Workplace Bullying Tactics and Examples

Bullying can take many forms. Generally, bullying is any behavior that is unwelcome, offensive, inequitable, unsolicited or objectionable. Bullying can be physical, psychological, verbal, sexual or racial. Below are a few types of workplace bullying:

Threats to Personal Standing

    Spreading rumors, hurtful gossip or innuendo
    Yelling, name-calling, mocking, insulting or ridiculing
    Unwanted physical contact or physical gestures that intimidate or threaten
    Invalid or baseless criticism
    Accusatory or threatening statements
    Faultfinding or unwarranted blaming
    Displaying offensive photos or objects
    Temper tantrums, mood swings, shouting
    Humiliation, public reprimands or obscene language
    Ganging up against a co-worker
    Aggressive posturing

Threats to Professional Standing

    Denying access to resources, assignments, projects or opportunities
    Stealing or taking credit for another’s work
    Interfering with someone’s work performance
    Failing to return phone calls or messages
    Little or no feedback on performance
    Withholding information essential to perform one’s job
    Toxic e-mails
    Flaunting status

Control or Manipulation Tactics

    Failing to invite someone to an essential meeting
    Threatening job loss
    Excessive monitoring or micro-management
    Assigning tasks that cannot be completed by deadline; setting unrealistic goals
    Interference or sabotage
    Ignoring a coworker with the intent to harm or control.
    Treating a worker differently than peers and co-workers
    Ostracism, isolation, dissociation or exclusion from others
    Refusal to take responsibility
    Excessive, impossible, conflicting work expectations or demands
    Inequitable and harsh treatment
    Other objectionable behavior designed to torment, isolate, pester or abuse


For additional information on bullying, check out the following resources: