This video from www.howdini.com has advice on how to deal with bullies in general, but it is particularly interesting because it focuses on when the bully boss is female. There is a lot of great advice in here, from documenting the bully’s behavior and confronting the bully to ultimately having the courage to leave a bad situation.
In his book The Courageous Follower, Ira Chaleff reminds us that we need to protect ourselves when we have an abusive leader. “The best protection for abusive leaders is darkness and secrecy, our protection is light and documentation.”
The bully is counting on the fact that no one will say anything because they have learned that most people will not. The best way to get the bully to behave differently toward you is to behave differently toward them. Dealing with a bully is messy but necessary.
Document, document, document. Be as specific as possible about dates, times, what was said, where it was said, the context, and about who might have witnessed or overheard the abuse. It is better to confront abuse early than to wait until it is out of control. As you document and if you need to confront, stay focused on the purpose. Even if you are being hurt, your responsibility is to try to help – yourself, your boss, your co-workers, and your organization.
Bulling behavior is symptomatic of deeper dysfunction in the organizational culture. You might be able to stop this bully, but you can bet there will be others at different places and different times if you stay with the organization.
Related article: Bully Boss: What do You Think?