psikologi kanak-kanak, mangsa yang mengalami kejadian buli berterusan akan mengalami masalah sakit perut, mimpi buruk, sentiasa gementar dan sering berada dalam ketakutan.

Sebagai ibu bapa anda perlu melakukan sesuatu untuk membantu anak anda tidak menjadi mangsa buli yang akhirnya akan menjejaskan pelajaran mereka di sekolah.