Monday, January 28, 2008

Workplace Self-Defense: Verbal Intimidation

CSU employees are all too familiar with workplace bullies. Jay Morrissey's piece on fighting back against verbal intimidation sorts out several types of verbal attacks, and gives some practical advice on dealing with this kind of bully. His "verbal judo" tone is a little strong in spots, but then, we're not talking about how to respond to playful little kittens.

Morrissey describes how a coworker takes the wind out of a bully's sails by being the grownup:

As the manager elevated his voice to declare dominance, my work friend simply said:

I understand the concern. Though I do think you’re being very emotional right now. Let’s talk about this once you’ve had a chance to calm down.

The anger in the manager’s eyes grew ten-fold. In a desperate attempt to appear dominant, the manager further raised his voice and responded:

No! We’re talking about this now!

To which my colleague stood up, and responded softly:

I will talk to you, but I will not let you shout at me. You are my boss and I respect you, but you are not my mother.

I think that coworker of his is now my hero.

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