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Bullying is Alive & Well ... in Business

Respect is one of the most basic of expectations.  It’s a common refrain from people of all levels, all educational backgrounds, all cultural or ethnic backgrounds … we all want some respect.

Bullying is not tolerated in our school yards or our work places.  Society today abhors “the bully” … there really is nobody who believes that bullying is acceptable.

SO let me see … (a) the vast majority of people in  our westernized, civilized world want to be treated with respect, and (b) that same vast majority would denounce bullying.

WHY then is it considered acceptable to be demeaning in the business environment?  Why do people feel  that it is acceptable to treat suppliers or even colleagues, with disdain?

I am appalled at the number of times that people on the other end of a phone feel that they can scream and abuse my staff.   Whether they have a justified issue, or not, there is no call to become emotional with people who are doing the best job that they can … whether in my company, driving buses, serving in a store or any other employee who seems to suffer the wrath of “the client”.

One of the trends that I have experienced comes from the procurement world.  It is a tendency t o bully and abuse suppliers … which can be easy to do from the position of “power” held by the procurement world. 

The procurement profession has experienced a resurgence in recent years as their importance in containing costs for corporations has been, deservedly, recognized.  I also know and count among my friends some extremely competent and professional procurement people who manage to do their jobs while treating people with respect. 

However … there have been an escalating number of situations where I and my management team experience condescension and abuse.  Characteristics that reflect badly on their organizations and again I wonder WHY do they believe this is even necessary, as they already hold the power?

So whatever your job, whatever your rank … treat people with respect!  It is what you want from others and there is no reason why you can’t act that way yourself.