R U OK DAY?  Time-out to Workplace Bullying

Today is International stand-up to bullying day. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Over the years I have personally dealt with many bullies. In fact, in every organisation I have worked in or for I have encountered at least one. I must admit that it would be fair to say throughout my career many people would have described my behaviour as bullying from time to time. I am certainly not proud of this but I have the courage to own this part of me. Time has given me the opportunity for reflection and through reflection I have gained wisdom.

In my experience bullies have a common effect on your business and your team; bullies destroy creativity and thus they prevent your business from moving forward. They usually hold a position of power either formally or informally. Because of their insecurities they use this power to belittle and threaten others. They may shoehorn themselves into a situation where the business depends upon them. Because of this control they can get away with their abuse. Good people leave or worse are crushed and you are left wondering why your business never reaches its full potential.

In this world of political correctness, bullies not only survive, they thrive. But there is a way of dealing with them; to a bully silence is acceptance of their behaviour. For most of us it is such a big moment to confront the bully and of course it should be no surprise to learn that the best way to deal with a bully is call them on their behaviour. This is easier said than done but remember that at the heart of it bullies are cowards.

Your business will benefit enormously from you having the courage to stand-up and call time-out on bullying.


Michael’s insights are drawn directly from working with and in SMBs in senior finance roles for the last 25 years.  Michael has extensive experience with bullies in the workplace. If you need practical advice or assistance with dealing with a difficult individual in your business, whether that be you or someone else in your team, then reach out; you will be glad you did.