6 Subtle Signs of Bullying video

30.08.2020

There is nothing wrong with getting down to work and following your goals with conviction. However, there is a fine line between doing that and intimidating everyone around you.
The latter is something you want to avoid at all costs, as it can have a negative influence on your ability to lead. These are some signs that you are bullying the people around you and how to avoid it.

When someone is able to look you in the eye, this means that they are willing to remove the armor that protects them and still feel safe. It also shows that they are interested in you. However, when you bully others, they often avoid eye contact with you in an attempt to protect themselves against your intensity, which makes them feel threatened. This subtle gesture is their way of expressing that they want to end the conversation.

Any conservative body language, such as turning slightly or crossing your arms, is a defensive posture that, like a lack of eye contact, indicates that the other person is feeling threatened. On the contrary, people take open and relaxed postures or lean towards you when you make them feel comfortable and equal to you.


The latter is something you want to avoid at all costs, as it can have a negative influence on your ability to lead. These are some signs that you are bullying the people around you and how to avoid it.

1. People don't usually look you in the eye

When someone is able to look you in the eye, this means that they are willing to remove the armor that protects them and still feel safe. It also shows that they are interested in you. However, when you bully others, they often avoid eye contact with you in an attempt to protect themselves against your intensity, which makes them feel threatened. This subtle gesture is their way of expressing that they want to end the conversation.



2. The people you talk to have protective body language

Any conservative body language, such as turning slightly or crossing your arms, is a defensive posture that, like a lack of eye contact, indicates that the other person is feeling threatened. On the contrary, people take open and relaxed postures or lean towards you when you make them feel comfortable and equal to you.

3. Nobody contacts you even if you ask people to do so

If you tell people that they are free to contact you and still no one does, this is a clear sign that they are not comfortable approaching you with problems or questions. They may be looking for other ways to solve their problems, like consulting with other team members or their mentors instead of coming to you. In the worst case, there may be times when they avoid attending meetings that you attend simply because your presence intimidates them.


4. People around you are constantly apologizing

Although an apology can be a sincere sign of remorse, it can also be a subconscious and automatic way of conveying submission. In this situation, people see you as the rule-maker and ask for forgiveness when they perceive that they have done something to violate your rules.


Even when you have an incredible idea, the rest of your team should challenge it, asking about alternatives, logistics, costs and time. However, if you are an intimidating person, others are not confident enough to question you. This can make the initial stages of projects seem very calm, but you will end up suffering the consequences later, when the things that should have been raised in the beginning start to cost you time, money and other resources.
When two highly skilled people are competing for a project, promotion, or other reward, the decision often depends more on soft skills than technical knowledge per se. In other words, the determining factor in these types of situations is how you are going to interact with the group and if you can get the best out of each person you work with. If you are not able to interact well and intimidate others because they are afraid of you, they will most likely end up giving the project to someone else.
If you don't want to sound like an intimidating person, there are many things you can do: 

5. All your ideas are accepted

Even when you have an incredible idea, the rest of your team should challenge it, asking about alternatives, logistics, costs and time. However, if you are an intimidating person, others are not confident enough to question you. This can make the initial stages of projects seem very calm, but you will end up suffering the consequences later, when the things that should have been raised in the beginning start to cost you time, money and other resources.


6. You are not chosen for opportunities for which you meet all the requirements

When two highly skilled people are competing for a project, promotion, or other reward, the decision often depends more on soft skills than technical knowledge per se. In other words, the determining factor in these types of situations is how you are going to interact with the group and if you can get the best out of each person you work with. If you are not able to interact well and intimidate others because they are afraid of you, they will most likely end up giving the project to someone else.


How to avoid bullying others

If you don't want to sound like an intimidating person, there are many things you can do: 

  • Find out what others do well and congratulate them on their achievements; be sincere but humble about yours. 
  • Ask others how you can help and support their interests. 
  • Wish others luck. 
  • Express gratitude. 
  • Use open body language and make good eye contact - a smile always makes a difference! 
  • Admit your mistakes so that others see that you are human. 
  • Be an active listener; Give others the same opportunity to speak. 
  • Keep a more relaxed look, for example, do not wear perfectly ironed clothes. 
  • Complete small acts of service or kindness throughout the day. 
  • Be a continuous, lifelong learner, showing that you don't think you know everything.

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