Let the bully go… your team will thank you


An engineer asked his manager: “how do you deal with a bully at work?”

Manager: “please define a bully.”

engineer: “A bully is someone who belittles, puts down, challenges, criticizes others. A bully treats people as less of a human-being. A bully can backstab others, telling good things in front of them but constantly spreading lies behind their back.”

Manager: “Hmm, I never had to work directly with a bully myself so I don’t really know.”

engineer: “Has there been anyone in your team who fits one of characteristics of a bully as I described?”

Manager: “Yes, there was one guy who bullied people. He was brought to my attention. After awhile, I let him go as it didn’t work out.”

engineer: “Was he a top performer?”

Manager: “No.”

engineer: “What if he’s your top performer?”

Manager: “I will either let him work alone or let him go. A bully is a bully is a bully. If I don’t act on him, other people will think that I approve of his behaviors. He will become a bigger bully. I make it clear to everyone around me that I tolerate no brilliant jerk and I really mean it.”

engineer: “What if he doesn’t report to you, he’s a top performer, he’s his boss’s favorite? ”

Manager: “That’s a tough situation. However, a bully is a bully is a bully. He will drive down productivity. I will talk to him, his boss, his boss’s boss, and HR till he’s no longer a bully in front of me, my team, and my colleagues.”

Manager: “By the way, if a boss tolerates a brilliant jerk, that boss is most likely a jerk too.”

The engineer walks away enlightened as he’s glad he works for someone who knows how to deal with a bully at work. He also understands why people like to work for his manager.

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