Bully Boss Behavior is Contagious

It is basic psychological theory, that, behavior rewarded is repeated most of the time. Behavior that is punished can be extinguished.

Based upon that very simplistic theory let’s look at the bully behavior we see in our daily experiences, in the home, playground and workplace.
First, in the home, we have bullies often among siblings, or even spouses. Children often witness such behavior and make their own conclusions as to whether the behavior of bullying brought rewards to the bully and punishment for the bully’s victim. Children emulate usually what they experience and they also can try to do the opposite of what the bully does if they feel the behavior was wrong despite the outcome. Children who grow up in a home where there has been abuse, experience a bully who is physically abusive or one who is verbally or emotionally abusive. In either case the abuser is both an abuser and a bully.

The child leaves home to school and there will either become like the bully at home or choose to not be a bully. Hopefully, it will be the later.

The bully in the workplace is provided with ample targets to practice their preferred style of interacting with people. If the bully is in a position of authority (supervisor, director, CEO), the extent of their potentially harmful bullying behavior can impact the entire organization; left unmonitored it could lead to systemic practices that trickle down the organizational ladder.

CASE STUDY:

Organizational Bullying has been a part of the systemic practices of this educational organization since a major promotion of a female bully. This bully is in charge of several thousand employees and the ripples of her tyranny are widespread.

HOW FAR WILL THE ORGANIZATION GO TO PROTECT A BULLY?

How much damage does the bully have to create before she is stopped? Let’s look at what this bully has so far accomplished on her tyrannical path to power.

Position is key for a Bully of this stature, who easily sees in her narcissistic mind, optimum opportunity for a reign of terror. Using this stature and position she successfully created a persona of one to be feared, one with the power to fire employees on the spot should she so choose. Employees would literally shake and tremble when they heard she was to visit their campus.

This image of a bully so powerful was one that this Bully, Ms K, would relish, brought her much satisfaction just knowing mere mention of her name brought employees to their knees to do whatever she beckoned them to do.

The workplace atmosphere across all of her dominion (dozens of campuses and hundreds of teachers, managers, and administrators) was one where backstabbing, informing, spying, sabotaging were all encouraged and rewarded. The encouragement and rewards came in the form of small perks (no charges against sick leave or vacation time, free access to acquiring new computers, supplies, etc. not available to other staff, trips to conferences, promotions without undergoing the ordinary and required application process, etc.).

Those who chose to not obey or follow the mandates, of Ms K. reaped the whirlwind of her toxic mental state; she would give one of her trusted minions or pawns the task of harassing, spying, etc. and then use whatever information retrieved to reprimand the target, even leading to their termination of employment.

Currently, Ms K is under investigation for the second or third time in her tenure as a Director. Using the tactics mentioned she has managed to control nearly the entire staff under her supervision. And, due to the magnitude of this power she has disrupted lives, destroyed educational opportunities of children already challenged academically, and a community.

(to be con’t)

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