• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Stop Abusive Behavior on Your Team


Abusive behavior at work stems from three distinct roles: the manager who is preying on the weak, the victim who fails to defend himself and the witness who does nothing to stop it. No matter which role you’re in, you can disrupt the unhealthy dynamic by behaving differently.

+ As the manager: Ask yourself if you’re taking your frustrations out on the person who’s least likely to fight back. Find a better way to channel your stress, so you don’t project onto your team.

+ As the victim: Stand up for yourself. Not pushing back only invites more aggression. Next time, say something strong: “I think we can resolve this without raising voices.”

+ As the witness: Do something. Reach out to your teammate to provide support, advice and coaching. Try to defuse abusive behavior in meetings. If someone continually interrupts the person, ask everyone to hear her out.

(Adapted from “End Abusive Behavior on Your Team” by Liane Davey.)