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West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610.436.2800
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What is a Workplace Bully?


A workplace bully is an individual or group who repeatedly uses unreasonable behaviors against another individual or group through either or both verbal or nonverbal methods. A workplace bully can be anyone in the organization whether it be a leader, subordinate or peer.


Examples of workplace bullying include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following repeated behaviors:


Intentional Exclusion
Criticism without Valid Justification


Verbal Abuse

Treating an Individual(s) Differently
than others

Targeting an Individual(s)
for Practical Jokes

Sabotage of Work
Constant Monitoring




How a Bully Chooses its Target


It is common to think that a workplace bully will target someone they believe is weak; however most of the time that is not the case. More often than not, a bully will target someone they are jealous of or someone they view as a threat. Someone who is well-liked and good at their job is a classic example of someone a workplace bully will target. There is no exact indicator when a bully will choose a new target, but studies show that change is a common trigger for a new case of bullying. Examples include the bullies last target leaving the department or organization, a new hire/transfer/promotion, new leadership or a restructure within the organization.

    Bullying vs. Harassment

Both harassment and bullying are unwanted behaviors that can cause an individual to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. While both harassment and bullying seem the same, there are differences between them. Harassment is usually linked to prejudice or discrimination where bullying is more an attack against someone who is viewed as competent and popular regardless of race, gender, etc.  A target of harassment usually knows they are being harassed right away because the behavior consists of one or multiple significant incident(s). A target of bullying, may not realize they are being targeted for a long time because the behavior occurs from incidents that seem insignificant at the time.