When this happens, the worker is wise to both recognize the potential damage that will come from such an action, and to respond as non-aggressively and discretely as possible. But the worker who responds swiftly and assertively to managerial abuses is very often the worker who is swiftly and assertively mobbed. To limit this aggression, do not discuss managerial abuses with coworkers or others associated with the workplace, and keep any formal responses brief, factual, and non-threatening. Another way that denial manifests itself is for the worker to become emotionally numb if not shocked.
This response is particularly likely the more harsh and flagrant the managerial action. This response can be especially debilitating, preventing the worker from focusing, and often plunging the worker into a state of deep depression. If you find yourself in a state of shock or numbness, get help from a mental health professional quickly so that you can withstand the intensifying aggression to come—because it will.
But this is precisely the stage that a mobbing manager most delights in, because this is the point where workers, who feel powerless in the face of managerial attacks, look crazy, if not dangerous. The angry worker is a scary worker, and coworkers will avoid them. Gossip will shift from what management has done to the worker, to what the worker might do to them. Any threats of revenge , retaliation, or even a threat to see a lawyer and seek justice, can quickly be viewed as threats of violence once gossiping tongues start wagging. There is also a legal reason an abusive organizational leadership might provoke a worker toward this stage.
If the worker has a potentially legitimate claim of retaliation for filing a grievance related to a protected status or action, such as discrimination , sexual harassment or whistle-blowing, it is illegal for management to retaliate. But it is legal for management to terminate the employee for any action that constitutes legitimate grounds for termination—such as making threats to the workplace. Bargaining When it comes to death and dying, we often try to bargain with God, knowing the odds are usually stacked against us.
But when it comes to mobbing, we are often confident that we can reason with our employers. If management has made a public renunciation of a worker and done nothing to intervene to stop gossip and workplace abuse against a worker, they will be deaf to reason. The more evidence that is presented that they are in the wrong, the more they will be determined to prevail. The more desperate they see the worker is to end the aggression and move on, the more confident they will be that they are winning.
And the more aggressively the mob is becoming in fueling a hostile work environment, the more certain management will be that the worker is deserving of the treatment. Depression The depression associated with mobbing can be debilitating, and it can hit while still on the job, and commonly, becomes profound after job loss. In addition to mental health treatment, there are a number of coping strategies that can help prevent the acute depression associated with mobbing from turning into chronic and serious depression.
Exercise, comedy, community service, travel, and cognitive therapies are all excellent for alleviating acute depression, which in time can mitigate or prevent chronic depression. Yet it is the first stage to true healing, and thus the most important. The earlier one reaches the stage of acceptance and removes themselves from proximity to the mob, the faster and greater the recovery both psychologically and professionally. By reflecting on these stages of grief, both mobbing targets and their coworkers can gain insights into what is going on and respond accordingly.
To coworkers, if a worker who is being targeted by management for elimination acts strangely or appears mentally unstable, consider these stages and how their behaviors might appear strange, but are actually normal responses to abnormal stressors, and they are temporary. To the mobbing target, first identify the stage you are in, and then know that this stage will pass.
The external situation may remain adverse, and in most cases, will even worsen in many respects. But the emotional state you are in is temporary, and psychological recovery is possible regardless of the material losses. For those who find themselves stuck in a stage, however, recovery may be distant. The most common stages where the mobbing target freezes are anger and depression. There is every reason to be furious if you have been mobbed, and every reason to be profoundly depressed if you have lost your job and not found a comparable new one, and especially if you have been shunned.
But no matter how justified your emotional responses, always remember that you cannot heal until you address the stage that you are in, and reach the state of acceptance which allows you to transcend the painful past and restore your mental and emotional health. But for all who say that bullying and mobbing destroy a person, I answer, only if you let it. Let yourself be healed so that you can give to the world your own unique gifts, skills, and personality. To give into the rage or the depression, is to join the mob against you. Heal yourself. Only then will you begin to get your life back, and it may well be a far richer and more rewarding life than you ever knew before.
Well done Janice. This is another excellent article. The psychological damage from mobbing is enormous. I was a police officer for 11yrs, when I became a victim of mobbing that lasted over 3yrs. Numerous supervisors and upper managers engaged in this evil gang attack, and everything imaginable was done to me. I barely survive the attack and to this day I'm still suffering. I'm refuse to give in and will fight until it's recognize in Memphis Tn. One Sgt. It will only get worse. I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through.
Law enforcement and fire fighting are two professions with high rates of mobbing. Due to the danger workers face in both professions, allegiance to the group is crucial. Yet the flip side is that it doesn't take much to be excluded from the group. Once marked as a "threat" to the group, or as an outsider, the group quickly unites against the targeted colleague. In both professions, law enforcement and fire fighting, once someone is shunned and mobbed, they're at great risk because they can find themselves in dangerous situations, but their coworkers may fail to back them up when needed--or may even put them in those dangerous situations.
I do hope you recover soon, and if you haven't already read it, I urge you to read my book, Mobbed! It contains several chapters on how to protect yourself that may be helpful. That is a really interesting answer. I always thought too with government jobs there was more bullying because politicians like cover ups when things go wrong, so they don't necessarily want the most ethical people working for them, they want people with maleable values. The politicians quite often forget that if they accept cultures like these, everything spirals downwards and they may be on the receiving end of a serious issue in the future due to a problem with one of these departments.
I think if you have people with maleable values they can be easily manipulated and staff choose to follow other staff's behaviour and this is how departments can end up with bad apples. I was shocked that at a hospital that I worked in, they did not fire nurses who had done illegal things. I don't believe you should just forgive people in such circumstances, I think there needs to be serious repercussions for them to learn.
That place was a rat hole. I don't think laws will help. If they didn't have to have a "file" then they would just fire in one day. We need people to stand up against this by telling others about which companies do this stuff. Once people know which ones are the companies to avoid, companies will have to fix these issues so they can attract good talent! I personally was mobbed twice and both times I quit quickly and wrote terrible reviews for them on Glassdoor, telling others not to go work for those companies!! How did you get referee reports Gla. I did like you, I wrote a review about a company that had no intention of being fair towards me.
They forget that people can review their company. Your post was in I'm writing this May, I'm working in a law enforcement environment, now. Not as an officer, however. I hope the years since your posting you have looked into hate crime laws in your state. There needs to be government bodies to deal properly with mobbing managers.
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These government bodies need to ask to see all the evidence as to why someone is being mobbed. Companies who let their managers do this need to be heavily fined. The government should be onto this, because it means people needs financial support from the government while not working. It also quite often dumbs down an organisation when good workers are forced out of their jobs and in turn it does have an effect albeit a small affect on the economy - mind you if this is happening at a number of companies then obviously the bigger effect on the economy because things do not run as smoothly as they could do and if you get rid of intelligent people from companies they can not contribute very good ideas.
The damage is enormous and it amazes me how other people are blinded to this fact you point out. Thanks, Dr. It was a terrifying period in my life, and it has taken me years to recover I had to change careers. Importantly, women need to identify mobbing while it is happening to them I was not aware of the word "mobbing", or what it meant, until long after I was out of the job.
Mobbing is a scourge on our society, and victims need to fight back. Keep up the good work. At a workplace in which nowadays women have already arrived at the leading positions I've been bullied by female bosses even harder and more enduring than by men. Even if there were male bullies their actions have been covered by their female bosses as if they should be the ones to do the dirty jobs. But it seems like a taboo to me to speak out about it. In organizations lead by women they are treated as untouchable. If you state the facts as a man you are in danger of being stigmatized both as male aggressor and as whiny.
I spent my career in HR. Women are bigger bullies than men, at least to other women. I witnessed women being hateful to one another over and over again. Thankful I had the experience and a master's degree and it was relatively easy for me to find other well-paying jobs, at least until my early fifties. I am retired now and so very thankful. I have written a book that addresses the seriousness of workplace mobbing in the courtroom setting and how friends in positions of authority help each other out.
Mobbing is employer-facilitated harassment. Your article describes my experience.
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Besides being shunned by a few people, I was not aware of a mob of haters forming until I was informed by someone in management that I was disliked. I performed excellently and was pleasant from day one. I was told by one of the managers that one of the mobbers was threatened by my presence. Turns out someone in management was too and this person in management gave all the favorites the go to shun me, refuse to cooperate with me, hide things I needed to get my job done, withhold training from me so that I'd have to struggle and beg for info, get loud and nasty with me.
Going to HR just made matters worse and they gave me their own little jabs of nastiness while defending management. I don't think they even investigated. If they did, none of my coworkers made mention to me of it. This is becoming common practice in workplaces. Something needs to be done legally. Good people's reputations are being significantly impaired and their economic situations endangered.
For no reason other than they were not "liked" by someone.
Not because they did something wrong or are bad characters. This mobbing is not in our best interest as a society. I'm sorry to hear you had to go through a mobbing. You are right that good people are having their reputations and finances impaired for no better reason than someone didn't like them.
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Hopefully raising awareness will, if not stop the mobbing, at least better prepare targets for what's up ahead and how to limit the damage. Laws, unfortunately, are never the magic cure. That is not to say that we don't need them--there is certainly room for better legal remedies for mobbing targets--but mobbing so often happens as a consequence of workers pursuing their legal rights such as reporting discriminatory practices, misconduct, ethical breaches or sexual harassment. Ironically, reporting mobbing can lead to even more mobbing, and trying to seek justice in the courts can invite profound injustice.
Let's hope that changes as more people understand what mobbing is and why and how it transpires. Until then, thank you for sharing your story and I do hope the mobbing has stopped or you have gotten away from it. My own story is quite similar to yours.
I've experienced the consequences of being not liked by someone three times. This situation develops particularly if you perform in a certain way very good as a beginner, i. At the same time I could watch some friends of mine making a good career simply by being liked by someone in power at some critical instants of time. I wouldn't believe this if I weren't been hyped as well by some boss several times in a quite irrational or unreasonable way. Hi, I am experiencing it right now. It is equal to grieving.
And those who are doing it are a team of psychologists and social workers lead by the head clinician. God have I slaved to please them all. I so much loved my job, now I dread going there Oh my goodness Sandra so sorry , I recently got fired from public mental health who h was refreshingly relieving. It gets better trust me I nearly had 2 breakdowns while in fiield. I so agree with your intelligent statement. People who mob are like wild animals going in for the kill. This year, even the flatland sites will get a workout. The Thunder in the Rockies biker rally, expected to attract up to 50, riders, will flood campgrounds in two-wheelers Sept.
The stages of grief may help mobbing targets identify and heal their own losses.
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