From Publishers Weekly
Bullies on the job can cause irreparable harm to their colleagues, contend the authors, founders of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying. While violent or vengeful workers occasionally make the news, there are insidious bullies in nearly every workplace, whether co-worker, boss or junior colleague. Their behavior causes other people to suffer shame, humiliation and fearAall of which can affect their nonwork life as well as their job performance. The Namies recommend that "targets" act quickly to dismantle a bullying dynamic once they recognize it, and they also urge government and judicial recognition that "bullying" is an endemic workplace issue that deserves to be taken seriously. The last 100 pages of the book are the most useful; one chapter, "Control Destructive Mind Games," analyzes how people let their emotions color their actions. Subsequent chapters offer concrete strategies that "targets" can take to alleviate their workplace distress (including using humor to deflect a bully's tactics and finding support among colleagues and friends). Overall, this volume presents an intriguing concept that is rarely given such detailed analysis. However, the notion of "bullying" as a crime seems farfetched; the book would be even more effective if it focused on interpersonal skills and tools that could be used to fight back, rather than on trying to initiate change in public policy. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Because bullying has been identified as a contributing factor in the epidemic of violence in schools, teachers and counselors are being trained in methods for dealing with bullies. Unfortunately, many bullies do not stop their disruptive, hurtful behavior after they leave school and get jobs; they often just become more subtle. Few people, though, acknowledge that workplace bullying is or can be a real problem. The Namies, both psychologists, are out to change that. In 1998 they launched the Campaign against Workplace Bullying. Calling those who experience bullying "targets" rather than "victims," they have counseled nearly 3,000 such targets. They define what bullying is, show why it is harmful, and attempt to explain why it occurs. They describe efforts in Europe to prevent bullying, where the problem is taken more seriously, and they decry the lack of substantive legal recourse here in the U.S. The authors provide techniques and tactics for bully-proofing oneself and show how targets, once sufficiently prepared emotionally, can move on to "bully-busting" and "tyrant-toppling." David RouseCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved