Healthcare Event Tips: How to Deal With the ‘Bully’


It's important for you to stay and control yourself

The bully  is the person that you probably knew something like this when you were a kid and they were pushing people around. And on the job, once they spot a problem, they immediately react. They stop of another direction. Sometimes they don't consider anybody else's view point. They yell, scream, point fingers. And they constantly repeat the complaint. In other words, they're used to putting down other people. And they're predictive because they typically behave the same way each time. And they usually attack person who won't fight back. Let's see how we could tackle these people with the expert tips provided by our expert in one of the organization development audio conferences.

You see, most bullies are really cowards. And when you stand up to them -- which is one of the techniques we want to give you -- they often back off. They might fight you for a while but when they see you standing up to them, they will go find somebody else who won't stand up to them. They're not used to people standing up to them.

But their primary focus is something wrong, somebody is going to pay. And they believe the only way to fix this is to shout and scream and use public attack and punishment. They want to embarrass you in front of everybody so they put you down so they stand up. So that's the behavior of the bully.

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Now, how do you respond very carefully? Don't run away, just advise the tough guy who attack and confirm that his right. So, you don't want to challenges especially the tough guy is the boss. You want to remain calm but you got to hold your ground. Maintain eye contact. Acknowledge the problem and confirm your willingness to solve it.

Say, “(John), I realize the problem. I'll take care of it.” Or, “(Mary), I can see there's a problem. You're absolutely right. Let's talk about it now.”

But don't down play the importance to the public because they think there's a big thing. So, let them know it's a big thing. “Yes, you're right. We do need to take care of this.” But unless you’ve made a mistake, don't take the blame or apologize. Of course if it was your mistake, you need to say, “You're absolutely right. I made a mistake. I've got to fix this.” But if it wasn't don't take the blame for it.

And focus on what you're going to do next, not what you did wrong. “You're absolutely right. I didn't get to report to you on time when I should have done. Here's what I'm going to do. Instead of getting the report to you at 10 o'clock, I'm now going to set a goal for getting it to you at 5:00 pm the day before. Now, I'm going to ask you to check it over, blah, blah, blah, blah. And how does that sound to you?” In other words, come up what you're going to do, what actually you're going to take to correct the problem.

So, you typically get a bully as a take charge person. They want to see action. They don't want anybody by just saying, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” And you say, “I don't know.” They want someone. These are typically the control people. They want to know that you're in control or that they are in control.

But above all, make sure you still feel good about yourself. Remember, you're not the one who’s angry. You're not the one who is out of control. And the bullies are pushing other people and they're out of control emotionally. So, that's why it's important for you to stay and control yourself.

Let's talk about the hothead because sometimes they’re the same bully, but this person is just explosive anyway. Sometimes, they’re bully, they push but these people their emotions are out of control. They're erupt into them, emotional explosions, using without warning, they scream, run around, they're like children with tantrums, yelling, stumping, throwing things.

And you could be pretty certain, they've been doing this all their lives and getting away of it because other people have allowed them too, they're afraid of them, their parents let them do it. These people shouldn't have a spanking a long time ago or maybe they are too much spanking, who knows. But the fact is they were never taught to control their emotions.

So, they surround themselves with atmosphere of anxiety, fear, negative feelings. And they typically – they are storing the stuff, they keep it inside. These people are remembering the hurts and the anger that happened months, sometimes years ago.

So, what do you do? Our management expert mentioned it in one of the audio conferences that let them get it out or let them get out of their system. You stay calm and emotionless, don't criticize them, don't try to order them around and for goodness sake, don't touch them over in the fury.

But if they're not could be out of control, or they calm down you'll say, “I can see that you're upset.” Or, “I don't blame you for being upset.” Or you’re showing empathy. And when they're calm, ask them for the fact. Try to find out what triggered the explosion. If they start to explode again, let them calm down, go back and get the facts again.

Healthcare Training Tip: Try to find out the real issue. Find other ways to discuss. When did this happen? When you first notice that, were there other people involved? So, try to ask questions that probe for the cause of it. When the person calms down, you may want to ask the person to go for a cup of coffee in the cafeteria and say let's say, “Hey (John), I want to talk to you about something.”

And then, you might say something like this, “You know (John), you're really helpful. I know your engineering capability is outstanding. We really need you.” At the same time notice and then say, “But at the same time, sometimes you explode and sometimes you get so angry that it cause a problem for us. So, what can we do so we can talk and get the value of your knowledge without you getting explosive like this?”

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