...Let’s talk about bullying not a school… but at the workplace in high stress careers like Investment Banking.
😱 How do you know that you're a target of a bully?
😡 Verbal 🥵 – bad jokes at another person, gossips or spoken abuse like ‘go back to your school and learn what to do, you are bullshit‘, when a team member disagrees with CEO, CFO, etc.
😨 Work Sabotage 🥵– unfair competition, any invasion of privacy, when you have been chased by your team members in a dog-eat-dog Investment Banking high stress environment. (Once I told my boss that I had to go to a doctor’s emergency appointment, and she continued to chase me with questions on business every 10 minutes for 2 hours).
🤯 Team exclusion at work 🥵 – it happened to me when I was to be dismissed after speaking up about needs of business in a state-owned Bank to the First Deputy Chairman who didn’t want to sign any business deeds during crisis time for 3 months. The team just was listening to what was happening and did cold shouldering. It can leave you with lost confidence as a team player or a respected professional.
🤬 Passive aggressive 🥵 behavior when a member of the team or manager harbors negative feelings towards you but expresses them indirectly. I was guilty doing that – I didn’t say what I mean. I did that through intonation when I talk to another team member: ‘I am not going to do your job instead of mine unless my boss said me to’ meaning ‘I don’t care who do you sleep with, I’m here to do my job’. Judgement is what made you human and you can judge yourself, other people and your circumstances. Many years later I’ve learned that I was wrong in my passive aggressive behavior. Judgment is the biggest Saboteur of work process and to be judgment free takes practice. Does your colleague say what they mean, or do you need to hear/listen what’s really between lines?
🥶 Company bullying 🥵– this is when a company accepts, allows, and even encourages bullying to happen. This kind of bullying might include unrealistic performance goals, when your shareholders add new goal every day to you week and does micromanaging that resulted in unrealistic overtime, or dismissal of those who can’t handle like woman and man with kids.
What is the solution to workplace bullying in Investment Banking or any high stress career?
✅ 1. Be grounded 😀 – bullies enjoy when they emotionally manipulate their victims. Stay calm and respond instead. Know the difference between responding and reacting. When you respond you are ready for the outcome. So, use your brilliant Investment Banking mind to begin with what will this conversation end in mind. What shifts would you like to have?
✅ 2. Be objective📍 – Is the current situation constructive criticism or bullying? If you have a friend in your team, ask for his/her objective opinion.
✅ 3. Know your company policies ⚡️– Ask your HR about your rights and your company bullying policy. Take an effort to know the reporting procedure and follow if there is a situation for it.
✅4. Know your rights 🔥 – Research what your rights are and learn about inappropriate behavior, rules, policies and legislation that may be helpful. You’d be surprised that the more familiar you’re with your rights, the better your chances of success in the situation.
✅ 5. Keep log or journal of your situation 📌 – Evidence is what you will benefit from. This includes keeping a log/journaling of events to be able to be clear of what’s is going on. If you need to remember particular time and situation, having a record will add credibility to your claim of bullying. Once you have a dairy/journal, use it to describe the situation to you HR manager
✅ 6. Get support ☀️– share the situation to someone who is trustworthy. Don’t ignore what has happened or is happening. If you are challenged to handle the situation or don’t know what to start with, find what time works for you to book a no pressure call to create together simple actions and realistic goals that can facilitate your success with the situation and get over being bullied.
✅ 7. Carve out time for yourself ⭐️ (externally and internally)💥 – keep a healthy lifestyle beyond your job to cope with the stress you are experiencing at work. Be physically active, get a 8 hours of sleep, spend time outdoors with people you love, eat a balanced diet and start intermittent fasting. Get in touch with your body and be present for 100% with your family or job at a time. Practice internal work - gratitude, journaling, reflection on your goals, visualization of your dreams coming true.
✅ 8. Know when to quit 💥 – if there is no way for your case to be resolved to your benefit, consider your options for quitting. Have no false expectations that your bully may change overnight. Any drastic and real-life changes take time. Define internally what you have control over and what not. Any bully’s willingness to accept that they have a challenge is extremely unlikely as well their desire to work on it. Accept your limits about changing the environment where you’re in and do the best of what you can. 💥 Knowing your worst-case scenario is a way to handle it. You’re the boss to decide to leave your job or take your chances for a heavy long-term fight with the person bullying you.