More and more, there’s a growing intolerance for those intolerable bosses and coworkers who are ruining the everyday quality of life for those around them. Many great books have been written on the subject of identifying and dealing with bad behavior on the job, perhaps none greater than Robert Sutton’s famous one outlining the basic rule for identifying a jerk (http://www.amazon.com/Asshole-Rule-Civilized-Workplace-Surviving/dp/0446526568). “The No Asshole Rule” is one of many great takeaways from the book, and has been adopted by businesses everywhere, celebrated by scholars and workers alike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_No_Asshole_Rule):
(1) After encountering the person, do people feel oppressed, humiliated or otherwise worse about themselves?; (2) Does the person target people who are less powerful than he?
Immediate relief comes to those who identify that there are jerks in the workplace. As indicated in Sutton’s masterpiece regarding how to identify a bullying jerk in the office place, there are ways of dealing with the jerks. Don’t just lie down and take it!
Big businesses and small businesses are dealing with the issue directly, including such venerable institutions as Barclay’s Capital and the common Gold’s Gym. See a great article written about how today’s brightest business minds are applying new standards for fairness in the workplace (http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/06/the_no_asshole_.html)
You’ve heard it said that a single kind work pays off double. Unfortunately, a single jerk in the office often breeds more jerks, spawning a management style throughout the organization that mirrors bullying. So, be proactive in the way you combat those unsavory characters in the workplace. Don’t accept the “way it is” because “that’s just the way it is.”