We have all experienced bullying at work and upon reflection we often think we could have handled the moment better. Each time we think “How could I have responded better?”, “What should I have said?”, “Why is this still bothering me?” But how? In Liz Kislik’s blog, she shares exercises she uses with her clients to navigate the moments of bullying by a colleague. The first exercise is to ask yourself “Are you safe?” Recognizing that you are safe reduces the grip the bully has on you. The second exercise is to mentally imagine the bully as small and vulnerable standing in the palm of your hand. Since the source of the bullying behavior is insecurity and lack of control, this exercise redirects behavior to focus on the bully and not on the response. This positions you to act in a manner that is measured and strategic instead of purely reactionary. Measured responses also allow supervisors to better recognize the source of the bullying behavior and hopefully work to correct problematic patterns of poor behavior.
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