Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Bullies Feedback

I met with my manager and she told me that some of my employees have complained to her and called me a bully. I think this is a ridiculous assertion that is the result of too many employees who need coddling and pampering. I am a strong and firm manager who expects hard work and results from his employees. Does that make me a bully today?

If others contend that you are a bully because you are strong and firm, then you have a right to hop onto your bully pulpit and proffer a challenge. There can be any number of situations that call for managers to use direct and decisive leadership strategies, and managers who do so do not automatically merit the bully label.

However, before you immediately assume that your manager has tagged you unfairly, take a look at the full range of your managerial behaviors. Although you are self-described as strong, firm, and results oriented, the real question is whether some bullying behaviors have crept into the package.

For example, your employees and manager will have good reason to describe you as a bully if any of the following terms sound like you: threatening, humiliating, screaming, taunting, belittling, insulting, assaulting, and intimidating. These behaviors do not belong in the workplace, and some managers display them and then try to package them under the heading of strong leadership.

Strong leadership is actually based on trust and respect for the employees. All of this means that your question is now best answered by you.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!