The impact of having had a bullying boss has been likened to that of having post traumatic stress disorder. It’s a massive deal, which costs us greatly. In time, energy and identity.
In the case of having a bullying CEO or MD you can be sure that your physical and mental well-being are going to be affected, so you need to start looking after yourself immediately. Google tips on building resilience.
Unless you have been bullied in the past, you don’t necessarily realise that you’re actually being bullied. You just feel appalling at your job in their eyes. Then after a while (this length of time it takes you to notice decreases with age) you realise that it’s not you – it’s they who have a problem.
The best way to remain sane when your CEO is a bully is to leave. Of course is it.
Unfortunately, no one in this workplace culture is going to make a stand for you even if they whole-heartedly agree with you. Do not expect that any acknowledgement of your plight by well-intentioned colleagues will go further than just a private chat. They have their own backs to cover…. and they will not be willing to help you, no matter how well deserved your plight. Really. Do not stay unless you have a mental health qualification and a desire to remain in the bully’s world for a time and consider it to be a personal development “Growth” phase….
If your line manager is a bully there are other tactics (which take a little time) that you can employ to reveal the company’s “negligent retention” approach (blog post to follow soon) but when it is the CEO this is what I recommend:
- If you choose to stay in the corporate world, get your Linkedin profile and your CV ready and sign up for job alerts and start planning your own exit strategy
- Resign and tell HR exactly why you are resigning (difficult but 100% strengthening), or if you don’t feel up to that, resign and email them the real reasons once you have left (easier and still 100% strengthening as you have got your message across)
- If you can’t resign: note down everything you think is unacceptable in a password protected paid-for-by-you mobile phone that does not leave your side. Then call an employment solicitor and have a free 15 minute conversation to get the latest legal advice for your personal circumstance. (Contact me in total confidence if you want are working for a UK employer and want a legal recommendation here)
- Write a review on Glassdoor.co.uk to help potential new recruits. People value them perhaps more than those you can peruse on product/restaurant/accommodation/attraction review sites
- The main reminders are:
- you need to be the model employee throughout this process (if you are without fault, your views will be taken even more seriously by your employer and by the law)
- you have four very achievable goals: to regain your positive self-regard; to restore your mental health as soon as possible; and to prevent this happening to people who are less able to stand up for themselves and who are likely to take a much, much longer time to recover. Oh and did I mention you need to get out asap?
The longer you stay, the more affected you will become and the longer it will take you to recover and find the oomph you need to get another job
If you want to have a 100% confidential, 100% private, 100% impartial conversation with me if you think you may be being bullied, please click here to book a call and send me your contact details and good time to call. I will listen to you properly and give you my feedback before you make any big decisions.