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Workplace harassment

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Workplace harassment

Have you ever felt harassed or abused by your boss? How did you feel? What should you do? To answer these questions, we must first discuss something important.

Any human activity needs some stress or pressure to meet the objectives of the organization. However, there are times when these pressures become problematic and cause personal imbalances in the workplace.

The problem comes when organizations harden productive rhythms, creating a pressure cascade which is transferred to every member in the group. When someone says that he hates his boss, he means "I hate this organization". This may be due to the pressure that is submitted by the chiefs, who are victims of pressure from their superiors and they become cooperators to produce the organization, and generates a state known as "mobbing". This term comes from the verb "to mob" which means being hit or attacked by the same crowd. In ethology, the term to mob was introduced by Konrad Lorenz to refer to the aggressive behavior of certain groups of animals in order to oust an intruder in their territory.

The first person to study the mobbing and psychological violence in the workplace was the German psychologist Heinz Leymann. In 1986, he discovered the damage that can result in the employee being exposed to hostile and prolonged behavior by superiors or colleagues.

Forms of abuse or harassment

  • Isolate coworkers, preventing communication between them.
  • Making disparaging comments to the person's appearance, beliefs or race.
  • Ridiculing the worker in front of others.
  • Harassing with sexual provocations.
  • Shouting and insulting people under your command.
  • Verbally threaten.
  • Systematically put into question the employee's job.
  • Not giving an assignment to a worker.
  • Disparaging systematically the work done by the subordinate.

When suffering from abuse

When this phenomenon occurs, it triggers the following factors, both internal and external:


Physical: Tension headaches, insomnia, cardiovascular, digestive and sleep disorders, and more.
Mental: Irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, difficulties with attention and concentration, and memory disturbances. In some cases the person can doubt of her/himself and feel inferior.

External or environmental

  • Decreases the amount and quality of the work.
  • Difficulty while working in teams and frequent absences from work.
  • The amount of people dissatisfied generates an unpleasant climate affecting both individuals and to the organization itself.
  • The distractions increase and therefore the risk of accidents caused by the carelessness and negligence is higher.
  • The frustrations are transferred to the relationship.

Put an end to harassment and workplace abuse

The solution to abuse or harassment at work is complex and requires a process of education and re-education, in order to identify the areas of your personality, being aware of your problems and identify and denounce your aggressor, to achieve mental and physical health needs.

In this way, you can get job satisfaction, efficiently meeting the objectives of the organization with the expected quality, without having to suffer abuse.

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Tags: headaches job strain labor abuse labour stress teamwork

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2 Reviews about Workplace harassment
on 25/07/2014
I've never experienced any sort of sexual or overt mental harassment from any employers or coworkers. It does seem a trend, however, in the States, that people just have nasty, mean, manipulative attitudes. I've always been very sensitive to people's moods, and it's hard for me not to feel bad when someone is mean to me - which is why I've gone into working from home. I don't like dealing with crazy people, and I surround myself with people I want to be with...who aren't crazy!
on 09/02/2013
Suffering from inter-personal problems at work can be something that really affects someone?s life and the entire job environment. So, these problems must be fixed by the proper conversation between workers and bosses and hiring an expert in work relationships like a psychologist. If you suffer from abuse, you should tell someone quickly!

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