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As school gets back parents should speak to their children and prepare them to deal with bullies. And as people get back to work someone should speak to workers about dealing with bullies. Schoolyard bullies have much in common with workplace bullies. Most bullies don’t believe they are. If you are a boss here is a quick checklist to test your ‘bully factor’. If you suspect your boss of being a bully you can rate them with this checklist and then decide how you will deal with it. If you feel bold you might find a way to discreetly materialize a copy of this checklist on the boss’s desk. But if they suspect you and flog you – you are on your own. You can always dream about the “Mutiny on the Bounty”
- You yell at your staff, colleagues, suppliers or customers.
- You swear at your staff, colleagues, customers or suppliers.
- You talk about your staff behind their back to your favourites.
- You have favourites – not because of their performance but because of their apparent servitude and spying.
- Staff tiptoe around and whisper, “She’s in one of her moods today.”
- Staff learns to avoid you. They avoid discussing bad news and ‘difficult’ subjects.
- You shoot or flog the messenger of bad news.
- You ‘win’ discussions with the message – “I’m the boss”, “I’m the owner”, or “I’m sleeping with the boss or owner.”
- You expect staff to treat you better than you treat them because you feel you are better then them.
- Your staff tells legends of your nastiness and you revel in it.
- You find yourself reprimanding your staff for display a lack of respect for you. And you don’t believe you need to earn it – or respect them.
- You spend time directing staff to respect your position instead of producing results.
- You make business decisions to boost or protect your ego.
- You fired someone because they rubbed you the wrong way. Yet their performance was above standard. And you hired your son (who needed a job) to replace them.
- You abuse your staff with insults - stated or implied.
- Your most-used management tool is threat. Your toolbox is empty after that one.
- You enjoy it when the sycophants kiss your ass. And you can’t tell the difference between genuine praise and survival.
- You feel inadequate and threatened when staff ask you business questions to which you do not have the answers.
- You heard about the statues that Saddam Hussen built to honour himself and got jealous.
- You treat your customers very differently than you do your staff.
- All of your ideas are good ones.
- When your staff has a good idea – it becomes your good idea.
- When you screw up – it’s not your fault. You blame your incompetent staff, cheating suppliers or stupid customers.
- You have called your staff incompetent, your suppliers cheating and your customers stupid.
- When something goes wrong you blame your staff – instead of taking the responsibility. In fact your first instinct is to blame someone else.
- You hoard information, or dole it out selectively, instead of sharing - because that information gives you power.
- You have threatened to, or did fire someone because you were frustrated.
- When a customer complements one of your staff to you – you take credit.
- Your parking place is sacred. Beware the wrath that befalls any who might desecrate your spot.
- You reprimand staff in public or with the office door open.
- You feel orgasmic after you administer a public flogging.
- You can’t remember the last time you complimented your staff and that doesn’t bother you. And more importantly they can’t remember the last compliment either.
- You routinely use the speakerphone – even when there is no one else listening in on your end. And you do not announce to the other party that they are on the speaker. Nor do you see anything wrong with this practice.
- You find yourself thinking, “Damm I’m important.”
- You quote Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin or find yourself wondering ‘How would they handle this situation?’
- You rationalize that you are nowhere near as bad as Hitler, Stalin or Idi Amin so this checklist doesn’t apply to you..
- You have perfected your sneer and your plastic smile and the ‘instant transition’ between the two – depending on whom you are talking to.
- Your worst nightmare is being found out for your inadequacies.
- You were infuriated that someone dared to put this checklist on your desk or the company bulletin board.
- You sweated and your blood boiled while you read this. And you want to rip it up and publicly flog the writer.
1 point for every ‘yes that’s me’
½ point for ‘maybe’ or ‘I used to be that way’
2 points if you don’t understand the statement
0 for a ‘no’
If you are high-fiving everyone as you run around the office shouting – “I passed. I passed.” You are sick, sick, sick.
Here’s your bully rating:
38 or over Damien, Lucifer, Jezebel – you know where you belong.
35 to 38 Hitler, Stalin Saddam, Idi Amin – the guys above have a special place for you
30 up to 35 Emperor Napoleon – an island prison waits for you
25 up to 30 King Henry VIII – off with your head.
20 up to 25 Al Capone – The feds will get you.
15 up to 20 Julius Caesar – beware the Ides of March.
10 up to 15 You have a problem and could be saved with counseling.
5 up to 10 There is a bad pattern that you can correct with some training.
1 to 4 You had some bad days but might still have promise if you wake up.
© George Torok is a specialist in thinking and communication skills. He is an executive consultant, professional speaker and best selling author. He works with organizations to help them grow – individually and organizationally. www.Torok.com
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org