I had the honor of presenting “Take the Bully by the Horns” at the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) convention in Detroit this past week. Many participants asked me to please share the handout as they said it gave them so many “I can use this TODAY” tips on what to say and do if someone is trying to control, intimidate or manipulate us – at work, at home, or in our community.
Please Note: This handout doesn’t have my backstory, the participatory exercises, or the real-life examples that illustrated each insight and contrarian recommendation, so it doesn’t have that all important context. However, I hope it gives you a head-start on speaking up for yourself so bullies no longer have the power to run or ruin your life - or undermine the success of your organization.
1. Are you dealing with someone who is trying to control, intimidate or manipulate you?
Take the “Are You Dealing with a Bully?” quiz to see if this person has a pattern of mistreating others and to determine if you’re dealing with a 5%’er.
Please think of a difficult person you deal with. How often does this person do the following behaviors - on a scale of 1 (rarely), 3 (sometimes), and 5 (often)?
If this person scores more than 30, you’re dealing with a bully – a 5%er.
2. Have you “tried everything” but win-win approaches don’t work? Please understand: 95% of people: 5% of people:
Win-win techniques work with 95%ers because they care what’s fair. They have a conscience and self-reflect or self-correct.
Win-win techniques backfire with 5%ers because they don’t care. They don’t have a conscience which means they don’t self-reflect and self-correct.
3. Realize they are THREE ways to improve the situation if you’re dealing with a 5%er.
“People treat us the way we teach them to treat us.” – author Jack Canfield
“Every time you point your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.” -Louis Nizer (This belief holds US accountable for the bully’s behavior.)
4. From now on do the opposite of your always. Being physically or psychologically crowded? Do NOT back down or back away.
5. Being blamed or accused?
“Our task is not to fix the blame for the past, it’s to fix the course of the future.” – JFK
6. Being teased?
“If we can laugh at it, we can live with it.” – Erma BombeckUnderstand this is a TEST. Come up with COMEBACKS.
7. Being controlled or manipulated?” “If you’re mean to me, I’m going to write about it, and you’re not going to like it.” – Taylor Swift
8. Being threatened?
“Human beings are blessed with a sixth sense that alerts us to dissonance and warns us of danger.” – Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear
9. Is your child being bullied? Understand school is about establishing a pecking order.
“You’re the weak one. You’ll never know friendship. I feel sorry for you.” – Harry Potter
10. Is this person making you miserable, stressing you out, driving you crazy?
“Hate in your heart will consume you.” – Will Smith
11. Want to initiate a bully-awareness-prevention program in your association/company?
“Just one habitually offensive employee critically positioned in your organization can cost you dearly in lost employees, lost customers, and lost productivity.” – Christine Porath, Christine Pearson, “The Price of Incivility” in Harvard Business Review
Plan of Action: What Next? How Will You Take Responsibility for Making Things Better?
“I stayed because I thought things would get better, or at least not worse.” – author Anna Quindlen, Black and Blue