Honestly, I was afraid to tell my story of dealing with workplace bullying. Fearful of being ridiculed I remained silent for years. As I sought to transition into a career as an author, I tried to write about my transformation without sharing the full extent of my experience.
My editor helped me to see the importance of being transparent by allowing my readers to learn about my story. I found my voice to speak my truth, which not only strengthened me, but encouraged others.
Writing about my ordeal proved to be therapeutic. I soon realized the serverity of being a target of workplace bullying. Known as the silent epidemic, workplace bullying is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as, “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.” It is abusive behavior that is intimidating, threatening or humiliating. Other actions include verbal abuse, work sabotage and work interference.
I withstood what 65 million other American workers have either witnessed or endured according to the 2014 Workplace Survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute. Based on the survey, fifty-six percent (56%) of workplace bullying perpetrators are bosses, while thirty-three (33%) are co-workers.
Although, only thirty-one (31%) percent of perpetrators are women, sixty-eight (68%) percent of their targets are other women. I realized that speaking out about my experience was one way to impact this trend of bullying in the workplace by women.
I was bullied by supervisors and co-workers throughout my professional career. Work sabotage such as misplaced reports and intimation were a part of the work environment. Co-workers who alienated me because I did not share the same point of view on projects began to take its toll.
However, when I noticed a change in my naturally upbeat disposition, I knew something had to change. Instead of focusing on the perpetrators, I conducted a personal assessment to identify my strengths and weaknesses.
In addition, I learned to release negative energy by confessing my true feelings to God in prayer. Forgiveness was my ticket to freedom from the negative energy that entwined me. Once I began to see the transformation, others within my office also took notice. I positioned myself to become a change agent as opposed to simply a target.
Sharing my process to combat the detrimental impacts of bullying became a priority. Once the opportunity of writing for the Resilience book presented itself, I knew God provided the right platform for me to publish my story. The 11 other women contributors have beat the odds to overcome insurmountable obstacles in their lives. We all provide practical strategies to deal with negativity and design plans of actions for personal growth. My transform had to be shared with others living in the fear of losing their jobs because of co-workers and supervisors who are perpetrators.
Learning from our life experiences is a major part of personal growth. However, sharing those experiences with others is a powerful way to impart wisdom to the future leaders following in our footsteps.
About the Authors:
Metro Detroit, Michigan