Dealing With Bullying on Your Team

Spotting and Stopping Bad Behavior

Bullying behavior isn't always easy to spot.

Marissa is one of your brightest, most talented, and ambitious team members.

However, over the last three months, she's taken a number of days off sick, and she's become distant, depressed, and anxious. The quality of her work has decreased drastically, and you're worried that she's looking for another job.

When you ask Marissa what's wrong, she's initially reluctant to answer your question. Eventually, she explains how a colleague is tormenting her with intimidating comments, isolating her from her colleagues, and spreading rumors about her.

You're shocked that something like this is happening in your team, and you can't believe that you haven't noticed it.

Bullying is more common than many people think, and its effect can be devastating. It has the power to reduce engagement, lower productivity, and destroy a team's morale.

In this article, we'll look at how you can identify bullying on your team, and we'll explore a step-by-step approach that you can use to deal with the situation.


In this article, we focus on dealing with bullying on your team. If you're the victim of bullying, see our article on dealing with bullying for tips and strategies that you can use to protect yourself.

The Bully Problem

The Workplace Bullying Institute defines bullying as "repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that can take one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse.
  • Offensive conduct or behaviors (including nonverbal behaviors), which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating.
  • Work interference – sabotage – which prevents work from getting done."

From the Workplace Bullying Institute website, reproduced with permission.

Bullying on your team may be obvious, but it can also be quite subtle. Some specific examples of bullying behavior include:...

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