Definitions of a bully

March 14, 1997

The term "bullying" describes a range of behaviours from a persistent unwillingness to recognise performance, loyalty and achievement to repeated critical remarks and humiliating or overtly hostile behaviour, according to Tim Field, a consultant on bullying for 20 years.

He set up a Workplace Bullying Advice line in 1996 which took more than 700 calls in its first year. About 20 per cent of cases involve teachers, lecturers and educational administrators, and more than half reported bullies are women.

In his book Bully in Sight, out this month, Mr Field says: "Workplace bullying consists of the regular, daily use of these inappropriate behaviours for the purpose of gratification at the expense of others."

Management and bullying are often confused: "The primary purpose of managing is to motivate staff, minimise cost, achieve targets etc. However the primary, indeed sole purpose of bullying, is to make the bully feel good. The predictable pattern invariably ends with the victim hounded out of their job with physical and mental health impaired and professionalism discredited."

Bully in Sight is published by Success Unlimited, PO Box 77, Wantage, Oxfordshire. Free advice pack also available.

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