Adult Bullying in Organisations

It’s easy to assume everyone can identify adult bullying. The term bullying is often used to describe aggressive behaviour. This can make it hard for work places, employers and employees (including volunteers), and the wider community to accurately identify and manage adult bullying. 

The standard response to an adult bullying complaint is to redefine the problem so it becomes easier to deal with. Organizations often label a problem between two people as a personality conflict and then manage it as an ‘employment issue’. The upshot of this approach is that one side is labelled as a victim and the other as a villain which also leads to finding someone right and someone wrong. 

2020-10-11 Chair Landscape

This never leads to the heart of why bullying happens in the first place nor does it take into account the interconnectedness between people and the ‘culture’ or environment they work in.  

Adult bullying in organisations is not black and white – it is better explained using a continuum.

Have you or someone you know experienced or witnessed adult bullying in an organisation?
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