AntiBullying Week 2015 – Do you act straight away when evidence of bullying arises?

As previous blogs in this series for #AntiBullyingWeek 2015 have shown [,] it can be abw_twitter_black_500x250hard for people to make a compliant against a leader who is a bully.

Here is a check list to help you to consider and act straight away:

1. Where evidence arises about bullying be prepared to act. No matter how senior the people involved may be.

You ignore it at your peril, so please don’t, otherwise you give bullies permission to operate

2.    Train HR to investigate well

3.    Create a culture where your people can speak up and be respected for raising interpersonal issues. Be open and aware of developing patterns of behaviour indicating an intervention may be necessary

4.    Develop a governance framework and policies that ensure welfare by holding key individuals accountable. Specifically:

  • Consider the use of upwards and 360 degree appraisal as part of your performance management process
  • Implement a whistle-blowing mechanism that provides anonymity for concerned people to call out a problem

5.    Set clear vision, strategy, objectives and goals

6.    When people say they are being bullied by their leader recognise that this may challenging for both parties and support them both through the process. Sometimes, it turns out there has been a misunderstanding. However, even when this is the case continue support. When organisations do this well it means organisational trust has a chance of being retained

7.    Keep in mind the circumstances that make an organisation attractive to a leader who is a bully:

  • Lack of checks and balances to support governance policies and processes often provide a bully with an opportunity since warning signs about developing issues get missed.
  • Change and organisational uncertainty often provides legitimate requests for more authority and control. A bully will seek to claim and retain them
  • Too many rules that are also used inflexibly can be high-jacked by a bully, simply because no one questions the legitimacy of their use

8.   Don’t appoint a bully, use psychometric assessments such as the Hogan Development Survey

9.    Be clear about the behaviours you don’t want, for example:

You ignore aggressive bullying behaviour by leaders at your peril

You ignore aggressive bullying behaviour by leaders at your peril

  • Haughty, insincere, manipulative
  • hallow, back-stabbing,
  • Lacking social and communication skills
  • Impatient, erratic, unreliable
  • Lying, cheating, bullying

10. Use your 306 degree data to identify whether you have managers whose self-perception is very wide of their team’s

11. Use reference checks thoroughly and call referees. You may discover a back story that will be told but not formally written down.

12. Use on-boarding to establish the organisations expectations and processes that are required for success. Make sure you set clear goals, establish role clarity, help people understand the formal and informal rules, and how the governance process works, including who the stakeholders are and how the decision-making networks operate

13. Use ongoing performance management to give feedback

14. Identify leaders who may have slipped through the net quickly by being open minded about developing patterns of behaviour, see point 3 above

If you need help in dealing with bullying and or help with an issue where mediation may be useful then you can reach Marjorie at MWR Consulting on 07779 345 499,

Reach us at 07779 345 499,

T: 07779 345 499

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond


We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practitioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments