Mobbing in the workplace.
So… you are a newbie, and you start with all the good intentions in this company you applied your CV to some months ago. You are full of dreams and want to show your best self; however, after some months, you realize the management is against you and want you out. That is mobbing in the workplace.
Deep inside, you know what the real reasons are, but no one admits them.
In the end, you do not want conflict anymore, and you quit.
They achieved their goal; they took you out. Are you happy now?
My answer is: Either you stand your ground and get respected in the company, or you go out by taking some people with you. They should pay.
Let us see why someone is against a good-hearted talented young man or woman like you—the real reasons, not the bullshity ones.
The reasons that spark mobbing in the workplace.
1.You are better than me, and I see you as a threat.
Although not admitted, probably also not realized, you‘ve been seen by your manager as a threat to him. He sees you as someone who will either take him out of business or diminish him in front of his colleagues and team. Your skills, your physical appearance, your social background and status, your knowledge, all of them are perceived as a threat. His goal is to effectively take you out of the role, designate you as a failure, and interpret your actions and assumptions on the way to diminish you. Often backed up from the sleazy guys that kiss his ass to get a promotion.
2. Social envy
I come from a low-class family, and I envy guys like you; therefore, I will make you pay now that I have the opportunity. I will prove to the company, most importantly to myself, what a loser you are so that I can feel a little bit better about my miserable life. Social envy gets the opportunity to pay back.
3. I don’t know the business.
I don’t understand the business; therefore, I do not understand what you are saying, and I feel that if I put my ego by side, I will look not competitive to the rest. I stubbornly continue my message and insist on “my way” of doing things only because I cannot admit I don’t know the business.
4. My previous experience blocks me.
I carry the experience of my previous work, and I think all works function the same way. A good friend of mine, owner of a prestigious jewelry shop in Athens, told me that he always hired salespeople who do not have prior experience in sales from other jewelry stores. It proved they were operating not the way he wanted them to work. He preferred 0 experience over the other shops’ experience. Is a valid argument. The same applies to management positions.
5. I am the local guy.
Local brought up on a global world. I know only my country, my customs, and my culture; therefore, I assume the whole world thinks and acts the same way. Even worst in this scenario is when I read books about other cultures, tribes, and people and apply theoretical knowledge in practice. It is then when all gets messed up.
I studied the topic, did an MBA, and feel I can rock and roll in the business. It is like you read how to swim, but you never jumped in the water. However, the theory is good; practical experience needs to be there; without it all, the rest is simply dreams.
7. MBA kids don’t know.
On the contrary, I know the practical aspect of things, and I disregard the theory. I despise educated people because they don’t know what I know from practice. For a good reason, the world, unfortunately is more complex, and both theory AND practical experience need to be there. The problem with that kind of guys is that they are so small-minded that their ignorance makes them so confident.
8. Who is who?
All the deep scenarios newbies do not know. Who is who in the company? What is really expected from specific actions or non-actions, things you cannot know.
9. Diverge – from the general mentality.
Disrupting the convenience of doing things. Do not put more effort than the minimal effort and do not exceed expectations by far so that the bar is not going to be set higher.
10. I am simply a racist.
I am a racist, and I do not like you because you are Greek, black, Italian, gay, or whatever.
How to engage them? How to fight against mobbing in the workplace.
1. Forget middle-class politeness.
Those guys are counting on your middle-class politeness (on your bürgerliche Höfflichkeit) and take advantage of that; they count you will not respond or that your response will be measured and polite. Prove them wrong.
My answer is: Do not fall into this trap. Your response should say things exactly as they are and use “labeling” on the true reasons this person is attacking you. For example, if you sense that this person considers you a threat, then start your phrase with: It seems like, It sounds like…., It seems like you perceive me as threat because you do not have the educational background that I have.
It looks like you do not like me because you are a racist, and you do not like black people.
2. Go to the top.
Engage the upper management directly, with no remorse and no hesitation immediately. If the secretary is blocking you from speaking to him, search on the white pages and call him home. Escalate the situation, pursue an answer, go to the top and make a big issue. Be disruptive. Don’t play by the rules; they were the ones that first of all tried to screw you, no?
Skip the hierarchy. The hierarchy is there for regular issues; the hierarchy is not there if someone tries dirty tricks with you. Go directly to the top, let people get insulted, anyway it is their fault that allowed things to evolve that way; they should have known better; that is why they are managers.
What can go wrong? You might lose the confrontation, and you might lose your job. What is more important, your integrity or your career? Do you have what it takes? Easily said, I know, but its on you.
3. Raise your voice.
Present facts and proofs for your claims. If you cannot, again, do not hesitate, stand your ground, and raise your voice. Even if you can not prove something, it can not be that you react like this with no reason! People will hear you, and your point will stand, even if you can not prove it, and even if no actual consequences can be there, the other person will know you bite.
4. Be ready to lose and show people that.
Saving an existing situation that does not make you happy at all costs compromises you. Do not get me wrong, do not be super sensitive, and do let small things go. But remember, what you tolerate is what you get at the end. Be ready to lose and show that.