Workplace Bullying – Just ‘faulty’ communication skills?

I came across a Facebook post a few weeks back that started off like this:
I attended a workshop through work for bullying and harassment a few weeks ago.

At this point I’m thinking…it’s good to see that workplaces are taking bullying seriously enough to provide workshops and training for their staff.  And the post continued:
It’s interesting because it’s completely up to the receiver whether or not anything someone says or does is considered offensive/bullying.

Right about then I have to admit…I did a double take! So I read the comment over again (just to make sure my eyes weren’t lying to me).

Granted, some people may misinterpret the odd statement, or glance. But as a general rule, when someone is stealing your work and claiming it as their own; when someone regularly humiliates and berates you in front of your work colleagues; when someone regularly sabotages your work efforts, or denies you the resources to complete your work…then it’s a pretty safe bet you’re being targeted by a workplace bully…it has nothing to do with ‘perception’, or ‘faulty’ communication skills.

In light of the introduction of the Anti-Bullying jurisdiction on 01 Jan 2014, maybe this is how some Australian workplaces are planning on addressing workplace bullying – by denying it’s occurring.  And what happens when a staff member does draw attention to its existence? I’m guessing they’ll be told they’re “mistaken”, or their “perception was wrong”.  And at that point the investigation into a claim of workplace bullying will end right there.

-JW

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