Do you bully your co-worker? Take this quiz to find out
Bullying in the workplace is more subtle than stealing your colleague's lunch money or pulling your junior's pigtails.
Do you often make your junior fetch you your mail or coffee, even though it's not part of their job?
a) No. It is not their job so why should I?
b) Yes, a junior is meant to take over the tasks their superior doesn't want to do or is too busy to.
A subordinate comes to you because they feel they are being overworked. How would you respond?
a) I would talk to them and advise them on how to time manage or delegate.
b) Tell them to suck it up. We've all been there!
You're the head of a team project but someone has goofed up along the way. Your boss brings it up. You...
a) Own up. It was my project and I should have been more careful.
b) Tell my boss exactly who goofed up and how they should be fired.
Do your co-workers or juniors ever challenge your ideas or offer better solutions to issues?
a) Yes — we have very open lines of communication.
b) No — but then again I can't help it if I have the best outlook.
You and a co-worker went head to head on an important project. Does that change your daily attitude towards them?
a) No. We still exchange pleasantries.
b) Yes. The less I see of them, the better.
You often hold early morning meetings or late night meetings because they fit into your lifestyle?
a) No. I try to make meetings convenient for everyone.
b) Why not? I'm in charge.
You do not like a particular colleague and go out of your way to discourage other colleagues from hanging out with him or her.
a) No. Everyone is capable of forming their own opinions.
b) Yes. I think everyone should be grateful for the heads up.
When coming to you for information or advice, how do your colleagues talk to you?
a) Casual and informal. Sometimes over a coffee.
b) It's quick and to the point.
Mostly As: You (and your coworkers) can breathe a sigh of relief. You're not a bully and have respect for all your colleagues – even though you may not even like them. You have a professional attitude and your coworkers are free to raise doubts and give their opinions in front of you because you're not going to shoot them down just because you're their senior. Working in an open and courteous environment is the best way for business to flourish.
Mostly Bs: You probably don't even realise it, but you're a bully. Surrounding yourself with yes men, doing things only your way, clouding people's judgment and making co-workers do things for you just because they can, are all signs of your dominating nature. You may think you're taking charge, but with a ‘my way or the highway' attitude, you're actually alienating your colleagues. Learn to loosen up and be flexible.