They intimidate, manipulate, degrade and humiliate. They cost the country billions of dollars in lost productivity and cause stress, anxiety and depression in their victims.
While academics research and write papers on ways to deal with workplace harassment, Jacob Galea from GCorp Consulting , is tackling the problem head on, drawing on his extensive martial arts training to formulate a unique method for stopping workplace bullies in their tracks. As satisfying as it would be for the victim to let fly with a few karate chops, Jacob’s method does not involve physical violence against the aggressor but instead uses the martial arts techniques of mental clarity, confidence and inner stillness to empower the victim.
“Whether it is in the schoolyard or in the workplace a bully is nearly always someone who feels weak, inadequate and inept,” Jacob explained, “they seek to disguise their own inadequacies in the job by blaming, intimidating and undermining their target, who is usually someone they have power over.
“One of the most important aspects of my method is to identify for the victim the true nature of the bully. To make them understand that the bully is not someone powerful but actually someone who is very weak.”
According to Jacob, in martial arts, a person who is mentally strong will be able to defeat a physically stronger opponent and the same applies when facing up to a bully. “We teach techniques to quell the panic and stress that bullying produces so that the victim can approach the problem calmly and with a clear head. We also work on building up their confidence which has usually been greatly undermined by the bullying attacks,” Jacob said.
Jacobs’s Top Tips to combat workplace bullying:
- Remind yourself constantly that it is the bully who is weak and inadequate not you
- Keep a clear record of attacks including all emails, memos and phone calls. This will help establish a pattern of abuse.
- Remain professional at all times. Don’t be provoked into responding with violence.
- Continue to be yourself and don’t let them sense any fear.
- Keep calm and look after your own health and wellbeing. Make sure you eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise.
- Be open and unafraid to speak out. Tell colleagues you trust what is happening and get support from higher management