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Are Your Leaders ContributingTo Bullying

18 June 2016

40% of employees leave their workplace due to bullying and 47% reported workplace issues as a source of stress.

Research reveals that "two thirds of managers believe that a lack of management skills is the major factor contributing to bullying,"

What employers need to be concerned about is the increase for psychological claims averaging at $250k as reported in the 2012 Comcare report and that was four years ago.

Do these statistics reflect your workplace, if so are your leaders contributing to bullying in your workplace and if so what are you doing about it?

The line between a leader and a bully can be a fine one. In fact, powerful leaders and bullies share many of the same qualities, which tend to be:

  • Assertive
  • Confident
  • Competitive
  • Determined
  • Charismatic
  • Independent
  • Manipulators

Deciding the if your leader is a bully or not is not all that hard. Leaders and bullies have a lot in common as what we have seen by the 7 characteristics above but they do differ in two very important ways that is Respect and Compassion.

  • Leaders care about others
  • Bullies don’t

I hear you say that you would expect all of your workers to have these two traits and I would agree with you.

How have you communicated this to your leaders and workforce, where is it written? Do you have Mission, Vision and Values, how are they communicated? These are the basis for communicating the culture for your organisation.

Here is a snapshot to ascertain quickly whether your leaders are bullies or not.



Listens and observes and are attuned to their surroundings.

Self-centered and can’t understand the needs and feelings of others.

Leads by example – walk the talk – doing what they say, when they say it.

Dominates and intimidates others – it’s my way or the highway – I am the ‘boss’.

Shows interpersonal skills and empathy for others and encourages.

Lacks empathy for others, ridicules and demoralises others.

Communicate at all levels eliminating barriers and resolves problems.

Surrounds themselves only with people who agree with them.

Believes in the abilities of their people and trusts them to do well.

Has low expectations of everybody and low levels of trust.

Shares information and ownership and demonstrates transparency.

Withholds information and uses it as a weapon for empowerment.

Is assertive when necessary, steps into manager role responsibilities.

Is aggressive and uses power plays creating fear and crushing confidence.

Emotionally mature (Higher EI)

Emotionally immature (Lower EI)

Above are just some of the many traits that make a successful leader but what if your leaders have the traits of the bully.

Effective leaders and managers get results working with people, but there is a difference between the ‘boss’ and the leader. There are those that when appointed as the manager appoint themselves as the ‘boss’ neglecting the fundamental function of their role to be a leader. To be a truly effective leader or manager one must make appropriate use of their granted authority and earned power.

Being appointed to these roles does not automatically make the manager or leader effective, leaders earn the respect for the authority from the people they supervise. It’s not a popularity contest, tough decisions will need to be made.

A leadership quote from ~ Colin Powell “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Ask then could you take your problems to a ‘boss’ bully …..

If you don’t want the leaders of your organisation to be bullies, let’s teach them how to act today in a responsible and professional way that encompasses Respect and Compassion. 

Why not join us at one of our innovative Prevent, Detect, Correct workshops we are holding nationally