Is a strong manager a bully?

Great to see that bullying in the workplace is falling (Personnel Today, 1 November).

No-one should be made to feel victimised at work. However, what bothers me is just what we now define as bullying.

The distinction between strong management and bullying has basically disappeared.

I don’t consider myself to be a bully, but now I’ve been told to watch myself just for questioning whether sickness absence and low output is something that should be tolerated – “Ooh, but they’ve had a terrible six months since the death of their cat…”

But what infuriates me the most is that when people think they are being bullied, they often say nothing about it. It’s not like we live on the Russian Steppes, ruled by a Mongol Horde. There are so many laws, regulations and do-gooding commissions to support the victims that anyone who thinks that they are trapped by bullies is either stupid or cowardly.

For crying out loud, have the guts to say something to someone who is bullying you. There’s so much legislation out there that by rights, they should be terrified of you.

They say nice guys finish last. This simply isn’t true. Weak, scared people finish last – and there’s no excuse for it other than their own inadequacies.

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