Do you have a bully among your people? If so, you have a problem.

Not necessarily a legal problem – although bullies sometimes cause those, too. This is first and foremost a management issue: Bullies can poison an entire team while doing severe emotional damage to their targets.

Not everyone is clear on what workplace bullying is, so here’s a definition from the Workplace Bullying Institute: “Repeated, health-harming mistreatment of targets by perpetrators that includes verbal abuse and/or threatening/humiliating behaviors and/or work interference such as sabotage.”

Bullying can take the form of chronic teasing, aggressive voice mails or phone calls, ignoring or interrupting the target, or persistent name calling. Your organization may have a policy on mutual respect that will allow you to address these behaviors. If not, it may be time to put one in place.

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