bullying manager

Bullying managers and How to identify one? 10 signs

Does someone in your workplace bully others? If so, it’s vital to take action and stop the bullying before it gets worse. However, as a manager or a leader, it becomes crucial to keep a check on your habits too. In the flow of establishing and maintaining control, you might have ended up engaging in some negative behavior yourself. If you are looking for a route to introspect and rectify, you have come to the right place. This blog explores the impact of bullying on team members and productivity. Moreover, it offers ten signs that a manager is bullying others. By learning about these signs and what to do if you suspect someone is getting bullied, you can help to prevent the problem from getting out of hand.

bullying manager
A bullying manager disrupting workflow

The Impact of a Bullying Manager

Before starting with the action, it is essential to understand what bullying is and how it impacts your team. Bullying simply stands for efforts to overpower someone weaker than you. This behavior can take many manifestations. Bullying can include exclusion, discrimination, intimidation, and many other tactics. It is a form of mental harassment. You can continue reading here if you wish to learn more about bullying in the workplace.

Bullying can harm team members in several ways. Firstly, it can create an oppressive work environment where individuals feel uncomfortable and subjected to judgment. Secondly, bullying can lead to stress, headaches, and other physical ailments. Thirdly, it decreases productivity as the victims are less likely to produce their best work due to fear or anxiety. Finally, bullies often have lower self-esteem, which impacts their ability to deliver results for their teams.

As we have noted, the impact of workplace bullying is highly detrimental to your team and organization. This is because bullying prevents your employees from being comfortable and safe at the workplace, which is necessary for them to work properly. Moreover, bullying silences voices that might have the best ideas in mind for your organization. All in all, a bully cannot be a great or good manager. Instead, they become a source of toxicity at work that stops employees from achieving their true potential. This is counterintuitive to the goal of a manager. And a report on workplace bullying also mentioned that 70% of bullies are higher up than their targets, such as managers or supervisors.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to recognize signs of bullying, even in your behavior. Self-awareness is a crucial skill for managerial and leadership roles.

What To Do If You Suspect You Are A Bullying Manager?

If you’re not sure you’re a bully, these ten signs might help you decide. As a manager, it’s essential to be aware of the impact of bullying on employees. Not only does it hurt the bullied individual, but it can also have severe consequences for the workplace. If you notice any signs of bullying, speak up! By doing so, you could be saving someone from experiencing long-term damage.

Are you a bully? It’s a question that can be difficult to answer and have far-reaching consequences. If you’re having trouble identifying why certain behaviors are wrong, it might signify that you’re a bully. The good news is that ten signs can help indicate if someone is actively bullying others. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you work with, it’s essential to take action before things get out of hand. Speak up and ask them to stop what they’re doing. On the personal front, always be open to change and remain observant. It might not be easy, but it could save relationships and careers.

Signs that you are a Bullying Manager

Bullying affects not only the people getting bullied themselves but also the bullies. If you are a bullying manager, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your behavior. If you or someone you know exhibits any of the signs below, it’s time to change things. If you’re unhappy with how things are going, it might be time to look for a new job.

signs of a bullying manager by Risely


Intimidation is a way to establish that they are superior and more powerful. It can show itself in many forms. Intimidating behavior can look like a threat to fire you or stop your benefits. Otherwise, intimidation is also severe through strong looks and stares directed toward you. They might also try moving into your personal space without permission, such as standing too close to tower over you when you are sitting. These acts are an attempt to reinforce hierarchies.


A bully will attempt to isolate their victim so that they can continue their behavior without inviting trouble. A bullying manager will isolate the employee from social settings and informal interactions. Some employees will repeatedly be conspicuously absent from essential meetings when decisions are made. This is done to impede the development of a social circle that might offer support or respite to the victim. If you find yourself cutting out a few people from group meetings, team trips, or dinners, it is your sign to stop bullying them.


Spreading rumors about someone also constitutes bullying. Putting out information that will affect their social perception negatively in the organization is deliberate harmful behavior. As a manager, you should ensure their privacy and choices are respected. Therefore, you must check your notes on good managerial behavior if you find yourself gossiping behind someone’s back and ganging up on them.

Withholding rewards and promotions

A bullying manager will not allow the employees to become comfortable. In such a situation, the benefits and perks they should usually enjoy will be contingent upon high-performance metrics. Moreover, the rightful benefits will be given as favors instead of well-deserved rewards. Specifically, people who are victims of workplace bullying will be skipped during promotion discussions repeatedly. Even their outstanding efforts will fail to get recognition.

Bully manager

An abusive and angry tone

Your words are the message, and your voice is the carrier. The tone you adopt while communicating with your juniors is important. An unnecessarily loud and perpetually angry tone will throw them off, and they will not be able to express themselves. Moreover, some managers become abusive and employ too many colloquial terms in conversations with employees, who might not be able to reply in the same tone. Shouting, humiliating in the name of feedback, and making fun in the name of humor is the behavior of a manager who bullies.

Read the detailed blog on how to give constructive negative feedback to share critical remarks the right way.


A bullying manager will keep their team ignorant and confused. They will not share adequate information as they do not consider their teammates competent. They might blame the employees for forgetting information never shared with them. Moreover, they will constantly change the goals and performance evaluation metrics. Satisfying their conditions will become a challenging job as they will be expansive and always change into something else. Therefore, as a manager, you should clearly communicate your expectations to your team.

Overlooking people and their needs

If the opinions and inputs shared by employees are frequently overlooked without any plausible explanation for the same, the manager is a bully. It becomes a vital function of the managerial role to listen attentively. Instead, if they overlook the contributions of their team, they are undermining them and their abilities, which is unfair to do as a manager. When you find yourself doing this, consciously attempt to carefully gather your team’s opinion and consider it in decision-making.

Not giving due credit

We all love to get recognition for the outstanding contributions we made. But stealing credit for someone else’s work is not the way to do it. A bullying manager will often steal credit for efforts made by the entire team. Instead, they will present it as their effort alone. Moreover, they will offer destructive, instead of constructive feedback. This damages team morale and reduces the credibility and trust that a manager regularly enjoys from their team. Acknowledging the efforts made by individual team members is essential if you want to have a devoted and enthusiastic team.


It is typical of a bully to get all the attention they can. Similarly, it is usual for a bullying manager not to let others speak in meetings or discussions. They usually adopt a condescending tone and listen inattentively if someone else is saying. This shows that they do not value the opinions of others and are, thus, not interested in hearing them. They usually do not give others opportunities to others to speak and often dismiss them mid-sentence. This is a very demotivating act for the team members.

Disruption and Micromanagement

A bullying manager will constantly hamper the workflow by giving unsolicited advice and asking questions that do not let you focus on the issue at hand. The performance that a bully expects from their employees is at an unattainable standard. Yet, they will keep pushing the workers to do more and promote unhealthy habits of overworking and stress. The employees are set to fail so that they can create more opportunities to belittle themselves and their efforts. It becomes crucial to manage your expectations as a manager and allow a certain degree of autonomy to all.

The following are some key points to keep in mind if you believe that you might be a bullying manager:

  • Acknowledge their efforts. Don’t dismiss them mid-sentence or interrupt them. Let them finish what they’re saying, listen attentively. It will show that you value their input and respect their speaking ability.
  • Don’t create an environment where it’s easy for the bully to take advantage of others. Keep disruptions and micromanagement to a minimum so that everyone can focus on working together harmoniously.
  • Encourage your team members to speak up if they raise questions or offer suggestions.


Bullying has a devastating impact on both the bully and the person being bullied. It would be best if you always were on the lookout to identify any instances of bullying that involve either you or someone else. As a manager, it’s essential to be aware of the signs that you may be bullying others and take steps to prevent or stop it. Take special care not to be a bullying manager. By reading this blog, you’ll be able to identify the warning signs of bullying and take the necessary steps to stop it before it becomes a problem.

Learn more about active listening with the free toolkit to handle workplace situations smoothly.

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What is the golden rule for stopping bullying?

The Golden Rule to stop bullying calls for people to adopt a kind and forgiving tone. It advocates for managers to help the bully overcome their limitations and cultivate healthy patterns of behavior.

What are the effects of harassment in the workplace?

Bullying or harassment at work in any form can lead to low self-esteem in employees. It creates a significant negative psychological impact that hurts the individual and the team’s performance.

What is unfair treatment in the workplace?

Discrimination or segregation of employees can be termed as unfair treatment. In addition, treating people differently based on their backgrounds or attributes can be taken as unfair treatment.

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