Team mobbing – causes and consequences, how to deal with bullying at work?

Every team and society has its own “scapegoat”. Usually it becomes a person who is simply not like the others. And the team does not always need a special reason for bullying – most often mobbing (and this is what bullying is called, terror in the team) occurs spontaneously and without good reason.

See also: Rules for the survival of a girl in a male team at work – what to expect and what to do?

Where do the legs of mobbing come from, and can you protect yourself from it?

The content of the article:

Reasons for mobbing – how does bullying start at work and why exactly did you become a victim of mobbing?

The concept itself appeared in our country recently, although the history of the phenomenon is counted in hundreds of centuries. To put it in a nutshell, mobbing is bullying by a team of one person… Usually at work.


What are the reasons for the phenomenon?

  • Not like everyone else.
    As soon as a “white crow” appears in the collective, such a person “without trial or investigation” is recognized as a stranger and, with a cry, “Atu him”, they begin to persecute. This happens automatically, unconsciously. What if this “white crow” is a “sent Cossack”? Just in case, let’s terrorize him. To know. This situation usually occurs in a team that is a “stagnant swamp” – that is, a group of people with an already established climate, communication style, etc. In new teams, where all employees start from scratch, mobbing is rare.
  • Internal tension in the team.
    If the psychological climate in the team is difficult (illiterately organized work, a boss-dictator, gossip instead of lunch, etc.), then sooner or later the “dam” will break through, and the discontent of employees will spill out onto the first person who comes to hand. That is, at the weakest. Or on the one who, at the moment of the outburst of collective emotions, accidentally provokes the employees to aggression.
  • Idleness.
    There are also such groups, no matter how sad it is. Employees who are not busy with work toil from idleness, focused not on completing any task, but on killing time. And any workaholic runs the risk of falling under the distribution in such a team. Like, “what do you want most of all? How can you creep in front of the boss, Judas? ” This situation occurs, as a rule, in those teams where it is impossible to take off on the career ladder, if you do not go with the boss as favorites. And even if a person really responsibly fulfills his duties (and does not show himself in front of his superiors), then they begin to poison him even before the boss notices him.
  • Top-down baiting.
    If the boss doesn’t like the employee, then most of the team tunes in to the leadership wave, supporting the poor guy’s pressure. Even more difficult is the situation when an objectionable employee is terrorized because of her close relationship with her boss. See also: How to resist the boss-boor, and what to do if the boss yells at subordinates?
  • Envy.
    For example, to the rapidly developing career of an employee, to his personal qualities, financial well-being, happiness in family life, appearance, etc.
  • Self-affirmation.
    Not only in children’s groups, but also, alas, in adult groups, many prefer to assert themselves (psychologically) at the expense of weaker employees.
  • Victim complex.
    There are people with certain psychological problems who are simply not able to “take a punch”. The reasons for “self-deprecation” are low self-esteem, demonstration of their helplessness and weakness, cowardice, etc. Such an employee himself “provokes” his colleagues to mobbing.

In addition to the main reasons for mobbing, there are others (organizational). If the internal atmosphere of the company is conducive to the emergence of collective terror (incompetence of the boss, lack of feedback from the bosses or subordination, connivance regarding intrigues, etc.) – sooner or later someone will fall under the mobbing rink.

Types of mobbing – the consequences of bullying in a work collective


There are many types of mobbing, we will highlight the main, the most “popular”:

  • Horizontal mobbing.
    This type of terror is the harassment of one employee by his colleagues.
  • Vertical mobbing (bossing).
    Psychological terror on the part of the leader.
  • Latent mobbing.
    A latent form of pressure on an employee, when by various actions (isolation, boycott, ignorance, sticks in the wheels, etc.) he is indicated that he is an unwanted person in the team.
  • Vertical latent mobbing.
    In this case, the boss defiantly does not notice the employee, ignores all his initiatives, gives the most difficult or hopeless job, blocks career advancement, etc.
  • Open mobbing.
    An extreme degree of terror, when not only ridicule is used, but also insults, humiliation, outright bullying and even damage to property.

What are the consequences of mobbing for the victim of terror himself?


  • Rapid development of psychological instability (vulnerability, insecurity, helplessness).
  • The appearance of phobias.
  • Falling self-esteem.
  • Stress, depression, exacerbation of chronic diseases.
  • Loss of concentration and decreased performance.
  • Unmotivated aggression.

How to deal with mobbing – expert advice on what to do and how to deal with bullying at work


Fighting terror at work is possible and necessary! How?

  • If you are “lucky” to become a victim of mobbing, first understand the situation… Analyze and find out why this is happening. You can, of course, quit, but if you don’t understand the reasons for bullying, you run the risk of changing jobs again and again.
  • Do they want to squeeze you out of the team? Waiting for you to give up and quit? Do not give up. Prove that you are the exception to the rule, the employee who cannot be replaced. Ignore all attacks and barbs, behave confidently and politely, do your job without stopping to retaliate hairpins or insults.
  • Avoid professional mistakes and be on the lookout – carefully analyze each situation in order to notice the “planted pig” in time.
  • Don’t let the situation take its course. It’s one thing to ignore ridicule, it’s another to be silent when they openly wipe your feet about you. Your weakness and “tolerance” will not pity the terrorists, but will even more oppose you. You shouldn’t be hysterical either. The best position is in Russian, with honor, dignity and as polite as possible.
  • Bring the main instigator of the persecution (the “puppeteer”) into the conversation. Sometimes a heart-to-heart conversation quickly returns the situation to normal.

Dialogue is always smarter and more productive than any other way of resolving a conflict


  • Carry a voice recorder or camcorder with you. If the situation gets out of hand, you at least have evidence (for example, to present it in court or to the authorities).
  • Don’t be naive and don’t believe the phrase “the victim of mobbing is usually not to blame”. Both sides are always to blame, a priori. Yes, the situation was provoked not by you, but by the team (or the boss), but why? You should not panic, wring your hands and engage in self-criticism, but an analysis of the reasons for this attitude towards you will be very useful. It may well turn out that mobbing is actually just a collective rejection of your arrogance, arrogance, careerism, etc. In any case, the infantile position of the “ostrich” will not solve the problem of mobbing. Learn to speak less and hear and see more – a wise and observant person will never fall victim to mobbing.
  • If you are an intelligent person, you are all right with observation, you do not suffer from arrogance and arrogance, but terrorize you for your individuality, then learn to defend it… That is, just ignore someone else’s rejection of your position (appearance, style, etc.). Sooner or later, everyone will get tired of clinging to you and calm down. True, this only works if your personality does not interfere with work.
  • If the bullying is just beginning, fight back hard. If you immediately demonstrate that this number will not work with you, then, most likely, the terrorists will retreat.
  • Mobbing is akin to psychological vampirism. And the vampires, terrorizing the victim, certainly thirst for “blood” – a response. And if no aggression, no hysteria, or even irritation comes from you, then the interest in you will quickly cool down. The main thing is not to get lost. Please be patient.

Firing is the way of a man who waves a white flag. That is, complete defeat. But if you feel that terror at work is gradually turning you into a nervous person with dark circles under his eyes, who dreams of a Kalashnikov assault rifle in his hands at night, then perhaps rest will really benefit you… At least in order to treat stress, review your behavior, understand the situation and, having learned the lessons, find a more soulful community.

See also: How to take a day off at your own expense at work – instructions.

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