Workplace Bullying Training – Links between Aggression, Bullying and Harassment

Workplace harassment

Learning to understand and manage aggression is part and parcel of workplace bullying training. It is important to focus on aggression as harmful behaviour exists on a continuum. It is essential to spot the early stages of unacceptable behaviour, in its various forms, as soon as possible.

This allows for reporting and intervention by appropriate people with the potential of averting behaviour escalation as perpetrators increase in confidence that damaging acts towards others will not have negative consequences for them.

Early Warning

The continuum starts with the bully undermining the primary basis of any constructive relationship. There is discourtesy and disrespect. Intimidation moves towards harassment and bullying. There is always the potential for retaliation, verbal abuse and even physical violence at the extreme end of the spectrum.

 Workplace harassment prevention training therefore signposts the red flags to ensure victims can safeguard themselves meaningfully as soon as indications emerge.

Once we know that aggression can be overt or covert, direct or indirect and happen without provocation, we are no longer surprised by the variety in the onslaught that might be experienced. 

Help at Hand

Given that there is often a real or perceived power imbalance with bullying and harassment, it is key that victims do not allow abusers to gather increasing power from them. Often there is the ability to counterbalance abusive power within the workplace if organizations have clear policies and procedures for people encountering this. The combination of power and aggression can be daunting to deal with, but assertiveness and confidence in using the resources available to protect oneself will provide relief.

When we deal with aggression it is always important to stand one’s ground and be clear on one’s response to the threat. Bullying prevention training online is a useful resource in this regard as behavioural strategies and responses can be discussed and shared. Online we are exposed to best practice, role models and potential anticipatory scenarios. A lot of “what if’s” can be dealt with from other experiences to prepare us for the unexpected and shocking.

Establishing support networks via anti-harassment training online is a proactive measure. Networking with others who have first hand knowledge and experience of aggression, bullying and harassment helps to reclaim power more swiftly as victims are never isolated. The advice can be sorted and options examined.

Preparation is key in dealing with any potential unwanted behaviour. During the early stages in any relationship it is important to set limits and boundaries. This needs to be done professionally and calmly wherever possible. Workplace bullying training ensures that emotionally, psychologically and behaviourally we have the right responses not only in a crisis, but well before they arise. This advanced training will also enable us to react quickly, consistently and effectively to overcome whatever is presented. Being trained allows one to keep a cool head and rationally assess what is the next mature right move depending on the degree and type of bullying and harassment faced.

Let us remember that a continuum is a “continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct”. It is therefore essential that we interrupt the sequences and break the chain of destruction that aggressive bullying and harassment create. 

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