How to deal with organizational bullies when quitting isn’t an option?

paperworkWhat should I do if the leader of the school organization is a bully? He has already bullying me since junior grade. Now, he became leader of the school organization (not necessary school president, just extracurricular) and I become vice. He likes to pick me and embarrass me in front of senior and junior members. When something is wrong, he puts the blame on me (and intentionally giving me very hard work so I failed) I may resign but in other side of coin, if I retract, he will crumble into pieces and that also means my extracurricular will also down, and if I retract, teacher’s evaluation on me may be affected and can be great effect on my grade. (Big enough to make me lost my ticket to university #seriously)  I’m not interested in reporting. What should I do?

Ok – this is more organizational bullying – and for your sake and his – you need to get it under control.  Also – you probably aren’t the only victim. So, when you start standing up, others will as well.

What you need is something to say whenever he tries to publicly embarrass you. Something polite -along the lines of – that’s not ok. This is a statement of fact, not an argument. Do not argue with him, when he tries to rationalize his bad behavior.  Say – that’s fine, just be polite.  Repeat as necessary.   It will take him a while. He may escalate his behavior for a while (it’s called an extinction burst and it is predicted behavior).  He also may try to retaliate.

As for the blame game – start documenting who is doing what. It’s called CYA (cover your ass) and it’s the best way to prevent he said/she said blame games.  You do this by emailing confirmation of understandings to him AND others involved in the project. Your purpose is to make it clear who is doing what when and when things are due. So everyone understands their responsibility. You do this to eliminate confusion. This process makes it easier to see where the weak link really is and makes it harder for the passive aggressive bully to hide. And again, expect push back on this. Keep professional and rational and explain this as  – look – problems keep arising from confusion over who is responsible for what – and I just want to make it clear so that there is no confusion. This isn’t an argument or a fight. Just a rational reasonable way to ensure people know what’s being done, why it’s being done, whose doing it and when it is to be completed so there is no confusion on the team.

Finally, if he gives you really hard work you are incapable of completing, you need to be clear you can’t do that particular job and suggest that you either get help or someone else with the skill set required do it.  And again, this has to be documented as part of the CYA. It isn’t that you aren’t a team player, you just want to ensure the program is a success and feel being honest about your abilities is the best way to ensure problems don’t arise by taking off more than you can chew. I do this all the time in the professional world when a boss makes an unreasonable request. I laugh and say – no really, when do you need it by. I don’t do anyone any favors by promising to do something I can’t do.  Rational effective decision making is based in reality. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. This realistic assessment and willingness to ask for help is called leadership.

Consider this a lesson in how to get along with these sorts of problematic individuals in the world and how to navigate them successfully. Best of luck.