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Are your leaders contributing to bullying?

by | Sep 18, 2020

Over  40% of employees leave their workplace due to bullying and 47% report workplace issues as a source of stress.  The question is are your leaders contributing to bullying in your organization?

Research reveals that two thirds of managers believe that a lack of management skills is the major factor contributing to bullying.

The line between a leader and a bully can be a fine one. In fact, powerful leaders and bullies share many of the same qualities, which tend to be:

  • Assertive
  • Confident
  • Competitive
  • Determined
  • Charismatic
  • Independent
  • Manipulators

Deciding if your leader is a bully or not is not all that hard. Leaders and bullies have a lot in common as what we have seen by the 7 characteristics above but they do differ in two very important ways that is Respect and Compassion.

Leaders care about others  – Bullies don’t

I hear you say that you would expect all of your workers to have these two traits and I would agree with you.

How have you communicated this to your leaders and workforce, where is it written. Do you have Mission, Vision and Values, how are they communicated? These are the basis for communicating the culture for your organisation.

Here is a snapshot to ascertain quickly whether your leaders are bullies or not

Above are just some of the many traits that make a successful leader but what if your leaders have the traits of the bully.

Effective leaders and managers get results working with people, but there is a difference between the ‘boss’ and the leader. There are those that when appointed as the manager appoint themselves as the ‘boss’ neglecting the fundamental function of their role to be a leader. To be a truly effective leader or manager one must make appropriate use of their granted authority and earned power.

Being appointed to these roles does not automatically make the manager or leader effective, leaders earn the respect for the authority from the people they supervise. It’s not a popularity contest, tough decisions will need to be made.

A leadership quote from ~ Colin Powell “Leadership is solving problems. “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Ask then could you take your problems to a ‘boss’ bully …..

If you don’t want the leaders of your organisation to be bullies, let’s teach them how to act today in a responsible and professional way that encompasses Respect and Compassion.

Maureen Kyne



Maureen Kyne

Maureen is a leading authority in workplace bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination. With qualifications and a career spanning nursing, manufacturing, construction, transport, HR, IR & WHS she brings wide-ranging experiences.

Having lived and worked in both regional towns and capital cities, Maureen understands the economic and workplace pressures faced across diverse environments from harvesting sheds in farming communities to metropolitan corporate boardrooms.

Maureen presents with a warm demeanour and easy conversational style yet is fearless in raising the issues most prefer to avoid. Whether wearing a prevention, detection or correction bullying hat, Maureen knows how to peel back the layers and get to the root cause of the toughest and most complex situations.

Respect drives change and as a confidante and training facilitator Maureen will do what it takes to save lives and build better futures.


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