Article by Manfred Kramer, based on an article on ‘Mobbing’ by Juergen Lux (Coach, Trainer), February 21, 2011
Mobbing has become a keyword today even though it has been around forever. History has taught us that at any given time humans suppressed or even got rid of fellow humans that were a danger to them – or just inconvenient.
Doubtless, mobbing adds enormous stress to those affected by it. Some flee from jobs they used to love, others endure the situation unable to figure a way out. “Every day was like going into battle. I never knew when the next bomb would be dropped. I was afraid to trust anyone for fear they were the enemy. My physical and mental reserves were depleted. I knew I had to have relief soon – but there was no letup,” said Diana. There are, however, ways on how to deal with mobbing once one has determined that he is a victim of mobbing.
What is mobbing?
A person is often singled out as being a negative influence on the work environment. Even though the person performs well in her office duties, she is indirectly excluded of the activities and decision making in office and business matters. That could also include wrongful accusations, conflicts of any kind, or even yelling and bullying. The source of this covert hostility is often impossible to detect, because there is one simple rule to observe: Usually, there is only one source that causes the wave of mobbing. Often it is the, or one of the superiors, or those that have the power or the staff.
We should determine to assign mobbing as a conflict for territory. This means that, mobbing is used by someone who feels his position of leadership is threatened. Often, the persons being mobbed are the ones having better qualifications or education, have more charisma than the instigator of the mobbing and hence are posing some danger for them. That includes any weaknesses in the character of the ‘mobber’ as well.
How does a ‘mobber’ proceed?
Mobbing is never executed directly or aggressively. Mostly, the mobber uses groups (‘mobs’) for his action. The ‘mobber’ uses the accumulative effect of many people that are instigated to carry out his intentions.
How can you deal with mobbing?
Experience has shown, that talking gives rarely good results. This lies in the fact, that many persons participate in mobbing, even if ever so slightly, and so no one really is responsible for it. Direct confrontation with the participating persons will usually have no good results either, since the instigator is very likely not among them, hiding cowardly in the background.
You should know following points:
- Mobbing poses an enormous stress factor and can weigh down a person. Reason for that is that the person is left out from the group. Nobody wants to be apart from the group. Since mobbing usually is perpetrated in subtle ways, the victim usually starts to come up with excuses and finds fault with herself. Be aware that this kind of interpretation can lead to virtual insanity. We must realize therefore, that looking for reasons will not solve the problem of mobbing. We will not find any reasons.
- Fight back – not by attacking everybody around you who you think is participating in the mobbing. Fight back by being a little more reserved and a little more unfriendly towards the ‘mobbers’. Don’t start an argument. Don’t discuss the issue. You will notice that you are able to regain control of the situation again. You will be able to build up your ‘space’ again. The fact, that your slight unfriendliness gives the ‘mobbers’ no easy game with you, will in time disintegrate the mob. Try it!
- It will not be easy to find the instigator behind the scene, but know that usually it is your boss, your supervisor or any other leading person in your environment. Unfortunately, you can’t expect honesty in this. ‘Mobbers’ are liers. You will never receive honest answers. For example, a boss will also use his destructive campaigns against his own colleagues. Oper your eyes and see the game. What the instigator of mobbing does to you, he will also do to others.
There remains one question: What can you do to stop mobbing completely? It is usually best to just wait it out. Time will pass and so will the mobbing.
There is a little exercise to reduce your inordinate desire for acceptance of your peers. Say repeatedly to yourself, every day, several times, following sentence:
“Even though I am excluded and treated without respect by my colleagues, neighbors…, I love and accept myself”.
You will feel better and it will reduce your level of stress. The mobbing will loose its control over you and it will completely disintegrate.
Your suggestions and comments are always very welcome.
Stress-free Living Ahoi,
Word of the week:
Irreversible. Naturally, revocable means something that can be nullified by canceling; annulled.