Ways Workplace Bullies Set You Up to Fail

If you are a target of bullying, you must understand that your bullies will have slick ways of setting you up for failure. You must also learn to recognize these tactics, so you’ll be able to protect yourself.

Here are these tactics:

  1. They distract you from your work. Workplace bullies deliberately distract their targets from their projects with constant interruptions, which are very time-consuming. Bullies know that if they can stall their targets, they’ll cause them to miss deadlines.

 If you have a coworker who’s constantly distracting you, politely tell the person you’re busy and will be with them when you’re able or lock the door to your office if you have one. This may or may not go over so well, but you’re still asserting yourself and that’s important too.

  1. Withholding information. Bullies deliberately prevent targets from having the information needed to do their jobs. If you are a victim, they will cause you to miss important meetings and deadlines, which can put your job and career in jeopardy.

If you find that you’re not getting the proper information to do your job, find other and creative ways to get your needed info. Keep your ears peeled in case someone has a big mouth.

  1. Overloading you with work. Bully bosses will either overwhelm their targets with extra work or assign tasks that are impossible to fulfill or complete on time. They may even make them work extra long hours to stress them out and keep them from getting adequate sleep. Bullies know that a person can’t do their jobs as effectively if they’re sleep-deprived.

 If this starts happening, it might be wise to quietly begin looking for another job. Tell no one of your plans to leave and for Heaven’s sake don’t tell them where you’re going! The last thing you need is for someone to make a quick phone call and cause your future employer a change of heart.

  1. Misleading You. Bullies will sometimes give targets wrong times and dates for deadlines or meetings. This is done not only to sabotage you but to humiliate you and make you look incompetent.

Again, find other ways of finding these things out. Never trust your boss if he’s bullying you and never trust your coworkers either.

  1. Giving you meaningless or degrading assignments. Bully bosses will often take targets off their regular work assignments and give them degrading or subservient jobs, such as cleaning the office bathrooms, making lunch and coffee runs for everyone else, serving coffee to the rest of the team, or emptying all the trash.

Again, this is when it might be time to begin looking for new employment. But do it in secret!

Knowing is half the battle against bullies!

6 thoughts on “Ways Workplace Bullies Set You Up to Fail

  1. Oh this brought back memories. I was constantly being set up to fail – either by withholding information or being given misinformation. I developed strategies to circumvent the issues – ask for direction in an email so that it is documented, ask for confirmation of meeting dates and times with the person running the meeting or from the bully – always in an email so that I had documentation… Worked like a charm and I was wildly successful. I had the reputation with her superiors as the “get it done, and done right” person for difficult projects. Many times I was assigned tasks by her boss and she couldn’t do a thing about it…

  2. I so agree with this, especially no.1. The bully’s tactic arises from his own insecurity but affects the success of the workplace or business as a whole. Unfortunately, not a lot of bosses or even HR departments get that.

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