Just this past week, I noted that there are times when we have to not get pulled into other people’s madness. In the workplace, in particular, one has to not get caught in other people’s drama. And as a boss, you often have to set an example and lead with compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. I often note that a great boss knows how to readily say “I’m sorry” and “thank you.” I believe all this down to my core.
I also know that there does often come a time when you just can’t be that nice. Some people will push you to your limits and if you let it go, it can be detrimental to your standing, staff productivity and staff morale. In particular, you cannot let bullies stand their ground. Bullies are toxic and spread their horror through the workplace with impunity. A good boss roots such toxicity out and doesn’t let it run rampant through the workplace veins.
I have seen bullies who love terrorizing others. These get a kick of making others squirm. I have seen bullies who are just inherently mean people. They really don’t set out to terrorize others they just are. I have seen bullies who believe that they are the smartest people in the room and thus do not allow for others to voice their thoughts and opinions. In some respects this latter group is the hardest to weed out since they may at times offer something worthwhile to the company but ay what price?
I recently had to deal with a few bullies. I tried to be nice at first. Then it became mission critical to stop them. Killing them with kindness wasn’t working and others were becoming demoralized. I pulled the bullies into a meeting and told them -no holds bar- that they were not nice, they didn’t need to like me but that they would respect me. They were in shock that I would be so bold. I sat there thinking of one of my favorite television shows called The 100 wherein warring clans demand that blood must have blood. In essence, there was no turning the other cheek. If blood is drawn then it must itself draw blood. This may sound a bit of a brutal metaphor for the workplace. However, it is fitting when all else has failed. At the end of the day, the bullies have to be dealt with and not allowed to continue in their bullying ways. Blood does, at times, demand blood.