One of the easiest ways to deal with bullies is to be one step ahead of them. Here are some examples that may be helpful.
- Refer to Company/ Organisational Values – Most Companies have Vision Statements, Mission Statements and Values that they share with patients/clients/customers/staff. Get to know these values & statements inside out so that you can quote them when you believe the Bully’s behaviour is not in line with them. If the bully has spoken to you in a way that is not appropriate in front of a patient or member of staff and the organisation has a value that is linked to RESPECT, then ask to speak to the bully in private and mention that you are aware that one of the organisational values is RESPECT but you didn’t feel that he/she showed you respect when they said X in front of Y. Share that you are happy to receive feedback so that you can improve patient care, but you felt the way they delivered the most recent feedback did not align with organisational values.
- Role Model the behaviours you would like the bully to display. Whether it’s communication via spoken word or body language make sure all your communication is confident and is exactly how you would like the bully to communicate with you.
- Use the Bully’s expertise – Admit you are coping but you are finding some things a little challenging eg stretch targets in the Bullying Dilemma example. Ask the bully if he/she was in your shoes what would they do to deliver the stretch targets?
These are only 3 examples of keeping one step ahead and communicating confidently. These can appear quite challenging to deliver but the more you practise before you face the bully then the more confidently you will communicate.