A recent student by Dr. Leah Hollis confirmed that 62% of higher education professionals face workplace bullying.
As reported in her book, Bully in the Ivory Tower, bullying is about power. Those who have the organizational power can choose to ‘do good instead of evil.’ They have control over the policy development and implementation. Those in power can model good behavior and set the tone for civility. Or, as reported, those in power are indeed the bully, allowing bullying behaviors to flourish in their organization.
The target of bullying often suffers in isolation.
Often, targets don’t define it has bullying, but slowly come to realize the bad behavior is constant and destructive. Those who are bullied disengage from the office space. They spend close to half a day a week recovering from the antics of a bully or seeking support to withstand the bullying. Aside from the cost of turnover, the cost of disengagement at the hands of a bully can cost an organization millions of dollars.
What can someone do if they believe they are the target of a bully?
- Seek emotional support, through family, friends or even a counselor.
- Cautiously seek HR. Yet many reports reveal that HR doesn’t really resolve the problem for the target
- Focus on something other than the job, such as a new hobby or class.
- Quietly look to leave the job. However, remember a job search can be grounds for dismissal.
- Engage in self-care. Exercise and a healthy diet can help someone stay healthy in the midst of an unhealthy environment.
Bullying is an insidious behavior which is supported by leadership, or at the very least, allowed to flourish when leadership doesn’t act.
The cost of higher education is already skyrocketing; hence colleges and universities can ill afford to harbor the costly behavior of a bully.
Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D.. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.