Allstate Protects Their Bullies

I am now posting the articles I receive, to this board instead of the front page. I think it will simplify things and I can get the articles posted quicker. Our sincere thanks to Deborah True who sends most of them to us.

Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:12 pm ... 008_09.asp

Creating workplace harmony
Firm teaches employers how to handle office bullies


By SHELLY JANKE - GM Today Staff
June 20, 2008

BROOKFIELD - In recent years, more and more downtrodden employees have found the strength to report abusive office relationships to their employers, and in doing so, they have given a name to their pain - workplace bullying.
"I don’t think anyone would dispute that there’s always been bullies around," said Stephen J. Hirschfeld, a California-based employment lawyer and CEO of the Employment Law Alliance. "Now human resource departments are starting to get complaints about bullying."

According to a nationwide poll by the Employment Law Alliance, nearly 45 percent of American workers surveyed said they have experienced workplace abuse, which runs the gamut from minor incidents to severe, repeated harassment.

For full story, go to the electronic version of The Freeman. Click here to access the electronic version. ... 6BP%253DOK

Shelly Janke can be reached at
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:15 pm ... e-bull.php

June 2, 2008

Indiana affirms "workplace bullying" verdict
Michael Fox at Employer's Lawyer -- who, like us, views with alarm the campaign to create a "workplace bullying" cause of action -- thinks and hopes that a new Indiana Supreme Court ruling reinstating a verdict against a cardiac surgeon is narrowly enough based as not to precipitate any bursting of the floodgates. Richard Bales at Workplace Law Prof has a link to the decision in Raess v. Doescher, PDF. Earlier here, here, etc.

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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:21 pm ... ource=mypi

June 1, 2008
Workplace Coach: Wanted: Strong managers for chaos at work

TOUGH TIMES often define leaders. There is a big difference between managing and leading. Leaders provide direction, the road map for change and inspiration for even the most difficult journeys. The most effective leaders are good at influencing others -- often with their contagious passion. They motivate us to do our best by engaging our minds and hearts in their vision of a preferred future.

Difficult times tend to distinguish great leaders from the mediocre ones. When the going gets tough, the best leaders rely on clear, deliberate and inspiring communication rather than a "command and control" management style. They know that bullying and punishment rarely result in sustainable performance improvement and more frequently result in good people simply leaving. The most effective leaders instill confidence with their solid judgment, integrity and setting clear direction and expectations. During trauma, drama and chaos, they discern priorities and rally the troops with best strategies for solution.

Guidelines for leaders during difficult times:

Challenge your perspective and assumptions. If you aren't confident that you know what is going on in the layers below you, find out -- directly and personally. This is not the time for tunnel vision or relying solely on those who keep telling you everything is fine. This could be as simple as managing by walking around. Get input from everyone -- especially the front line. Employees will be more motivated to do their best when they identify their leader's willingness to be in the trenches with them. Getting out there can provide valuable insight into current challenges and opportunities for improvement. Consider bringing employees together to identify what their outlook is and their challenges and potential solutions. And don't forget the customers -- ask them how your organization is doing.

Revisit the company's vision and strategies and revise them if necessary to meet conditions. The only constant is change; being adaptive and communicating change effectively within the organization remains a key management skill. Communicate authentically and frequently. Be straightforward and transparent. Avoid hidden agendas and sugarcoated messages -- adults can handle reality.

Use the current condition to challenge "business as usual." Tough times present excellent opportunity for change. Address traditional and outdated policies and procedures, including "minor" challenges that employees and customers have been requesting you fix. Get rid of the minutiae that get in your people's way of success. Challenge the organization to find ways to make life easier for everyone. Seemingly small improvements frequently result in big payoffs.

Proactively identify and support those who demonstrate both the ability and willingness to take creative initiative and lead in tough times. Managers and employees who challenge the status quo while demonstrating they can inspire others while doing so are solid-gold keepers. Support, promote and enhance the skills and capability of these critical resources. These are the people whom senior leaders should be making an extra effort to acknowledge, retain and protect.

Identify what -- or who -- is part of the problem and what is part of the solution. Act accordingly.

Demonstrate appreciation for even small efforts and contributions. Most employees will respond by giving you their best if they know you are noticing and appreciating their hard work.

Like it or not, it's often during really tough times that difficult decisions (finally) get made. Leaders who bury their heads in the sand or hide out in their offices frequently find themselves with greater problems and in the end can fail everyone.

Maureen Moriarty is a professional accredited executive coach, organizational development consultant and leadership development corporate trainer. She is the founder of Pathways to Change and offers leadership development courses and coaching to local companies and individuals. Web site: She can be reached at 425-837-9297.

Reader Comments:
Posted by Believer2007 at 6/2/08 5:21 p.m.

Excellent article. One of the best, if not the very best she has written. As is usual with management advice, her suggestions are easier said than done, but she touched all bases today. A home run of insights and strategies.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:31 pm ... c=hm_topic

Narcissists at work: How to deal with arrogant, controlling, manipulative bullies

Narcissistic employees -- yes, IT has its fair share -- can wreak havoc in the office and put your own job at risk.

By Thomas Hoffman

June 11, 2008 (Computerworld) Five years ago, Jean Ritala was dating a businessman who started to demonstrate Jekyll and Hyde-like behavior. Well-spoken, charismatic and successful, he could also be manipulative and bullying, telling her that it was "his way or the highway."

It wasn't until someone told her she had been "stung by a narcissist" and shared books and Web sites with her on the topic that she fully appreciated what she had encountered. Now, Ritala, the IT support services manager at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, educates and coaches others on how to deal with narcissists in the workplace.

Narcissism, defined as a personality disorder by the National Institutes of Health, is a pattern of behaviors that show a pervasive need for attention and admiration, as well as a lack of concern or empathy for others.

In the workplace, says Ritala, narcissists tend to be successful and goal-oriented, with no concern for others who get in their way. They feel a need to control co-workers, projects and situations around them, and they can be manipulative, spinning situations and facts to make it appear that others around them are the problem, not them.

According to Ritala, narcissists often display the following traits at work:

Arrogant and self-centered, they expect special treatment and privileges.
They can be charismatic, articulate and funny.
They are likely to disrespect boundaries and the privacy of others.
They can be patronizing and critical of others but unwilling or unable to accept criticism or disagreement.
Likely to be anxiety-stricken or paranoid, they may exhibit violent, rage-like reactions when they can't control a situation or their behaviors have been exposed.
They are apt to set others up for failure or pit co-workers against one another.
They can be cruel and abusive to some co-workers, often targeting one person at a time until he quits.
They may need an ongoing "narcissist supply" of people who they can easily manipulate and who will do whatever they suggest -- including targeting a co-worker -- without question.
They are often charming and innocent in front of managers.

As you might imagine, narcissists can be highly disruptive to a workplace, creating a traumatic environment with high turnover, Ritala says. Eventually the narcissist is caught in action enough times that he is fired, but this does nothing to change his behavior or protect the organization from other narcissists.

Recognizing the problem, Ritala, former president of the IT Service Management Forum &ndash US, teamed up with management consulting partner Gerald Falkowski to write a booklet for IT managers called Narcissism in the Workplace (Red Swan Publishing USA, Sept. 2007). She spoke recently with Computerworld's Thomas Hoffman about dealing with narcissism in IT organizations.

Does narcissism play out any differently within IT organizations versus other parts of a company?
IT is more competitive than some parts of the business, much like sales is competitive. I think you're seeing it more now in IT because IT has become more focused on relationship-building and nurturing relationships. The types of behavior people turned their cheek to in the past, they're now less willing to.

People are getting educated. Five years ago, fewer people knew about narcissism. Now there are online discussion groups that deal with the topic, such as the MSN newsgroup, and television shows such as Two and a Half Men featuring [the character] Charlie Harper as a narcissist. The dynamics of the workforce have changed, and narcissist personality-type employees or managers are standing out more than ever, creating more problems than their boss and HR can handle.

What happens if managers simply ignore narcissists' disruptive behavior?
Often a narcissist remains in an organization for years, creating more and more workplace stress and turnover, due to their managers thinking their contributions outweigh their behaviors and denying and rationalizing the odd behaviors away. That is, until the next complaint comes their way and they continue to be forced to document the narcissist's behaviors over time. They risk their own jobs by not taking action soon enough with each complaint or series of complaints.

The cost to organizations from narcissism in the workplace is staggering due to illness, stress medications and treatment, lack of teaming and project success, and rising turnover, until the narcissist or corporate bully is shown timely cause and effect from their negative behaviors.

What steps can IT managers take to address these issues?
You have to get educated with a health care professional like a psychologist who specializes in employee counseling services. Get them involved in reviewing the complaints to management and HR, and in helping others to understand these personality types, their behaviors and destructive impact to an organization.

Steps to deal with a narcissist personality type in the workplace include documenting what you observe and get complaints about, and not being afraid to go to HR and say, "This is what I'm seeing and this is what people are bringing to me."

It often starts as a series of complaints to line managers, then to an HR representative. Once there are enough [complaints], they go to HR, and HR will implore a manager to document what they see as well as come and observe firsthand themselves.

How should managers approach narcissistic employees, particularly if an employee is unaware that he possesses these attributes?
Narcissistic employees should be encouraged by HR to see whatever company employee referral service is available to them, such as counseling, and you hope that the person will take advantage of that.

It depends on how enlightened the person is in terms of seeing how their behavior is impacting staff and their own performance. When you get manipulative, bullying and condescending types of comments and behavior, that's what impacts performance and teamwork. That's when you hope the narcissist person will take the encouragement to go seek help.

If they don't, HR has to play back what [the narcissistic individual] did wrong using a calm approach. Establish firm boundaries with timely progressive consequences from the first complaint received. Follow up to see if behaviors appear to be improving or if they are getting worse. People's behavior patterns typically don't change unless they get help.

Up to one-third of a narcissist's victims in the workplace will quit the company or transfer to another department if nothing is done by the department manager or HR to stop the situation. Once a narcissist's behaviors are observed and documented, they can become even more cruel and offensive to others, as they no longer can hide their behaviors and rationalize them away or project their shortcomings onto others.

The key is observing, documenting and taking swift action each and every time so the narcissist knows their cruel behaviors will not be tolerated in the workplace. ... 798?page=5

Reader Comments:

what if it's the boss that's narcisstic?
Submitted by Jim Johnson on June 11, 2008 - 07:33.

And this is a small business, so the boss is also a major shareholder in the company.

I think I now understand why we also have no formal HR function in this company. A co-worker has resorted to recording phone conversations and duplicating emails between the boss and this person.

I know many of us would sail our resignations as paper airplanes while headed out the door if we could find comparable jobs elsewhere. And it isn't pay that keeps us here - it's a total lack of other opportunities without relocating.
I thought the same thing if its the boss...
Submitted by ExEmployee on June 11, 2008 - 09:09.

I used to work as a CSR for a portable alarm system company - mainly answer technical questions about the product.
The owner was handsome, a charmer, a terrific salesman but the worst boss you can imagine. Since I don't have the space to write a book about the things he did - here are just a few teasers.
If he was having a bad day (which was usually every day), he would have us stand in a circle and he would decide on one person and then he would ask every other person why or why not this person should be fired - and you had to answer or your butt was out the door. He would then proceed to demean and belittle the person and then take potshots at everyone else. Another common event, the boss would call an employee to meet him at a restaurant because he was drunk and trying to woo young women he met. He wanted to take her to the business to "show her around" but he didn't have the key. So he would have the employee open the business and then have to wait around so he could lock up after the boss and the young women "were done." This happened many, many times but would you believe that even the boss's wife worked at the business with them? I was there for a less than a year (during that time, 19 different people came and went) all the time looking for another job. But you didn't dare put them down as a job because once you left, you never knew what he would say...Illegal right? well, I know many of the ones who quit or were fired did file complaints but nothing has been done. A friend that stayed longer than me - its almost like you need therapy after working there because day after day hearing someone say you "suck, or stupid" - in a way, you start to believe that crap - some of us likened it to an abusive relationship. Sounds crazy, I know but man - you had to be there and live it to feel it.
But most of all, its a shame because he got rid of some great people that just happened to stand up to him or took the spotlight away from him for awhile. It was and still is a great product - just I would never buy one or tell others about it because of him.

You poor person ... but I
Submitted by Anonymous on June 16, 2008 - 10:11.

You poor person ... but I too had a boss just like yours. I never would have thought for a minute I would begin to believe and question myself after working for this boss. He was on a three year tour ... he almost destroyed everyone working for him ... including me. But because of my position and years of service with this firm I made it. I was able to get even ... after he left upper management asked me what was wrong with the unit ... low performace and output I told them the truth. Six months later he was fired. I hope no one else ever has to endure a person like this ... it was the worst experience of my life. It took over three years for everyone to get over him and begin to feel well again.


Having personally run afoul
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 14:39.

Having personally run afoul of a narcisist, I can tell you that they're very dangerous to others and smooth. Typically, they rule by fear and intimidation. Subordinates will not complain out of fear and superiors are oblivious to it, other than to say that the person can be difficult and vindictive. At the senior management level, it takes complaints and an astute HR department that can recognize a pattern of behavior. In my opinion, they would need to identify situations when an individual literally has lost most of their direct reports and characterizes people with track records for success as incompetent. In 21 years, I've yet to see anyone in HR with the capabilities and political will to address this issue.

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164 VotesJustice ultimately prevails
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 20:10.

I too was the victim of a narcisist boss. He bullied me at every opportunity possible and in front of my peers. He said I was too difficult to work with, too negative, kept information from him, made poor judgements, etc. In reality, I was well like by many and it was he who was the trouble making. He turned every projects into an ordeal and try to make his fellow directors and managers look bad. That was his mode of operation. To make a long story short, after a few years of his rein of terror, he was forced out of the company. My advise to you still working for bullies, stay your course. Eventually, justice will prevail and you will feel that much more vindicated of your self-worth.

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99 VotesNarcissism Hurts
Submitted by Scott Cee on June 12, 2008 - 09:00.

I've worked in an environment where a new senior manager was brought on board to "invigorate staff, to challenge their internal clients and to enhance data center performance". The new senior manager definitely suffered from NPD. The travails, trauma and tribulation inflicted unncessarily upon the middle managers and their troops was incredibly painful. As a result, staff turnover was noteworthy. Eventually, executive management mustered the courage to end the working relationship with the senior manager approximatley 2 1/2 years after his arrival.

I left the company about three months before the termination - relocated my family for a position approximately 100 miles away.

What did I learn? NPD is a serious disorder and it is highly unlikely that it can be treated per the NIH and other credible sources on mental health. I also learned that honest and effective management should have the courage to confront (with care and diligence) the malignancy wrought by other management personnel. Finally, and most importantly, I learned that I should constantly review my actions as a manager and test my reasoning; i.e., why am I directing others to take a course of action - is it really necessary for the business and the well-being of others or is it to satisfy my selfish needs, etc.

In many cases, there's only one relief when dealing with a narcissistic personality disorder - flee as soon as you can if the individual persists in the same employment space.

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Rated +16
68 VotesUnfortunately
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 07:50.

Yes, most organizations end up losing perfectly good people because they respond too slowly to glaringly obvious narcissistic situations. Do I feel sorry for those organizations? No. Many times, the good employee will complain to human resources only to be penalized for doing so during the next round of lay-offs/reorganizations. Forget about mentioning the problem during your exit interview. If the company doesn't get it after seeing a pattern or employees leaving the same department, then they deserve the narcissist...

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42 VotesHow true!
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 08:15.

As a consultant I can't tell you how many times I've seen this. And in my experience, these people often don't even do the best work, yet they somehow get the boss to think they are more important that anybody else. A certain Cindy at a green bank comes to mind. She treated everybody like peasants, took liberties with all the normal codes of honor and respect, trashed the reputation of everybody who got in her way, and when I actually had to look at her code while she was on vacation I found it was absolute garbage. The woman wrote textbook bad code. It was amazing it even worked. Yet Cindy is held up as a star to new employees. Amazing... I could not wait for that gig to end.

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25 VotesYes, this does happen!
Submitted by Intechs on June 11, 2008 - 09:20.

People skills are key here. At these times we look at the organization culture and try to determine a path that is beneficial for all. Sometimes, it is better to introduce, new terms and new rules that will provide a better outcome for everyone.

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30 VotesNarcissism - article
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 07:51.

Wow. Just reading the article stressed me out, remembering a recent Sr. Director who displayed all the worst elements of narcissism. Within a 2-year period, I knew of 12 people - all great resources - who left the company or moved to another group because of this one individual. Our HR group, and VPs who knew about the situation and received calls from distressed employees subjected to her bullying, were completely ineffective at dealing with the situation (yes, she is still with the compay unfortunately). HR needs to wake up to this problem.

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33 VotesGood article, unfortunately
Submitted by Clancy on June 11, 2008 - 07:54.

Good article, unfortunately the only 'corrective' action is deferred to the HR department which pretty much insures nothing will happen. I’m sure there are some good HR people out there, but I’ve never met any.

If you work with such an individual (as I’m sure most of us do) I’ve found the best defense is a good offense. Don’t be afraid to call them out when they are wrong, but stay professional and courteous when doing so. The better you are at keeping it professional, the more likely you are to either make a lasting ‘don’t mess with me’ impression on the person, or elicit a extremely unprofessional response – either of which will ultimately achieve the desired effect.

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23 VotesThe description of a
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 08:15.

The description of a narcissist sounds like a full list of traits of APDs (Antisocial Personality Disorder), sociopaths & psychopaths. These are the sort of folks that comprise upwards of 75% of the jail population.

I wish a lot more of them were in jail!

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23 VotesNarcisissism article - comment
Submitted by David on June 11, 2008 - 08:52.

Narcisissism is just one of numerous unfortunate behaviors that may have a psychological label but is more often than not, concentrated at the management level.

Tracking personnel trends within a department and having two way reviews (Manager reviews sub-ordinate, Manager's Supervisor receives feedback on the Manager from their sub-ordinates with upper management being copied) are two ways to identify problems but only if there is an effective HR department. An effective HR department is the sadly missing ingredient in most organizations. In terms of training and capabilites necessary to exist in HR, I know what they are but I have rarely seen them in place.

How one reacts to unfortunate behavior varies. Some people change their behavior (whether out of financial necessity or weakness)and become as badly behaved. Other people will attempt to change this unfortunate behavior either through reporting it to HR or to upper mgmt. This typically insures that you can honestly look at yourself in the mirror and that you will have a short career at that company.

General rule of thumb, the longer someone has stayed with a company, the more likely they have joined in the bad behavior and have become part of the problem. Someone with 10 - 15 years with the company typically is not someone to be admired. Instead, that person leaves you wondering how many people have they screwed directly or indirectly. Their typical line is "My door is always open." or in the case of an acquisition/merger - "This will increase the number of opportunities for you." .

This is distinctly a sad state of affairs but it leaves you feeling that the young people's self centered approach is probably on the money.

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18 VotesMy Narcissist Works In HR
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 10:22.

And I can, unfortunately, agree that in some cases HR does nothing. I've been backstabbed and put down more times than I can count, and taking the matter to our manager resulted in ignorance and disbelief ("Really?! I just can't believe that!").

My problem person has been shuffled from department to department each time the company has reorganized (because some people obviously recognized what was going on) and there is a history of previous co-workers transferring (er, high-tailing it) to another department. How she wound up in HR, I have yet to figure out. I'm not above accepting constructive feedback or going the extra mile and pitching in extra to get a project done or work out the door; however, I'm not about to let my self-esteem take a beating and be this person's doormat, either. My eyes are wide open for other opportunities.

I would like to think I am an HR professional who would want someone to bring these concerns to my attention and help correct the issue. If the narcissist does happen to be a stellar performer, I'm willing to bet the productivity that a narcissist stifles is far more than what s/he can offset by his/her performance.

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24 VotesDoes this fall as a Narcissists
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 11:22.

I work for this company but there is no HR because I am a consulting. But I believe there are two guys that I work that fall into this so call Narcissists but I need your help. You see...This don't happen all the time but every time it happens you think is going to go away but it never does. One is a kind of a old guy that went to Ohio State if I am right. He always is talking bad about Mexicans. Saying that they are taking over the country. Now he is coming with one that he said they are going to take over the rest of the land they lost. I told him that USA pay Mexico around 25 millions dollar in the end (Today we talking about 25 billion dollar). Mexico has never ask for this land back so I don't know were he is getting this from but the other guy believe this too. I am not from Mexico but from Puerto Rico but I still fell bad that they are talking in such a way. I am still Latin and believe we are all here to work hard and etc. Sure there are some bad apples but every nationality has this too. So do they fall as Narcissists or something else?

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20 VotesMy advice to you is to just
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 18:23.

My advice to you is to just get another consulting gig ---- better pay....better position. I was in your same situation once, and I tripled my salary within three years by leaving. You are dealing with psychological warfare. You always win when you leave.

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15 VotesPathalogical Narcissist
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 11:45.

definition of a politician

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18 VotesWhat?
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 11:49.


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15 VotesNarcissists at work
Submitted by Mike Edwards on June 11, 2008 - 14:23.

This is and has been a problem in the workplace since the cavemen. Since their behavior is extreme and on the outlying perimeter of normal behavior, they go on ignored until they reach a position of authority, which they often do.

The narcissistic boss will bully and demean they staff and co-workers into submission through intimidation and threats. And, they do so for a long time until finally management takes notice, but the damage has been done.

I've written an article on my blog at ... -boss.html

or you can email me at and read the rest of my blog at


Mike Edwards, Career Coach

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14 VotesBeen there; me and about 250 other people lived this nightmare.
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 14:38.

I'VE SEEN THIS!!!!!! I never realized it had a name or that it was a personality disorder that needs psychological assistance to overcome. I just thought the old girl was a witch with a "B". The old witch that displayed all of these traits was the Executive Big Boss at a medium sized governmental body. She picked out a "Victim" when she first came to work with us and then hounded him until he quit. He was the VP of HR. He was also an example of what was to come. The witch promoted the VP's Assistant to the VP slot (without the title) and manipulated her to get others to quit. The Witch would then get the new VP to hire people that she could easily manipulate (usually single mom's with several kids). The new VP of HR was miserable but was too close to retirement to quit. She developed health issues; MAJOR health issues as did several others. Heart Attacks and Bypass Surgery was commonplace across the company. Everyone that worked there was terrified of the witch. The witch stood up in meetings and screamed at senior managers and VP's, she put people down in front of others, she wrecked careers by overloading people with work and then fired them for incompetence. She picked out a few "favorites" and manipulated them in order get underfunded projects completed. If the favorite person couldn't get the results the witch wanted she would demote them at least two layers. She would put highly educated senior managers in one department under junior managers with AA degrees or GED's in other departments to prove points and kill their aspirations. She could wreck a resume with just a few words and actions. She hired and fired consultants and contractors constantly because they wouldn't do what she wanted them to do, which was to make her look good. She screwed herself when she started harassing the IT people. The VP of IT quit and took the major IT people with her (She was a single mom who was not easily manipulated that had replaced a man who was not easily manipulated.) And the Elected Board will not do anything about this woman due to political reasons and because she comes across as a warm, gentle, caring, intelligent person to the board and to the public. Go figure. Meanwhile the company has developed a community reputation as an abusive employer that pays low wages. They attempt to hire only females and say they are doing so to "shatter" the glass ceiling inherent in government, when in fact they are looking for people they can easily manipulate and people who will not argue with decisions. Highly skilled people are quitting and replacements are demanding much higher wages with half the skills and experience. Basically; people are not getting replaced because they can't find Degree holding females with small children that will work for slave wages. The people still there are doing two or three peoples jobs or will face the wrath of the witch. Meanwhile the board is thrilled with her; they know nothing....

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24 VotesNarcissists at work
Submitted by Anonymous on June 11, 2008 - 18:53.

I'm sure we've all worked with someone or for someone who fits this description to some point. "Narcissist" sounds synonomous with "sociopath": the rules don't apply to them. The narcissist never pauses to consider that they MIGHT.
Our disruptive and destructive narcissist has wreaked havoc on our upstart company, causing approx 10 employees to find better opportunities elsewhere. Quickly. "Miss Grand" is a liar, a manipulator, an actress for whichever audience is before her at the moment, and will destroy the lives of her victims just because she can. She's frightening.
Management is aware of her reign of terror. But, though her track record in sales is pitiable, he is convinced that the success of the company rests with her. BECAUSE SHE ASSURES HIM THAT IT DOES. She has lied and manipulated herself into the position of lead sales on the backs of others' hard work. The droves who've left due to her bullying? Their accounts become hers. The accounts that others procure and she wants? She throws a tantrum and takes commission for, apparently, her LACK of involvement.
To highlight the inequity of it all, she pushes those she trains and mentors toward failure.
I despise bullies. Miss Grand is the epitome of the bully. Did I mention how frighteningly accurate your description of the narcissist is to Miss Grand?
NO ONE knows something she does not. She belittles and baby talks to others, explaining their jobs. She constantly changes her 25 to 30 years of work history to suit her current needs/ audience. What, Technology sales? I've done that for 16 years. HR? Done that for a good 10 years. Management? At least 20 years. Advertising sales? 15. Same routine with the market she's worked. Have I mentioned that she's only 44? She's a multi-tasking queen.
Oh, btw, I AM HR. My hands are tied. We're all stymied by our manager and his conviction that she's the only one to lead us to success. I have documented and prepared disciplinary hearings and even termination notices all to no avail. She's a parasitic cancer.
But, to give all hope, a narcissist can be pushed to an implosive and self-destructive melt down. Everyone within office distance recognized their buttons. Use them on one of their (oh-so-many)"off" days, as in "off their normal balance". Even they can't maintain the act forever. The melt down will be of phenomenal proportions, and worthy of a good termination; there will be no debating THAT once it happens.
The narcissist sees themself as being superior to EVERYONE, including their superiors. They have no respect for them (or the rest of us peons) Devise a strategy. That's my advice because it will eventually happen, and not every supervisor can turn a blind eye to their antics.
Blessings and best of luck with your psycho =)

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0 VotesResponse to Narcissists at Work
Submitted by Anonymous on June 12, 2008 - 06:59.

She probably has some pictures of that manager....seriously.

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Rated -3
19 VotesBullies in the Workplace
Submitted by Laura Collins on June 12, 2008 - 04:33.

Criminal profiling comes to the workplace
By Dale Yeager

In the age of the Internet, space travel and laser beams one thing has not changed – human nature. As human beings and especially Americans we view ourselves as independent beings with unique characteristics that we believe sets us apart from other people we encounter each day. The fact is that we are far from unique. As a criminal analyst I have trained with experts in the fields of forensic science and psychological profiling. Over the pan of my career I have learned how human beings react and how to predict the internal psychology by their outside appearance and actions. For many this science seems like a far-fetched version of “read my mind”, but I have watched this science at work and have observed its uncanny accuracy in predicting negative behavior in people.

Several years ago I developed a unique version of criminal profiling for the workplace. Called Corporate Profiling, this tool allows mangers and human resources people to assess employees for character flaws such as lateness, dishonesty, theft and violence. The process involves observation of actions and response and various questions, which can be, ask of the employee in an evaluation or to a perspective employee during a job interview. Preventing problem people from having access to your employees and your business is the primary goal of this program. Our success with Corporate Profiling is based on a simple understanding of people. Using education, economic level and political/social beliefs and most importantly behavior we can place most Americans into one of six basic personality categories. Each of these categories has sub categories, which further define these people and their potential for behavior problems.

An example of profiling in the workplace is the personality of the average embezzler. According to research by the U.S. Justice Department, 82% of all embezzlers have these characteristics:

? white
? female
? 40 to 60 years of age
? work as bookkeepers or with large sums of cash

These woman share personality defects that create attitudes that in their minds justify their illegal actions. The average business hit by this crime has annual gross revenue between 1.5 million dollars and 5 million dollars. The average take is over $500,000, which in many cases places these business in bankruptcy.

The importance of knowing whom you have hired or whom you are hiring becomes critical for small and emerging business. For larger companies the publicity from this type of crime erodes their customer’s confidence and effects the bottom line.

As we talked out in the first part of our series, all people fall into one of six categories. These categories are general in nature and for some people there are over laps into other groups. But all people have one category, which is their primary personality. So what personality category do you fall into?

1. Angry/Loner – The quite angry type of person is usually socially isolated with few friends. They are bitter people who complain about work, the government or life in general. They are seldom happy and usually have substance abuse problems and weak romantic relationships.

2. Secretive/Self Absorbed – This type of person is moderately social with people. Usually is a good worker but is controlling of co-workers in an indirect way. They tend to make friendships based on their ability to manipulate the person and use them for favors or influence.

3. Emotionally Stable/Moderately Conservative – This type of person is studious and hard working. Many of these people grew up in blue collar or rural families. They tend to be patriotic and make their direct and extended families the priority in their lives. They can be aggressive about their social views at times and can be myopic about alternate views of politics and religion. This group represents the majority of people in the United States.

4. Emotionally Stable/Moderately Liberal – This type of person is also studious and hard working. Usually these people grew up in suburban homes with at least one white-collar parent. They tend to fluctuate politically from liberal to conservative. They tend to be career oriented. They tend to see social issues in a personal way. Issues that effect them are of primary concern. There commitment to family is good but this group tends to have higher rates of divorce than Conservative people do. They tend to have higher income than other groups.

5. Aggressively Liberal – These people usually have very aggressive personalities. They are usually raised in conservative/religious homes. Their work reflects their social views. They tend to work for non-profit organizations, educational institutions or in the entertainment field. They tend to isolate themselves in small groups or communities with people of like mind. Their relationships with others are very close or fractured.

6. Free Spirit – This type of person is usually pleasant but enjoys living in semi-remote areas. They tend to be educated. They are usually raised in progressive families with minimal parental controls. They enjoy small groups of close friends and can relate well to others in public. They do not like structure unless it is design by them. They enjoy reading and the outdoors. This type of person is most likely to start a consulting or small retail business.

Some may say that generalizing is not fair, yet all of us place people in categories each day. A job interview is a form of profiling. The interviewer places the potential employee in a mental category, sizing them up so to speak. Single people profile potential dates. We profile sales people, repair people and each other. Our brain likes categories and so we generalize, placing people into “types”. We profile people all day long.

Keep in mind that these categories are general descriptions. All of these categories can be broken down into several sub categories.

In 1994 I designed a new form of profiling to be used by corporations to determine the work personality of potential employees. Called Corporate Profiling. We use twelve questions to interview a potential employee to determine aggressiveness, manageability, honesty, and ethics. But how do twelve question and their answers determine a person’s personality. These questions where designed to access a persons true feelings, the sub conscious mind. An example of this is question number 4, “Tell me about your best friend and why they are your best friend?” If the person answers that they do not have a best friend chances are they are a social isolated person or they have had a substance abuse problem in their past which cost them many of their close friendships. If they answer that they are friends with someone because of the things that they do for them, it is possible that they are manipulate.

Profiling by itself can only tell you so much about a person. Intuition plays a key role as well as observation of a person’s behavior in social settings.

Dale Yeager is the President of and a criminal analyst.

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Rated +4
18 VotesNPD - First-hand experience
Submitted by Anonymous on June 12, 2008 - 14:34.

Wow- does this ever perfectly describe my former manager. I knew she had a screw loose but I didn't know the proper terminology.

"Staff Meetings" were actually sermons with veiled threats about how if you don't do your work well, you won't get a salary increase. "So and so (actually naming names) didn't get an increase because CIO didn't like the way that he performed on a project." Another name didn't get an increase because someone thought he didn't work hard enough. Someone should have reported her to HR about that, but we were all afraid to cross her.

"You should never be surprised at review time, blah blah blah." She also never failed to tell the team how important she was, and was always mentioning the CIO's name as if she were in his pocket.

There was never any opportunity to discuss projects, problems, or other matters among the team- ALWAYS a one-way sermon.

"The IT leaders talk among ourselves about people, so don't be seen too much in the lounge or out smoking." Sounds to me like someone has too little to do if they have time to spy on people's behavior.

Never any praise, always criticism. "Well you did get the project done, but you should have done it this way, or you didn't do this..."

I received a management award for my work on a large project, yet she slammed me at review time for things that were very minute. She obviously kept very detailed notes about things that weren't exactly to her liking, dragging up things that I couldn't even remember, and that didn't matter. I never did anything to antagonize her, always met my goals, but she set me up.

She screwed me out of my bonus for the year and I'm sure was instrumental in my being included in a layoff. 18 years of exemplary performance reviews meant nothing.

Great article. Been there, done that.

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Rated +2
14 VotesJust getting through it now
Submitted by Anonymous on June 13, 2008 - 22:51.

I'm on my way out from under a lead who fits the description perfectly. I emailed the link to a couple of coworkers and they couldn't believe how on target the bullet list was. A couple of tactics not mentioned were the red herring and answering a question with a question. Yesterday we had a project to do that wasn't under his perview but he had to chip in. There is a known licensing issue that was brought up by project managers to the client the day before and is being resolved. Yesterday after the decisions on how to deploy were made without his input he started to object because of the licensing issue. I said that's a red herring. He kept going. I repeated and other people laughed. He stopped. The asking a question with a question is just another similar attack that always is unrelated but may damage by attacking unfairly the one who asked the legitimate question, calling into question their credentials about something that may have happened more than a year ago.

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4 VotesWhy Narcissists?
Submitted by vrpatil on June 17, 2008 - 12:17.

The article describes how a Narcissists looks and behave and how tackle the problem.
But why in the first place Narcissists are created in workplace or how they are recruited into company?
I have faced this kind of people in workplace, i think below could be the reasons.
1. Lack of opportunity to grow
2. Highly greedy person
3. Overskilled skilled person employed for low profile job

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0 VotesNarcissists are victims
Submitted by Anonymous on June 17, 2008 - 17:03.

Narcissism can be a serious personality disorder, but it usually arises from developmental abuse. When a child's own personality is devalued, they develop a false personality to satisfy external requirements, usually demands from others. Since it is a sort of facade, they become rigid in its defense, even while striving to preserve it by overcompensation. Sadly, it's not easy to realize you are a narcissist because you have lost touch with yourself, and operate from a false perspective. But without your narcissistic self, you have nothing. Just remember, narcissistic actions are a reflection of our world and society as produced by victims of that developmental abuse.

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0 VotesNarcissists at work
Submitted by Anonymous on June 25, 2008 - 09:58.

I too have suffered through this situation, and as the article says, the only options for me were to either find another job elsewhere, or transfer to another department.
She was my lead in the system support team, and later (near the end) promoted to supervisor! There have been many cases of this person's inappropriate behavior. She would yell, cuss and brow beat most people, but coworkers, noticed that I was being singled out for extra punishment for things that I usually had no control over. I took my concerns to her boss, and when there was a group meeting between the 3 of us, it became apparent within the first 2 minutes that I was fighting a loosing battle; they both told me that I was going to be written up for various incidents (some, I was not at all responsible for!). When I checked my personnel file later, the threatened document(s) were not there. Eventually, I transferred to another department at another site, and things have worked out great for me. However, one of my former co-workers, has taken over as the "whipping-boy" in the team. They are working on a major implementation of a new product that will be used system-wide, and lately, she is publically second-guessing him, and trying to get others to ostracize him. This is not good team building, especially as they approach crunch time. When he asked for a group meeting, it did not go well. Later, he met with her boss, who suggested he go for counseling! I have saved all my documentation from the years, and have offered to be an advocate for him to take his case to management, and HR so that this woman can get the help she needs to stop destroying people's lives!

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0 VotesWhat if it is HR?
Submitted by Anonymous on June 30, 2008 - 10:32.

What if it is HR?

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0 VotesNarcissists are at every workplace
Submitted by Anonymous on June 30, 2008 - 11:11.

I worked with two narcissists that I would like to forget. The last one that I worked with was a real little devil. She and I started out friendly but overtime I came to realize that she just wasn't a good person. Loud, overbearing, always has to be in the spotlight, these were the personality traits that she had. I finally lost it and said something disrespectful toward her. This came after months of being patient and keeping my mouth shut and being laughed at by her whenever I made a mistake or something. I even tried to avoid her but that is impossible to accomplish with people like this. because they think that they are doing you a favor by giving you their precious attention, attention that I could have really done without. Because I lost my cool, she got to use it against me and put up boundaries against me. She tried to pull this nonsense of putting up boundaries toward me because I finally went to management after losing my cool with her. I was just sick of the whole situation. So while the both of us were in the manager's office, she basically ignored me the whole time and made my problems with her, my issue. The funny thing is that she has a big mouth and before she joined the meeting, the manager said that she had a "BIG MOUTH". And I had already given them documentation about all of the crap that I had taken from her.
She didn't know about the documentation part. She thought that I had just verbally complained to the manager.
and at the end of the meeting, I made it known that I would consistently document her if she ever pulled her stuff again. That made her really angry and it made me feel good to finally see her exhibit the anger. She doesn't realize that even a couple of other coworkers were telling me things about how awful she was.

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Last edited by RatPak11 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:45 pm ... 7307.story

That Me-First Boss
June 16, 2008

You're bound to run into narcissistic bosses at some point in your career, because they gravitate toward leadership.

"Most public leaders have a large streak of narcissism in them, or I don't think they'd be able to lead," says psychologist and executive coach Randall White, principal at The Executive Development Group LLC in Greensboro, N.C. "They tend to be perceived as overly ambitious ... [with] an 'it's all about me'-quality, becoming extremely harsh with employees."

David Nour, CEO of BeOne Now Inc., in Atlanta, a coaching firm specializing in relationship economics, points out that narcissists "actually get joy or, perhaps, attention from creating discomfort for others." Also a coach, he believes further that narcissists can be skilled manipulators who think that they can get others to perform by manipulating them. Unfortunately, sometimes the tactic works.

It's easier to avoid the traps than to get out of them, but you have to learn how to spot them. While you might think that conversation alone — virtual or face-to-face — can ensnare you, that's not the case. Bill Krug, associate professor in the Organizational Leadership Department of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., reports that bosses with impossible performance demands might well be narcissists, endlessly "nitpicking, no matter what you bring. They're never satisfied. After the fifth change, you bring your original" and they accept it.

Krug says to watch the nature of their assignments to you. Meaningless ones, such as personal errands, tasks completely outside of your job description, and burdensome duties requiring "unreasonable hours for your position" suggest that you're their "step 'n' fetch it." And that won't change.

Fortunately, there are several ways to get out of the trap. Leaving — getting promoted or completely moving on — might be an option, if you can get a good recommendation, according to Nour. But there might be compelling personal or professional reasons to keep your job.

In this case, you must come up with something that won't get you fired, because, as Nour emphasizes, "It tends to get worse before it gets better. Narcissistic bosses will not stop." But before you take action, Krug recommends, document incidents, because harassment is a possibility. Then, consider your options:

•Reconsider. "In this global war for talent, I don't think anyone should have to deal with narcissistic bosses," Nour says.

•"Learn to expect a temper tantrum and let him do that if you can, but not if you're the only person being belittled in front of others," Krug says.

•"Realize that this is a learning opportunity for you, if only that you'll never treat people this way," White says.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:46 pm ... lying.html

Workplace Bullying!
Posted by Madison Casey July 13, 2008 17:04PM

Bullying is a basic form of manipulation. It is not just on the playground any longer. You can find bullying in the workplace. Now many people will think that it is covered in one of the many laws already enacted such as the Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Americans with Disabilities, or Sexual Harassment. None of the laws cover bullying although New York and New Jersey are currently considering bills. These anti-bullying bills actually fall under the "Healthy Workplace" legislation.
The problem is much more widespread than one would ever believe. Honestly, it is alive and thriving right here in Central PA!

Examples of bullying would include withholding information to properly do your job, blocking a leave request or promotion, isolating an employee, setting the employee up for failure, setting impossible deadlines or unrealistic goals, calling an employee in early or on his day off, not paying overtime, micromanagement, undermining and demeaning an individual, changing schedules by cutting times and hours, ignoring phone calls and emails, or even sending covert emails. Frankly, the list can be endless. Basically, most workplace bullying is a subtle form of harassment and very, very covert! Tactics employed can be verbal, non-verbal, or even physical!

In my research, I was very surprised to learn that it is not uncommon to bully the most talented, creative, capable, cooperative person in the office, hospital, kitchen, or sales floor. In terms of numbers, 81% of workplace bullies are bosses; while 40% are women bullying other women. Bullies bully because they can - and get away with it! Remember your school yard bully and "Mean Girls".

Companies ignore bullying because it is legal. Employees usually can't just pick up and leave. Bullying can also be misconstrued as a management style. Until companies recognize that they will lose money or the bill becomes law, employees will probably just have to endure it.

Finding another job is difficult especially in these times. Victims of bullying suffer all kinds of stress-related disorders, depression, lower self-esteem, and actually suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is not uncommon to show a marked increase in blood pressure or suffer angina attacks.

If you are a victim of bullying, there a a few things you can do:

First - Recognize it and name it. Abuse - you are a victim!

Second - Take a step back. Maybe take some time off. Check with your doctor on your physical condition because bullying takes it toll. Also, check with a mental health professional if necessary. Use this time to gather information and documentation. Check your personal finances too. How long can you take time off? You can also research your legal options.....and, check out the job market!

Finally - You can expose the bully for what he or she is. Be prepared to leave because the statistics are against your staying (70%). If you stay, expect some form of retaliation. This is when companies will start trumping up all kinds of disciplinary actions against you. Give them one chance, then leave. Know that you've done your best.

There are a few thing you should NOT do:

Don't go to Human Relations. They work for the company! They are the "Big Diffusers". They won't confront a bully but just try to make you understand.......something! Maybe, management style or any of the other trendy, buzz words currently in vogue. Nope, don't go to the bully's boss either! The bully works for the boss! The bully probably does his dirty work. Absolutely do not share any documentation especially if you plan on taking any legal action. Do not trust co-workers either. The less said to them, the better! No sense in sabotaging yourself. Realize too that most co-workers already know what is going on.

Sometimes, it will be about cutting your losses, moving on, and looking for a new beginning!

COMMENTS (1)Post a comment
Posted by gls334 on 07/15/08 at 11:18AM
Top notch piece on workplace bullying. You have studied this in a comprehensive manner or have experienced workplace bullying yourself...or both.

Just to reinforce what you've written, this is a behavior that is legal in the US, but in most of the rest of the western industrialized world provisions for recourse are in place.

Also, it is good to point out HR's role and likely action as you did. In one study (Bully Institute), HR did nothing in 50 percent of bullying cases and in 30 percent of reported cases HR helped the bully.

About 13 states have addressed the issue in legislative attempts. Hoping NY and NJ are successful in their efforts.

Many thanks,
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:18 am ... BUSINESS02

Unhappy at work? You have options
But in tough economy, focus on keeping the job you have

By Dave Carpenter / Associated Press
Posted: July 23, 2008

CHICAGO -- Sam Glenn followed his mother's wise counsel when he found himself in a bad job situation: First, don't quit. Second, have a frank chat with his boss at the small computer communications company where he worked.

Feeling trapped in unhappy work environments, many people are in search of solace and advice. With the economy sputtering and unemployment on the rise, these workers want to make the best of bad situations rather than have no jobs at all.

Experts say it's critical at such a time not to burn bridges with an employer.

"No matter how unhappy you are, it's important to come in to work with your game face on so that you can be sure of retaining your current job while you're thinking about finding another one," said Mary Crane, a Denver-based consultant to Fortune 500 companies and law firms.

In fact, she says, it's advisable to consider arriving early or staying late, acting eager and excited even if you feel the opposite. "Make yourself the one person that every manager would hate to lose," Crane said.

Glenn, 37, Naperville, Ill., relied on his mother's wisdom to survive a difficult first job out of college. Stuck with an overbearing, short-fused boss, he set up a meeting to ask if he could switch supervisors.

"I said, 'Look, if you want me to do better here and get you the sales you want, I need a different supervisor. I don't do well when I'm being micromanaged,' " Glenn said. " 'And No. 2, sometimes you yell a lot, and I don't do well with people who yell at me.' "

That might sound risky, but it proved a sound strategy. His mother sold him on the idea by comparing it to a tactic he had used successfully in junior high: challenging the school bully to a fight in front of the principal.

Just as the bully backed down and stopped bothering him, so did the boss. Inspired by that success, Glenn went on to become a workplace consultant and motivational speaker focusing on attitudes in the workplace.

Bad managers may be even more abundant in today's conditions.

"There's so much stress, anxiety and fear because of the economy," Glenn said. "The sad thing is, all these managers feel all this pressure to keep their business in the green."

Distressed workers e-mail Glenn about their workplace plights.

A woman named Susan who worked in insurance claims at a Fortune 100 company said her doctor told her that her breast cancer likely was caused by stress from a boss who mistreated employees. After taking a medical leave to undergo chemotherapy, she had to decide whether to return to a bad work situation just for the health benefits.

Another woman, who works for a Miami company that sells refurbished copy machines, said her employer used fear as a motivational tactic and wrote people up if they didn't produce at a certain level every week, or even if they were 10 minutes late. She broke out in hives and could focus only on keeping her job, rather than on performing well.

The advice for both: Consult the company's human resources department for professional recommendations.

Susan ended up retiring early after getting assistance from HR. The Miami woman chose to become more realistic and to work harder, Glenn said, realizing she wasn't in complete control of whether she lost her job and that she had an opportunity to shine if she didn't.

"Instead of going to a job you hate every day and living with all the stress and anxiety, you need to sit down and address it with the powers that be," he said. "Nobody's going to get done what you've got to get done while there's an elephant in the room. You've got to kill it while it's small."

Crane's do's and don'ts for those dissatisfied with their current positions includes one that may be tough to follow: Don't let co-workers know how unhappy you are; word might get back to the bosses. That means not mentioning it in conversations, text messages or e-mails.

Another tip is to build a professional network so you can obtain mentoring and support outside your office and learn of job opportunities.

Some old-fashioned advice also can be helpful: Focus on a job's upside.

For example, Crane says she constantly is asked how she deals with a job that requires her to be on the road 90 percent of the time. Downplaying the inconvenience, she tells people she is "the luckiest person in the world" because she gets to go in, solve a problem and move on.

A recessionary economy isn't new and won't last forever, she notes, so people shouldn't worry excessively. But they shouldn't be surprised if they are unhappy in a job, and may have to simply hunker down and take it.

"The reality is that work is work, and it's not always fun," Crane said.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:37 am ... =113960645

Managing Employee Conflict
Resolving workplace conflict may seem like an impossible task at time, but it can be done with minimum stress. There are only two categories of conflict. HR leaders need to create company policies that clearly spell out the two categories and need to train managers on realistic -- and effective -- steps to take.

By Mark A. Hyde

With a bit of strategic planning and training, organizations can not only effectively solve conflict, but preventmany unnecessary worker conflicts. Human behavior is not the mystery it's made out to be; it's not rocket science

That's a good thing, given that leaders are responsible for responding and resolving all flavors of workplace conflict. Senior HR leaders must convey the company policy and specific strategic steps to make a seemingly daunting task attainable. This can be done with minimal stress if HR executives keep in mind that there are only two general categories of employee conflicts.

Let's call the first, work-system conflict. This includes procedures, methods, policies, workflow, productivity and quality. It's all about the core job tasks and processes that guide the employee's job duties.

Of course, employees will differ in their interpretation and evaluation of many aspects of work, from policy and quality standards to workload distribution and productivity. When views differ or clash, they look to management for answers.

It's the manager's job to step in sooner rather than later and say, "No, Paul is fine doing it that way." Or "Paul, you must follow the protocol," or "No, I did not ask you to keep track of who is Googling or pulling their weight around here."

Further, when employees moan about a peer's performance, a good manager shuts them down as fast as they barrel into the office. "Excuse me Rick, I know you have views of Sara that I do not share. Please know I support her work performance and expect you to work respectfully with her."

Conversations that help redirect employee's views of their peer's behavior or performance are often uncomfortable, but they're imperative if a leader is to have any influence over work-group culture.

On the other hand, when a leader sees two or more employees argue about -- and fail to resolve -- a work-system issue, the challenge spills into the second category of workplace conflict, which we'll call behavioral conflict.

Behavior that is unacceptable or undesirable in the workplace includes foul language, sarcasm, accusatory questioning, subtle sabotage, gossip, the slinging of paper or items across the desk, the silent treatment, purposeful group segregation, staring or glaring.

This category covers any number of immature behaviors all too often seen in the work environment; they know no race, culture or education barriers. Behind behavioral issues is likeability; typically, one or more of the employees who are locking horns no longer like, or never did like, the other.

Here's where the leader is responsible for making sure managers are trained to step in to remind employees that their behavior must meet workplace standards. Company policy needs to clearly spell these two categories of conflict out and offer a cheat sheet guide to managers about realistic steps to take, which will be discussed later in this article.

It doesn't take a psychologist to manage employee conflict. It doesn't even require a "team day" seminar or outside mediator. Human resource executives must just ensure that all of the management team can identify the type of conflict that is occurring, and approach and interact with the key players effectively.

Behavior conflict does not belong at work, and the best way to quash it is to define unacceptable behavior to the entire organization, then make sure managers intervene to resolve it when it arises.

Such interventions must outline the consequences that repeat offenders will experience, and such actions must be consistently followed. Otherwise, employees will view mutual-respect policies as marketing slogans, which will lead to lowered respect, loyalty, trust and effort. And those are not good things!

Each company needs an identified behavior expert who can work with senior leaders on developing a very specific behavior-management training program for all leaders, based on the most common people-conflict situations the organization sees as problematic.

To minimize workplace conflict, implement the following five strategies.

1. Inform employees about the two categories ofconflict outlined above.

Every company leader and every employee must be exposed to these categories. Do thisin a group meeting or with specific individuals needing a dose of behavior management. Active behavioral-management strategies are of utmost importance to create the kind of work culture desired by managers.

Make it crystal clear that only one kind of conflict is acceptable, and that's system conflict. Employees need to know it's OK to discuss different opinions about core work duties and work flow respectfully. In other words, any disagreement over systems must be conducted with acceptable workplace behavior.

Example: "Whatever you do as an employee of our organization, always be aware how your words and behavior affect others. Know that you will be held accountable for both your words and behavior."

A diversity of perceptions, thoughts, communication and behavior is natural. However, in this work environment, behavior must fall within the range of acceptable behaviors. Yelling, gossiping, refusing to help peers and so on, will not be allowed.

After all, people behave in certain acceptable ways at Thanksgiving dinner, in church or in a restaurant. Send the message, then act accordingly to create the culture your organization desires.

2. Teach employees how to complain.

This starts at the executive level and trickles all the way down the organizational chart.Leaders who establish an open-door policy with no parameters end up spending way too much time listening to employees complain, often not wanting any management solutions.

Worse, such leaders set up a host of questionable dynamics that open them up to a perception of favoritism that can in turn lead to more undesirable group issues.

So, let your employees know there are only three reasons that justify complaining.

One, they can complain if someone is preventing them from doing their job effectively or efficiently.

"I'm not looking for a spy report on what others are doing or not doing, or how much time they are on the Web unrelated to work. I'm merely asking, What are they doing that is blocking you or them from performing a job task?"

"Well, Darcy keeps making errors and I have to stop what I'm doing, fix them and then do my part."

Now it's up to the manager to determine if Tracy is, in fact, making errors. If she is, it's time to problem-solve. If she is not, that message should be delivered to the complaining peer promptly. Problem solving is what frontline management is all about.

Two, they can complain if the behavior of another employee may compromise safety, legality or continued business success for the company overall.

This would be an issue with such large potential for negative business consequences, that a manager or executive may need to get involved immediately and decide if the claim is valid or not.

If it is, solve it as soon as possible. If not, inform the employee that "we, as an organization, do not agree with [his or her] view" -- which should be the end of it.

Three, they can complain when a peer's behavior is simply darn annoying, and a manager's intervention might help.

Here, the complainer must be specific. The person rolled their eyes, walked away without responding, responded sarcastically or in an unnecessarily loud tone. This is not behavior that falls into the first two categories, but perhaps spotlights the need to manage a problem employee better, in which case a manager should appreciate being kept informed.

On the other hand, if the manager doesn't agree with the complainant, that message should be sent as well and the complaining worker should be referred to the employee-assistance program for insights on ways to deal with co-workers.

3. Eliminate the "he-said, she-said" dilemma.

HR leaders must equip front-line managers with the ability to do this upon the initial employee complaint.

All incidents of disrespectful behavior require attention. The only way to prevent these he-said she-said situations is to train company leaders on ways to sort out worker complaints in categories and then pass judgment.

If Skip is a known bully, or has just been verbally rude to someone, it's time for the manager to explore Skip's past record and pass judgment. Who is more credible and why? If there are a host of documented incidents on Skip, and the complainant has a flawless record, most attorneys would give the company the green light to confront Skip.

Skip should be informed of the company's stance on behavior issues and he should be told to change his behavior regardless of how he sees the incident. The meeting should be managed so the employee realizes this issue is not open for discussion.

The conversation must be conducted firmly but respectfully, keeping in mind that the manager's or HR representative's behavior has a powerful influence on the firm's work environment. Again, it's not rocket science; it's good ol' role modeling.

4. Don't encourage outside mediators for employee conflicts.

A fatal mistake many companies make is to hire an outside person to work with two or more employees to solve work system or behavior disputes.When managers feel they need an outside expert to determine what's OK and not OK in their own work area, they're either the wrong managers for the job, or the company hasn't done a good job of spelling out what good leadership entails.

The only exception this prohibition on outside mediators is when two employees request outside mediation on their own without manager insistence.

Think about the two categories of conflict outlined above and ask yourself which causes the most problems for managers. Behavior, of course, wins hands down.

Since behavior conflict stems from employees not liking one another, no outside mediator can ever resolve dislike issues. The most they can do is get the two employees to talk about it more, a situation that too often mimics a marital-counseling session: It offers more opportunities to disagree and drives home how incompatible the two individuals are.

Managers must make it clear that bad behavior is simply not allowed, and that employees who exhibit bad behavior will be dealt with. An outsider has no way of knowing how to respond to system issues -- that's the manager's job. Anyway, most employees want arbitration, not mediation. They want to be right; they want to win!

The manager must be able to set limits on the change that the two employees want made. Too often, managers will reason, "Well, they are both kind of right."


If they were both kind of right, they would not be arguing. It's up to the manager to decide which employee is more right, or more wrong. He or she must make the decision and the more swiftly, the better. Employees must be informed what is etched in stone and what isn't, whether the workload is equitably distributed and so on.

HR leaders certainly don't want to perpetuate the belief that it's OK for employees to seek out outsiders to resolve work-related problems. Employees will get the message that it's OK to try and trump their managers on a variety of issues in the future if they admit they are not capable of resolving conflict.

It's important to remember that HR leaders and managers have no clue what any particular mediator may say or do that could create many more companywide troubles.

5. Keep senior leaders involved with frontline supervisors.

Once an employee gets promoted beyond a frontline supervisor position, he likes to distance himself from that very difficult task of day-to-day supervision. After all, who wants to deal with employees phoning in ill, vital equipment breaking and employees upset about a failing marriage?

From daily whiners to harassment investigations, these are difficult issues that must be handled every shift, every day.

The unwise senior leader says, "You are the supervisor, so you need to deal with your group and employee issues. Are you not capable of handling them?" But such a mind-set invites total disaster for these all-important frontline supervisors.

Senior leaders don't need to be involved daily. They don't need to be out on the floor solving employee issues. But they do need to be intimately involved with frontline supervisors about what is happening with the troops and frontline leaders.

They need to aid their success; that's the senior leader's job.

Let's face it, the frontlines often feel hostage to senior decisions. They need top decision-makers to work with them, hear them out and ultimately make changes in order to pave the way for success.

HR senior leaders are responsible for making sure this mind-set does not infect leadership mentality

Conflict is really about culture. As in, what kind of a culture do you want in your organization? Culture is determined by the way people behave, and the only way to change culture is to change behaviors.

Leaders from the top down set the tone for culture. If there's backbiting, gossip, a lack of respect or ongoing conflicts, leadership has probably set it up -- unknowingly -- by devising a system that perpetuates the very problems from which the organization wishes to rid itself.

Leadership is fully capable of exerting control over an organization's culture. It does so by investing the time and energy required to ensure that every leader subscribes to the firm's overall principles. That's what makes good leadership.

It follows, then, that top leaders must exercise extreme caution in who they put in any leadership role. They must ensure that senior leaders are personally involved with mid- and frontline leaders. Only then will basic people-management practices endorsed by the company get put into action.

Remember, when mergers and acquisitions fail, it's generally not for a lack of expertise in financial planning, legal strategy or hiring practices; it's usually due to poor people-management. Nothing is more important than managing worker relationships. And it can be done.

Next time you have a team build day, call it a "culture build day" and introduce the above concepts and strategies.

Mark A. Hyde is a private workplace consultant with 15 years' experience in helping employees and leaders enhance job productivity, engagement and employee satisfaction. He manages the employee-assistance program for the Mayo Clinic. He has also worked for a large private external EAP firm and held positions in business management and sales. A popular corporate speaker and trainer, he is also the host of the monthly radio program, "Workplace 101 Show" (KROC AM 1340 in southeastern Minnesota). Mark can be contacted at or (507) 421-4479.

August 1, 2008
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:46 am ... lly-people

Don't bully people

Daily Reporter
Fri Jul 18, 2008, 03:53 PM EDT

I experienced something recently and have been debating whether to speak up or not, and then I realized I just had to. “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

I was in line at the checkout in a Wellsville store and the cashier had called for assistance. A young employee came near the line and not one, but two or three, female cashiers started saying unkind things to him like “Don’t you listen?” and I was absolutely furious. He certainly did not appear to be deaf and he did not need three people yelling at him at once. And then, while he was on his way to get what he had been asked to, a supervisor with another employee started chiming in with instructions. This “authority figure” turns to his companion within hearing of other customers, said, “He always has excuses.”

What the problem that everyone had with this particular employee, I don’t know, but I do know that is has colored my opinion of that store. Why is it necessary to treat others as if you are better than they are? You are not! I am speaking to those who are in supervisory positions, everywhere. You are no better than those you manage, you just have a different job and if you would treat others like the valuable assets they are, they would bust their butts for you and you both would feel better.

I stand for treating people right and justly and kind and building up people, not tearing them down. How do you treat people? Think about it!

Elaine Towner
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:19 pm ... lenews_wsj
Wall Street Journal - Aug 3, 2008

Lawyers and Employers Take
The Fight to 'Workplace Bullies'


A recent U.S. court case and new research are focusing attention on "workplace bullying," prompting some employers to take steps to curb aggressive behavior.

Experts define workplace bullying as subtle, persistent and often nondiscriminatory harassment of co-workers. Unlike sexual or racial harassment, workplace bullying isn't necessarily illegal. But bullying can contribute to absenteeism and turnover and escalate into illegal behavior if left unchecked, experts say.

In April, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a $325,000 verdict for Joseph Doescher, a former medical technician who had sued Daniel Raess, a cardiovascular surgeon, for assault in 2002.

Mr. Doescher's attorneys portrayed Dr. Raess as a verbally abusive workplace bully. In the 2002 incident, Mr. Doescher claimed Dr. Raess yelled at and advanced toward him with clenched fists. Dr. Raess's lawyers argued that the bully label was irrelevant and the surgeon's actions didn't amount to assault. But four of the five justices disagreed, deeming workplace bullying an "entirely appropriate" term.

The ruling doesn't mean that employees can sue for workplace bullying alone. But Kevin Betz, who represented Mr. Doescher, calls the ruling "a major breakthrough," as the first time a court recognized bullying as an issue. Dr. Raess couldn't be reached for comment, and his lawyer, Karl Mulvaney, declined to comment.

The Indiana decision came amid growing concern about workplace bullying. Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at Littler Mendelson, a leading employment-law firm, says more corporate clients are raising the issue, motivated by legal questions, as well as concerns about the impact on productivity. Littler Mendelson featured bullying among its "breaking trends" in labor law at a conference for U.S. employers this year.

Angela Cornell, an associate professor at Cornell Law School who specializes in employment law, says workplace bullying is common enough that employers should "nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem."

Graniterock, a Watsonville, Calif., construction-materials distributor, is trying to do just that. In June, Graniterock added nondiscriminatory bullying to its list of prohibited conduct in the workplace, which already included harassment based on gender, ethnicity and other protected statuses.

Graniterock Chief Executive Bruce Woolpert says the policy grew out of events at the company. He says bullying and intimidation are common in the construction industry. At Graniterock, he says, one employee made repeated off-color jokes about another employee's girlfriend; he also has seen veteran workers harshly criticize younger employees.

Emotionally abusive co-workers can hurt a company's reputation with customers and employees and poison a work environment, Mr. Woolpert says. "It's not just the person who is being attacked, it's the entire company."

New research highlights the prevalence and dangers of workplace bullying. In a 2007 survey of 1,000 U.S. workers, 44% said they had worked for a boss they considered abusive. The survey was sponsored by the Employment Law Alliance, an association of 3,000 employment lawyers.

In a 2004 survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath, 25% of companies reported bullying incidents in the previous year. More incidents were attributed to co-workers than to supervisors. The study was part of the institute's research on work-related stress.

This year, two Canadian professors concluded bullying can take a more severe emotional and physical toll than sexual harassment, perhaps because companies provide greater support for victims of the latter. In a review of 110 studies spanning two decades, the researchers found that bullied employees were more likely than sexually harassed employees to quit, report physical and mental health problems, and be dissatisfied with their jobs.

Since 2003, lawmakers in 13 U.S. states have introduced bills that would ban workplace bullying, but nearly all have failed. Hawaii passed a resolution that encourages employers to adopt antibullying policies. Proposed legislation is pending in New York. In Connecticut, state Sen. Edith Prague says she plans to introduce a measure in January that would ban bullying in government workplaces.

Most of the bills reflect the influence of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an employee-rights group founded by psychology specialists Gary and Ruth Namie in 1998 after Ms. Namie felt she was bullied at work. The institute is supported by the couple's consulting company, Work Doctor Inc., which advises companies and victims of bullying. Mr. Doescher's attorneys called Mr. Namie as an expert witness in the Indiana case.

Some business groups and lawmakers say workplace bullying is too difficult to define, and a poorly worded law would expose businesses to unnecessary lawsuits.

Mr. Woolpert says Graniterock executives reworked their antibullying policy several times to clarify its message. The company now forbids "unnecessary and rude behavior intended to be offensive and cause emotional distress, including 'workplace bullying.' "

Write to Cari Tuna at


"Workplace bullying" can include sarcastic comments, social exclusion or work sabotage. Lawyers offer these tips for employers:
• Prohibit intimidation and harassment
• In company policies, emphasize cooperation and respect
• Have a clear, publicized internal complaint procedure
• Observe how employees treat each other
• Address problems quickly
Sources: Garry Mathiason, Littler Mendelson P.C.; Jon Meer, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:21 pm

Are you being bullied at work?
Would you like to fight back? can show you how
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:50 am ... 423.column

Survey shows kind bosses enjoy big payoff in productivity
Marcia Heroux Pounds
October 9, 2008

Steven Hall thinks he works for a great boss.

"He's a pleasant guy to work for," Hall says of his boss, Dale Manson. "He treats everybody with respect no matter how bad things are going or good things are going."

Hall enjoys his job as director of operations for History & Heraldry, a Coral Springs wholesaler of gift items such as key-chains, mugs and magnets. His laid-back boss is a refreshing change from his previous employer.

His former boss was a micromanager who constantly berated his workers, Hall says. "You're a loser," the boss would say to his face.

How a boss treats employees can have an effect on productivity and often determines how long workers stay around. For bosses, their relationship with workers can determine how much they know about what's going on in business.

"As Wall Street and business are melting down, one has to wonder if it's communication," says William Baker, a former TV executive who recently co-wrote Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results. "The leadership wasn't hearing what was going on."

Employees who have "kind" bosses report they are much more likely to speak candidly with their boss than those who say their boss is a "bully," according to a survey of 662 members and customers by the American Management Association.

"It's the law of reciprocity: When a manager shows concern, his or her employees, in turn, support the manager," says Edward Reilly, chief executive of AMA.

The good news is that most of those surveyed, 75 percent, regarded their supervisors as "kind." But 14 percent said they considered their supervisors "bullies."

A kind boss has compassion, integrity, humility, humor, authenticity and gratitude, says Baker, now executive-in-residence at Columbia University Business School.

In his book, he says kind leaders:

Reinforce expectations for employees by establishing clear boundaries, standards of conduct, challenging goals and organizational values.

Tell the truth about how each worker and the entire company is doing.

Stimulate risk-taking, without sheltering people from their own mistakes.

"These are not people who are doormats. They have high standards and high demands. It's like being a parent," he says.

Unkind bosses usually result in a higher turnover of employees and can hurt productivity. According to the survey, 70 percent of employees who report to kind bosses said they worked "as hard as they could" compared with only 54 percent of employees who report to bullies.

Hall's former employer put fear into people to get them to work. It worked, but only for the short term. Managers were well paid, but left at a rapid pace.

"He didn't trust anyone," Hall said. The boss sent e-mails 24 hours a day and harassed managers if he didn't get an immediate response. "He'd e-mail you over and over."

Hall told his boss upfront about plans for a cruise vacation. The boss told him "no problem," but when the vacation rolled around, handed him a stack of work he needed done pronto.

Hall ended up working in his ship cabin most of the cruise. His wife was not pleased. Hall left the job with the unkind boss within five months.

Marcia Heroux Pounds can be reached at or 561-243-6650.

What about your boss?
Teddy bear, bully or something in between? Tell us about your boss in our poll, at
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:58 am ... /809210371

Threat assessment
Hospital policies standing up to workplace bullies

Michael Schroeder
Published: September 21, 2008 6:00 a.m.

By his own account, Joseph Doescher literally had his back against the wall.

Expecting to be hit, the former heart-lung machine operator at St. Francis Hospital put his hands up. Heart surgeon Dr. Daniel Raess had come at him quickly “with clenched fists, piercing eyes, beet-red face, popping veins,” according to a written opinion from the Indiana Supreme Court quoting Doescher’s testimony. Raess – who also no longer works at the Indianapolis hospital – was screaming and swearing at Doescher.

He didn’t hit him. But Raess promised Doescher, who had gone to hospital administration about Raess’ treatment of other perfusionists, “You’re finished, you’re history.”

Raess’ attorneys would later argue that Raess didn’t commit assault. Expert witnesses differed; one said a verbal assault didn’t constitute a legal assault. But the Indiana Supreme Court in April affirmed a jury award of $325,000 to Doescher. The case got national attention.

Attorneys began considering bullying cases as the implications of the high-profile altercation reverberated across industries. But only the health care sector – already at the eye of the storm – has an industrywide mandate addressing the perceived problem, according to bullying expert Dr. Gary Namie, a social psychologist who testified in the Indianapolis case. The mandate was laid out by a national accrediting body in July.

“There is a history of tolerance and indifference to intimidating and disruptive behaviors in health care,” the Joint Commission wrote in a Sentinel Event Alert. It cited numerous studies illustrating the problem and said that disruptive behavior doesn’t just affect morale, it also potentially puts patients in harm’s way.

To correct what it described as a prevalent problem, the commission is now requiring hospitals and other health care organizations to have a code of conduct that defines acceptable, disruptive and inappropriate behaviors. Health care leaders must create and implement a process to address behavior problems. Hospitals that don’t take these steps by Jan. 1 could potentially lose accreditation.

Officials at local hospitals are confident their policies adequately address inappropriate behavior and say they enforce them. Still, they’ve taken notice of the Joint Commission’s call to action.

Cheryl Rieves, the chief quality officer at St. Joseph Hospital, says she hasn’t found bullying or disruptive behavior to be prevalent in her 11 years at the hospital.

Rieves, a nurse 25 years, says she has worked in other environments where bullying and intimidation were more common. But she says that was early in her career, outside Indiana. Rieves has seen improvements during the past two decades.

In response to the commission’s directive, St. Joseph Hospital is devising a medical staff policy specific to physicians who have privileges at the hospital but aren’t employees. It will complement the hospital’s code of conduct policy for employees.

“We really felt that we were (already) meeting those standards” set forth by the commission, Rieves said. She and Chief Operating Officer Chad Towner owe that to open dialogue with staff and administration who make regular rounds throughout the hospital. There’s also a hotline where staff can report problems anonymously.

Towner said that problems do come up – emotions run high, and there are many personalities to manage. But problems are handled before they get out of control, he said. Even so, because disciplinary measures are confidential, it can be difficult to assure staff that those problems are addressed when they do arise, Towner said.

Actions could range from a warning to termination. He didn’t provide details on specific instances and said he couldn’t recall a physician having privileges revoked as a result of disciplinary problems.

Experts and attorneys say doctors and nurses in positions of authority are the usual bullying suspects. But the Joint Commission says the problem isn’t limited by position.

“Nor are such behaviors confined to the small number of individuals who habitually exhibit them,” the commission wrote.

It said intimidating and disruptive actions include outbursts and physical threats but can be passive as well – refusing to perform tasks, being uncooperative. Often, people in positions of power are the perpetrators, refusing to answer questions or return phone calls or using condescending language.

Many turn a blind eye to the problem even when it compromises patient care.

A survey on intimidation found that 40 percent of clinicians kept quiet or were passive rather than question a known intimidator who was doing something that might compromise the safety of a patient, such as administering the wrong medication. The survey by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices was cited by the Joint Commission in its July alert.

In addition, hospitals’ biggest breadwinners often get a free pass, according to another study cited by the commission.

About 39 percent of respondents to a physician behavior survey agreed that “physicians in my organization who generate high amounts of revenue are treated more leniently when it comes to behavior problems than those who bring in less revenue.”

The survey was conducted by the American College of Physician Executives. Local hospital officials say they don’t tolerate disruptive behavior from staff or physicians irrespective of their positions.

Dr. Tom Gutwein, an emergency room physician and past president of the Fort Wayne Medical Society, agrees with the assessment by some that disruptive behavior is more common among physicians than nurses.

A driven personality, a heavy workload and a high-stress environment can contribute to the problem, he said. So do a god complex, big ego and the sense of being indispensable, others say.

But Gutwein, the medical director of emergency departments for Parkview Health, says hospitals locally have done a great job of reining in disruptive behavior over the past 10 years. Physicians have been reprimanded, and some have even had their hospital privileges revoked, he said, declining to disclose details.

“It’s not tolerated – that type of behavior,” Gutwein said.

He added that most of his colleagues are professional and respectful of other staff and physicians.

Dr. Greg Johnson is familiar with the high stakes and high emotions that come with working in health care. The board-certified internist and board-certified nephrologist practiced for 15 years and is now associate chief medical officer at Parkview Hospital.

Johnson said Parkview Hospital took the bullying issue to heart even before the commission’s report. The hospital isn’t doing anything different as a result.

Johnson said the hospital often updates its code of conduct policy, which was first put in place in 2002, to make sure it’s as clear and effective as it can be to address current issues. “It’s not a static document,” he says.

He echoed St. Joseph Hospital officials in saying that employees and medical staff are aware of what’s expected. The hospital follows its policy to the letter when problems arise, he said.

Acting appropriately means following the Golden Rule (treating others as you would have them treat you), Johnson said.

In a high-pressure environment, that starts with taking care of oneself physically, spiritually and mentally, he said. It starts with stress management.

Source: “The Bully At Work” by Gary and Ruth Namie Source: Dr. Gary Namie, principal consultant, Work Doctor Inc., Source: Dr. Gary Namie, director of non-profit Workplace Bullying Institute

Expert tips on what you should do:
• Name it. Whether you call it bullying, psychological harassment, psychological violence or emotional abuse, give it a name to offset the effect of being told that because it’s not currently illegal, you have no problems.
• Seek respite and take time off. Use this time to check your mental and physical health, research legal options, gather data on the economic effect the bully has had on the workplace (i.e., the turnover rate) and start a job search.
• Expose the bully. Make a business case – not an emotional case – that the bully is “too expensive to keep.” Give the employer one chance. If he sides with the bully because of friendship or rationalizes the mistreatment, you will have to leave the job for your health’s sake.

Bossing bullies
Not every situation can be handled by simply standing up to a bully. Experts say workplaces can inhibit or accommodate bullying. Here’s a long-term plan to root it out at your workplace:
• Create an explicit anti-bullying policy that forbids all forms of harassment and destructive interpersonal conduct.
• Develop a credible and fair (to employees) enforcement mechanism that promises to be free from interference from senior management.
• Educate all employees to recognize bullying and its effect on those targeted.
• Re-educate managers that destructive misconduct is not a component of acceptable management practice.
• Recruit employees on the basis of being a bully-free workplace. Work hard to sustain that reputation.

Is it You?
Maybe you’re the bully. Here are some telltale signs:
• There is excessive turnover in your unit; you can’t retain staff.
• You constantly explain your actions as being provoked by someone else.
• You think that everybody’s stupid all the time – or the only stupid people are those you’re forced to work with.
• Colleagues use all their time off or take unpaid days to avoid working with you.
• You are seen as indispensable by an executive who thinks you’re great, but the rumor among the staff is you’re a tyrant.
• People avoid engaging you in small talk.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:05 am ... 9322.story

How to: Deal with an office bully
September 23, 2008

So you like your job, or at least the fact that you have one. And if that scowling and growling manager, or snarky receptionist would just find another cubicle dwelling, you would love your job. But some bullies never grow out of their school yard tricks. Here are ways to cope.

• Recognize true bullying. Many of us have experienced workplace bullying without naming it. But having a tough boss or clashing with a co-worker doesn't qualify. Watch out for the co-worker who humiliates and demeans you, or interferes with your work product. This bully should be dealt with.

• Identify the bully. Most bullies act aggressively because they feel they're being treated unfairly, and they usually pick targets out of frustration says Diane Catanzaro, associate professor of psychology at Christopher Newport University. Others may bully because it seems to be the acceptable norm. "If management has a history of aggressive and rude behavior toward their employees, it tends to have a trickle down effect," she says.

Understanding the motives behind the bully's actions can help you choose the right solution.

• Document everything. Help legitimize the problem by leaving emotions out of it. Document specific instances of productivity interference, insults and intimidation tactics. This will help when you confront the bully or take your complaint to management.

• Confront the bully. Unless the bully has a history of mental instability or physical aggression, you are responsible for confronting him. Catanzaro suggests thinking through what you're going to say, where the confrontation will take place, and who will witness it. Taking control of the situation can be empowering, and it also helps ensure professionalism. Role-playing can also help you prepare for a more emotional response from the bully. Catanzaro also says you should talk about the bully's behavior instead of making derogatory comments about his personality. For example, a bullying target could say, "Your behavior is making it difficult for me to do my job, and I'd like to find some way to resolve this issue."

• Expose the bully. If you need to take the issue to management, make sure you leave emotions at the door. Explain how the bully's behavior is disrupting productivity. The Workplace Bullying Institute suggests giving your company one chance. If they don't respond appropriately the first time, chances are the problem will never be addressed.

• Know when to leave. Some situations are helpless, and keeping a specific job isn't a reason to jeopardize your own mental health. There aren't any laws against this type of psychological bullying, so legal action is very difficult. — Nicole Paitsel

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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:07 am ... &dist=hppr

The Performance Premium of Kindness
American Management Association Survey Shows How the Boss's Character Affects Employee Productivity, Retention

Last update: 1:43 p.m. EDT Oct. 1, 2008

NEW YORK, Oct 01, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- If you feel that your boss is kind, chances are you look forward to going to work every day, you're more likely to put in a little extra effort, and you might even delay that search for a new job. But if you work for a boss who is a bully, all bets are off. That's according to a new survey conducted by American Management Association (AMA) that examines how a boss's character affects employee performance and retention rates.

AMA surveyed 662 members and customers on a number of workplace issues and character traits. First the good news: 75% of respondents regarded their supervisors as "kind." Now the bad news: 14% of respondents indicated that their supervisors were, in fact, "bullies." The remaining 11% were neutral about their boss's character. According to the survey results, kind managers are associated with superior performance in a number of ways.

"The AMA survey clearly shows how employee-manager relationships influence performance, productivity and even bottom-line results," said Edward T. Reilly, president and CEO of American Management Association. "It's the law of reciprocity: When a manager shows concern, his or her employees, in turn, support the manager. They do this by putting forth a maximum effort, being more dedicated to the organization, and by helping to achieve corporate goals."

The AMA survey asked respondents if they plan to work for their company for a long time. According to the results, 84% of employees who report to kind managers said yes, whereas only 47% of employees who report to bullies agreed. Similarly, when asked if respondents look forward to going to work every day, 74% of employees with kind bosses said yes, while only 32% of employees with bullies as bosses agreed.

Statement Response Bully Kind
I plan to work for the company Does 47% 84%
for a long time

Doesn't 35% 6%
Statement Response Bully Kind
I look forward to going to work Does 32% 74%
each day
Doesn't 51% 11%

Thus, one cost of unkind bosses is most likely higher turnover of employees who know the difference between being respected and not.

But there is a more direct cost as well: Productivity. The AMA survey asked if respondents worked as hard as they could: 70% of employees who report to kind bosses said yes, whereas only 54% of employees who report to bullies agreed.

Statement Response Bully Kind
I put forth maximum effort Does 54% 70%
at work
Doesn't 33% 22%

Put succinctly, those who have unkind managers don't try as hard at work.

What's more, in this age in which moral lapses have cost companies countless dollars, both real ones and reputational ones, it is interesting to note how employees view their supervisors.

According to the AMA survey results, 93% of people who report to kind managers say that their boss has high ethical standards, whereas only 48% of people who report to bullies agreed. Similarly, when asked if their boss displayed humility, integrity and authenticity, 81% of those with kind bosses said yes, while only 12% of employees with bully bosses agreed.

Statement Response Bully Kind
My boss acts in accordance with Does 48% 93%
high ethical standards
Doesn't 45% 3%
Statement Response Bully Kind
My boss displays humility, Does 12% 81%
integrity, authenticity
Doesn't 72% 6%

Researchers asked employees how honest, open and direct they can be with their bosses, and how responsive their bosses are to the feedback. Being able to share vital information is of great interest to organizations--and withholding it because a boss isn't approachable is cause for concern.

"Employees who had kind bosses were much more likely to report being able to speak openly and candidly with their boss than those who indicated that their boss was a bully," said William Baker, author of Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (published by AMACOM). "This survey shows that kind bosses are told what's going on in their companies by their subordinates. The bullies are not. Could this say something about the recent economic meltdown? Maybe some of the leaders could have prevented major problems if they heard more from the line workers or had acted on what they did hear," Baker said.

According to the survey, 73% of people who report to kind managers say they can speak openly and candidly with bosses, whereas only 42% of people who report to bullies agreed. Similarly, when asked whether their boss really listened to what is said, 84% of those with kind bosses said yes, whereas only 24% of those with bully bosses agreed.

Statement Response Bully Kind
I speak openly and candidly with Does 42% 73%
my boss
Doesn't 44% 19%
Statement Response Bully Kind
My boss really listens to Does 24% 84%
what is said
Doesn't 64% 7%

Transfer of reliable information and coordination of activities are requisites for superior organizational performance. If information is retained by those who have the best access to it, then companies are bound to suffer as a result.

About AMA

American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA's approach to improving performance combines experiential learning--learning through doing--with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one's career journey. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including seminars, Webcasts and podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books and research. Organizations worldwide, including the majority of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner in professional development and draw upon its experience to enhance skills, abilities and knowledge with noticeable results from day one. For more information, visit

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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:11 am ... 385036.txt

State senator proposes bill on bullying
Employer advocates say proposed law would clog district courts

Monday, October 13, 2008

One state lawmaker is hoping to pass Nevada's -- and the nation's -- first workplace bullying law. State Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom has put forth a bill draft request to make all on-the-job harassment illegal, but some employers are concerned that such a law could open the door for a flood of lawsuits.

Under the bullying proposal for the 2009 Nevada Legislature, Bill Draft Request 30, all harassment in the workplace would be illegal. Current state and federal statutes make it illegal to harass or discriminate against certain classes, such as those based on gender, age, religion and race. Segerblom said his proposed legislation would require that employees who might not otherwise fall into a protected class would also be safe from harassment. The bill also allows compensation for emotional damages for victims of workplace bullying and harassment.

Employers would still have the same rights to address the harassment and bullying claims prior to an employee filing a complaint with the commission or going to court.

The bill would also make discrimination and harassment based on someone's personal appearance illegal under state law.

Segerblom, an attorney who represents workers, said his measure would likely lead to more harassment cases being heard in state courts instead of the federal court system where they are heard now.

"In federal court, the judges tend to be antagonistic," he said. The senator wants to expand the state's harassment statutes and allow for back pay and front pay under state law. Segerblom's measure would give plaintiffs the chance to sue in the state court, as is commonly done in California.

Labor lawyer Mark Ricciardi, who represents mostly businesses, sees a broad-based bullying law as clogging up district courts and potentially driving small companies out of business.

"Right now, most discrimination cases are filed in federal court under federal statutes and those statutes give them relief," Ricciardi said.

The workplace bullying bill could "open floodgates" to lawsuits and dilute the protection already offered to groups such as woman, racial and ethnic minorities, older workers and the disabled, Ricciardi added. Small businesses, especially, would not be able to pay for costly harassment lawsuits from workers stemming from instances such as a male boss yelling at another male worker, he predicted.

But Segerblom, a Las Vegas Democrat, said he already knows he'll have a fight on his hands.

"It has never passed anywhere. It is very controversial," he said of workplace bullying legislation.

Such legislation has been proposed in 13 states to-date, but none have passed, said Gary Namie, an author and founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute and the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying. Namie's organization has helped to craft much of the past initiatives but did not have a hand in Segerblom's bill draft request.

Segerblom said regardless of the fate of his legislation, it is important to get the word out about what he feels is a growing problem.

The subject of workplace bullying, especially by bosses, has garnered its share of attention in the last couple years. What exactly constitutes bullying behavior is a line that can just as easily be blurred as crossed. A screaming manager or demeaning co-worker are considered workplace bullies by some; others say there needs to be evidence of professional, physical or psychological harm to the bully's target.

More than a third of American workers -- 37 percent or 54 million people -- have been bullied at work at some point, according to the results of a 2007 Zogby International survey. When the number of witnesses to the bullying are included, the total affected by the behavior reaches 49 percent of the work force, Namie said.

Most bullies were bosses, the survey found. Seventy-two percent of those who were bullied at work said their managers were the perpetrators.

The costs of bullying to employers are high enough that companies should act, Namie said. Stress from bullying affected the health of 45 percent of the targets for more than a year. Segerblom pointed to "millions of dollars" in high turnover costs and increased health care premiums as monetary reasons companies should correct the situation whether or not companies are legally liable for the behavior.

Ricciardi said claims of workplace bullying are overblown, and sometimes it is simply a matter of a stressful workplace being taken out on employees -- something that is likely to become more prevalent as companies cut back and everyone is asked to do more.

Las Vegas Valley employers aren't complaining of workplace bullying being a huge problem, Southern Nevada Human Resource Association President Bud Pierce said. His experience is mostly from the public sector, including the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Public companies are working to fix workplace problems, Pierce said.

All employers need to take every matter seriously, he advised.

"Anytime an employee brings a complaint forward, you have to look at it," he said. "I don't know if there is a threshold for bullying."

Bob Spretnak agreed with Segerblom that workplace bullying is a growing concern. An employee rights attorney, he said he sees it in the form of people coming into his office seeking his help. Often, they aren't in protected categories or the abuse is from somebody from their same class.

"One lady was in tears. She worked in a library and her female boss responded to everything she said with such hostility," he recalled.

Segerblom's law could change that woman's situation and those of workers like her, Spretnak said.

"I say if it is good enough for the protected classes, it should be good enough for everyone," Spretnak said.

Contact reporter Valerie Miller at vmiller or 702-387-5286.

"I propose that they eliminate the categories and just make harassment illegal," he said. "If you feel you are harassed, you still have to file with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. ... I think employers feel better knowing there is that extra step before an employee can sue."
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:19 pm ... verlooked/

Workplace Bullying: Overblown or Overlooked?

Published Oct 17 2008 Updated Oct 16 2008 Written by: Kristina Cowan

Archives for WorkplaceEveryone knows a bully. It’s the schoolyard tyrant who swoops in on a target, pushing him around while spewing threats and belittling him in front of others. But childhood isn’t where it stops - it’s also on display in the workplace.”Workplace bullying” is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person through verbal abuse, behavior that’s threatening, humiliating or intimidating, and/or sabotage that prevents work from getting done, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash.

Recent research and a U.S. court case have spurred interest in the issue.

About 54 million people, or 37 percent of American workers, have been bullied at work, according to a September 2007 survey conducted by Zogby International on behalf of WBI. Bosses account for 72 percent of bullies, and women are targeted more frequently, according to the survey: 57 percent of those bullied are women. When the bully is a woman, 71 percent of the targets are women.

Canadian research released earlier this year by M. Sandy Hershcovis, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and Julian Barling, of Ontario’s Queens University, found that workplace bullying is more detrimental than sexual harassment.

In April, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former medical technician who sued a surgeon for emotional distress and assault. Garry Mathiason, chair of the corporate compliance practice group at labor and employment law firm Littler Mendelson, says in a BusinessWeek story that the ruling drew national attention as a result of the courts acknowledging workplace bullying both as a phenomenon and as legal terminology.

Is workplace bullying an overlooked - or overblown - problem, and is there a viable solution?

Gauging the Problem

Tory Johnson, founder and CEO of Women for Hire in New York, says workplace bullying isn’t “overblown at all. Bullying is often very subtle and hugely damaging.” Bullies run the gamut, she says, from those who scream and make scenes, to the less-obvious types who cast dismissive glances and smirks during meetings, prompting the target to hunker down and never speak up.

Quiet bullies can be more damaging than their loud counterparts, “even if they’re going largely unnoticed by the higher ups,” she says.

Stress hinders the health of 45 percent of bullied targets, according to the Zogby survey. The WBI says employers also pay a price, for example, in turnover costs, stress-related payments for workers’ compensation and disability, and the exodus of talent.

Dr. Cheryl Dellasega, a professor at Penn State University, says workplace bullying is a real problem, and the differences in male and female bullies are clear. “I’ve heard hundreds of stories by victims, bullies, and bystanders (those who watch and may participate) across a wide variety of workplace situations, from hospitals to day care centers to schools and corporations,” she says. “Some situations are handled well, others end up in litigation.”

But some say bullying can be blown out of proportion.

“I acknowledge that some behavior would fit the description of bullying. However, in most adult workplaces what people call bullying often turns out to be discourtesy and contentious behavior, and sometimes it is not even those things, but just behavior the complainer didn’t like,” says Tina Lewis Rowe, a professional development speaker and trainer in Denver.

What’s an Employer to Do?

The WBI says bullies are a reflection of how America operates. “Our society is highly aggressive and competitive. Bullies embody these two popular tactics. Hostility is more normative than the exception. So, bullying/abuse/psychological violence at work is positively embraced more often than despised,” according to the Institute.

Finding a solution, then, might mean bucking the norm - but it’s not impossible, experts say.

Dr. Gary Namie, co-founder and director of the WBI, says bullying is endemic to the workplace; it’s not simply caused by a few bad seeds. So employers should write impersonal policies holding all employees to the same standard, he explains. Because bullies often spend years forging close alliances with higher-ups, Namie says, this absolves higher-ups from having to punish their “buddies” - it simply becomes a matter of enforcing policy.

Others agree employers shoulder much of the responsibility when it comes to quashing bullies.

“Unfortunately, employees are usually not in a position to stop bullying. Generally speaking, if bullying continues in the workplace, it is because it is tolerated at the highest levels of the organization,” notes executive career coach Cheryl Palmer, based in Silver Spring, Md. “If employers realize the toll that bullying takes on the organization, not just specific individuals, they should make it absolutely clear that bullying will not be tolerated.”

What’s an Employee to Do?

If employees feel they’ve been targeted, Namie advises against going to HR, which will ultimately side with management. He instead offers a three-step plan:

Give the problem a name. This helps you stake a legitimate claim and avoid blaming yourself.
Take time off. Examine your mental and physical health. Investigate your legal options. Gather information about the effects of workplace bullying on an employer, including turnover rates, lost productivity and absenteeism. Start looking for a new job.
Expose the bully. Offer the information you gathered in step two, making the case to your employer that the bully is too expensive to keep on staff, and avoid getting emotional. Give your employer one chance. If they side with the bully due to personal friendship, for example, then leave, and tell everyone you’re leaving because you’ve been bullied out.
Women for Hire’s Johnson agrees that employees should take action. “The only solution is for people to feel empowered to speak up - to not be fearful of being labeled the rat,” she says. “Many times employers don’t know this exists, or there’s no track of it, so it’s easy to look the other way. Co-workers might know, but often they’re too intimidated to stick their neck out for someone else.”
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:21 pm ... 02867.html


Wednesday, October 15, 2008; Page D02

The Nice Effect

Kind bosses bring far more to the office than a feel-good atmosphere. They bring out high productivity and exceptional ideas from their staff. And workers with a kind boss are much more likely to look forward to going to work than those with bully bosses, according to an American Management Association survey of 662 members.

From employee retention to encouraging candid conversations, bosses who are caring get more from their staff, the association found. Seven in 10 people with kind bosses say they "put forth maximum effort at work," vs. 54 percent with bully bosses.

Three-quarters of the managers surveyed consider their boss to be kind, while 14 percent said he or she is a bully, and 11 percent are neutral about their boss's behavior.

A manager's kindness can also affect workers' plans to stay or leave an organization. Some 84 percent of workers with kind supervisors expect to stay with their employer for a long time, vs. 47 percent with bully bosses.

The association's message: Kind bosses "influence productivity, performance, even bottom line results." And they bring us encouragement and cookies, too.

-- Vickie Elmer
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:24 pm ... nster-Boss

Recommended reading: Monster Boss

October 18, 8:18 AM
by Heather Huhman, Entry Level Careers Examiner

In honor of National Boss Day, which was October 16, 2008, I wanted to highlight a book that will help you deal with a boss who’s not so deserving of his or her own special day.

In a recent interview with Patricia King, author of “Monster Boss,” she provided advice for overcoming a bad supervisor.

1. Be in charge of you. If your boss is a bully, remember the best way to treat bullies is not to be cowed by their intimidations. If you do not quiver when your bully boss starts in on you, she is likely to give up and take her bully behavior elsewhere. Bullies pick their victims. Stop acting like a victim. You are in charge of your attitude. You decide to be a winner or a loser. Choose winning.

2. Disarm your monster boss. You do this by removing the most potent of his weapons – your emotions. If you never love, hate or fear him, his attacks are harmless. Some people are worth an emotional response, some are not. It will not be easy to uncouple your emotions from your bad boss situation, but if you have to stay in that job, you have to work very hard to turn off those emotional responses. If you can’t leave the job, your only other choice is keep getting upset and sacrificing your mental and physical health.

3. Look for common ground. If your boss is an obnoxious slob or a neurotic perfectionist, you may be so distracted by your differences that you ignore the goals you have in common. Remember, the best way to improve communications is looking for agreement. Then, you can negotiate on the basis of mutual gain.

4. Offer alternatives. If your boss asks you to do something that is unproductive, impossible or just plain harebrained, you don’t necessarily have to agree and do it. But remember, the cardinal rule in business is never to whine about a problem without suggesting a solution. Come up with the best way to proceed and sell the boss on the idea. Present your alternative with confidence and respect and see if you can get him to support a better course of action. Be prepared to let him think that it was his idea all along.

5. Be realistic. If you have had a number of bosses who all turned out to be terminal jerks, you may be expecting too much. Some people get into trouble with authority figures because they have unrealistic expectations of what and who a boss is supposed to be. Stop looking for a boss who is the perfect partner or parent you always wanted. If you want a boss who makes you happy, you are doomed to disappointment. You can rightfully expect that your work will give you a sense of accomplishment, the dignity of making a contribution and earning a living. That should be enough. Seek other meaningful life experiences outside the workplace.
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Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:33 pm ... aw-ca.html

California Labor Law Frowns on Hostile Work Place

October 19, 2008. By Jane Mundy

Pasadena, CA: Melissa dreads going back to work even though she loves her job. She is the only woman in her department of 7 and believes her new boss and a woman in HR have singled her out. "Because I don't want anyone else to go through what I had to, I want to pursue this issue," says Melissa, "and let these people know they have violated the California Labor Law."

Melissa has been working in a tape duplication room for the past two years and everything was great until a new boss was hired. For some inexplicable reason that Melissa still doesn't have an answer for, he started to bully her. "He called me into his office and said 'You are staging a coup against me,' " says Melissa. "At first I thought he was kidding. Then I asked why he singled me out. 'I haven't and I will be talking to everyone else,' he said. But he didn't speak to anyone else.

In his first 3 weeks on the job, he implemented new procedures that were very radical and it was the consensus of everyone that they were unreasonable. Everyone discussed it amongst themselves and he is aware of that—it wasn't just me.

I went to HR to have his comments documented. However my HR rep said I didn't have a complaint. But I want it documented in case he might have something personal against me; I just wanted it for the record. She said, 'He is your boss and he can say whatever he wants to you.'

'I don't understand, is there nothing I can do?' I asked. 'I can hold a meeting with the three of us,' she replied. I was uncomfortable with that idea because she was obviously biased towards my boss so I asked if someone else could also attend this meeting. She offered the VP of operations and I agreed.

Three hours later we had the meeting. 'Melissa thinks you are targeting her because she is a woman', she said to my boss in a very disdainful tone. All I said to her was that I am the only woman in an otherwise all-male department, so how does that translate into her statment?

My boss was going to comment but she said it wasn't necessary. Then she said my claims did not need answers because they were not legitimate. I sat through 30 minutes of answering her questions and he didn't have to reply to anything.

After the meeting, the HR woman said I couldn't speak about this conversation to anyone at anytime. I asked her why not. 'That is just policy', she said.

I believe my boss has a personal problem with me and he is not capable of being an unbiased boss. I feel discriminated against, not just because I am female, but personally. As well, I think they are both bullying me into leaving. The meeting took place last Wednesday and I haven't gone back to work. I haven't been able to sleep and I'm so upset that I am nauseated and can't even drive due to stress. I loved my job before this man came on board but now I dread going back—I feel that he has created a hostile work environment, even though all of my co-workers respect me.

I believe he has singled me out but I honestly don't know where he is coming from. I am going back to work on Monday; if he approaches me I will not be alone with him and the same goes for HR. I will probably quit but I also don't want them to get away with this. At this point I am more upset with HR than him—she didn't do her job and I don’t want anyone to go through what I had to. She shouldn't be in this position of power; I would think that in her position, she would be familiar with the California Labor Law and the section about harassment in the workplace."
Last edited by RatPak11 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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