High performance leadership – How to spot a potential bully at the interview stage

I found the below article very disappointing to read. I dislike workplace bullies and encourage my clients to discover whether a team member has these traits as soon as possible.

Operating under fear

Bullies believe fear is a powerful motivator. Under fear employees may improve their results however this is usually short-term as your best and most valuable employees will be looking elsewhere for another job.

Bullies also kill the “team spirit” the camaraderie that is vital to the long-term success of any business. Long-term business success has long-term employees

It starts with the interview

You never really know what someone is like until you see how they respond to pressure. People can be “nice” during an interview for a job; they usually have some type of mental script that they say during their interviews. I sometimes support my clients in attending potential employee interviews and it’s my job to ask the “tough” questions, questions that the applicant would not be expecting and that apply some pressure.

We always choose employees based on their character first, these kind of habits are not always easy to see. We are looking for employees who are well mannered, enthusiastic, enjoy working in a team and love learning. I advise clients to apply pressure during the interview, whether that’s through questions or asking the applicant to complete a task, that would be part of the job during the interview.

Probation or trial periods are important

I also asked my clients to have a 6-month probation clause in their workplace agreements so that if they find an employee is unsuitable then it is much easier to terminate their employment, you will need to review the employee workplace laws that are applicable to your jurisdiction before putting in similar clauses.

Remember, it’s easy to employ but usually difficult to terminate unsuitable employees so make the interview “friendly” but “tough”.

Bullying doesn't get results

There is absolutely no need to bully or intimidate employees to lift their performance and results, I have trained many leaders in how to motivate, engage and drive employee performance and results and have seen much greater, long-term success this way.  

For detailed information on how to conduct interviews and much more on high performance leadership, check out my  online business coaching programs. 

"One in three workers has been sworn or yelled at on the job, according to research"

Source: The Courier-Mail

BOSSES are refusing to discipline badly behaved, incompetent or lazy staff because they are scared of being accused of bullying. And it’s not just angry, autocratic bosses being labelled bullies, stressed-out and laid-back managers are also under fire.

New research presented to a federal parliamentary inquiry has shown one in three workers has been sworn or yelled at on the job, while 6 percent have been assaulted or threatened, and almost one in four workers have felt humiliated in front of others.

One in five has reported “discomfort” due to sexual jokes, one in 10 has felt unfairly treated due to their gender and one in 20 has suffered an unwanted sexual advance.

Workers’ compensation agency Comcare told the workplace bullying inquiry, ordered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the number of “mental harm” claims lodged by federal bureaucrats surged 30 percent in three years, with payouts soaring to an “unsustainable” $46 million a year.

“Anecdotal evidence shows many managers are afraid to engage in performance management action due to fear of being labelled a bully,” Comcare said.

The Public Service Association of South Australia, the only state whose workplace health and safety laws specifically address bullying, wants to tone down the terminology to “inappropriate behaviour”.

“Bullying … is a very emotive word and almost like being referred to as something akin to a paedophile,” the union’s assistant general secretary, Nev Kitchin, told the inquiry.

Aboto workplace psychology group founder Moira Jenkins has blamed both stressed-out and laid-back bosses for bullying.

Anxious managers could become “autocratic”, she told the inquiry, while nervous workers could interpret a simple failure to say “hello” as a threat.

But “very slack or laissez-faire” managers were also feeding workplace bullying by failing to properly supervise workers, provide feedback or address performance or behaviour problems.

And she said some workers “might invite bullying” by blowing the whistle on bad behaviour, challenging their bosses or working harder than their colleagues.

“During times of change there may be greater job insecurity, uncertainty and lack of autonomy as changes are implemented,” Dr Jenkins said.

“Workers may be less likely to complain about inappropriate behaviours for fear of losing their jobs.”

Almost one in 10 public servants complained of bullying.

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