How do you define bullying in the workplace?

Bullying is normally defined the same way harassment is. It is a pattern of behavior that upsets someone that service no legitimate purpose.

Basically – someone is harassing you – just to harass you. If there is a legitimate purpose to the behavior – it’s not bullying or harassment. So – if I were to picket your workplace. You may find that annoying. You might be upset by it – but if the picketing serves a legitimate purpose – it’s not bullying or harassment.

If, on the other hand – I showed up every day and called people names – for no legitimate reason – that would be harassment or bullying.

Bullying usually implies a power dynamic – where one person is trying to exert power over another – but that assertion of power – is not legitimate.

In the workplace – because there are almost always power dynamics – it’s important to distinguish between legitimate actions and bullying. So – if an employee was always showing up late and I repeatedly spoke to them about it and my speaking to them upset them – that would not be bullying, because it would serve a legitimate purpose.

If I had an employee – and I continue spoke about something that was unrelated to their job performance, it would not serve a legitimate purpose.

The way to tell if it is bullying/harassment – is whether it serves a legitimate purpose or not. If it doesn’t – it’s probably bullying.

If you need help – get my book and watch my videos. And definitely join this site – because there are a lot of free materials – only available to members. And yes – membership is free though there is also a paid membership if you want to help support my work.