Testimonial from an individual being bullied
For a period of 2 years, I had been working and reporting in a matrix structure whereby the higher positions were not filled with individuals experienced in managing the bullying behaviours that I was experiencing.
I had spoken to my line manager on several occasions and nothing ever happened that made a positive difference. Reputation of bullying behaviors was well known for this particular individual, and I was told to be resilient and not take the attacks personally. For this period I did not know what else to do and tried to be resilient getting on with my work. My self esteem suffered as I never felt I was carrying out my job satisfactorily and this impacted on my entire life. Various people had suggested ways of handling the situation but nothing worked. I felt powerless and my bosses just seemed to move on, accepting that the behaviour I was experiencing was inevitable from this individual and not providing me with possible solutions.
I was referred to Rex and after a 2-hour consultation I was given a step-by-step strategy together with a discussion regarding probable conversations, and likely solutions. After the appointment, I was asked to write an email to him including my understanding of the process, and how I envisaged I would handle the situation. This allowed for opportunity to clarify any miscommunications and ensure I had interpreted the information correctly. Following this, I felt very confident with the process and I was ready to take personal control. Up until this point however, I had felt entirely helpless, and had no idea what to actually do (and to be truthful, I didn’t believe things could really change!). I felt empowered.
I put into practice the two strategies I had learned throughout my consultation with Rex. As a result of this, I noticed an immediate change in that persons’ behaviour towards me- change that has sustained now for three months. On a couple of occasions I have seen a potential for the old behaviour to return, (which Rex warned me was probable) and I put in place his maintaining strategy and sustained the positive change.
I realised after this that my behaviours were as much of the problem as the person giving me grief(as much as I didn’t want to admit to this initially). I didn’t know what to do and people around me, peers and managers didn’t know either. Negativity and close mindedness, became a routine pathway for communicating and thinking about my discontent with the situation. I had come to the belief that it wasn’t possible to make a change and that I would have to learn to be resilient to the behaviour or leave the job. I didn’t see how being resilient to bullying behaviour was in any way a good objective, nether leaving a job I love and am good at.
I now feel it has made a positive impact on my workplace, in that it has demonstrated how effectively and positively conflict can be managed if done using the correct process.