The Bully at Work | Gary Namie

Summary of: The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job
By: Gary Namie


In the summary of ‘The Bully at Work’ by Gary Namie, readers can anticipate insights into identifying and dealing with different types of bullies in the workplace. The summary delves into recognizing the tactics of the Constant Critic, the Two-Headed Snake, the Gatekeeper, and the Screaming Mimi, among others. Moreover, readers will learn strategies for confronting bullies and navigating the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being a target of workplace bullying. Throughout the summary, Namie asserts the importance of reclaiming one’s dignity and rising above the challenges posed by workplace bullies.

Recognizing and Responding to Workplace Bullies

The book highlights how bullies can come in varying forms and tactics in the workplace. It is essential to be aware of these tactics and know how to respond to them. Some bullies stick to one style, while others can vary their tactics depending on their mood. The key is to recognize each tactic and respond appropriately. The book empowers readers to deal with bullies at work by providing them with the tools to recognize and tackle bullying behavior effectively.

Dealing with a Constant Critic

This book excerpt explains the characteristics of a constant critic, who uses put-downs, insults, and name-calling to destroy a target’s self-confidence. The bully uses memos and emails to bury targets in correspondence and roasts personal aspects of a target’s life that aren’t related to job performance. To deal with such individuals, use humor and repeat words like “thank goodness!” silently to retain control and dignity. Alternatively, seek a second opinion to assess the accuracy of their comments. The author suggests sacrificing health and sanity for a paycheck doesn’t add up, indicating the importance of dealing efficiently with such bullies.

Beware of Workplace Bullies

Workplace bullies come in various forms, including the “Backstabber,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” and “No Problem, Don’t Bother” Snake. These passive-aggressive individuals pretend to be friendly but undermine their victim’s success. The author emphasizes that good employers will eliminate bullies, while bad employers promote them. To address the issue without facing the bully alone, the author suggests brainstorming with fellow targets. Ultimately, this highlights the importance of recognizing and responding to workplace bullying to create a healthy and productive work environment.

Confronting Workplace Gatekeepers

Workplace gatekeepers control resources and bully targets by cutting them out of the communication loop and making it hard for them to file complaints. To confront a gatekeeper, arrange a one-to-one meeting, express your concerns calmly and directly, and avoid making them feel defensive. If this doesn’t work, ask a colleague to initiate the conversation. Author and anti-bullying expert, Namie, stresses the need to address bullying as a daily occurrence affecting many people in the workplace.

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