w Ines Reinboth - Coaching Beruf / Mobbing
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Mobbing am Arbeitsplatz Emotionsbild
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70199 Stuttgart-Heslach
✆ +49 (0) 173 - 913 34 57
Mobbing Überschrift
What is bullying?
In 1963, behavioural scientist Konrad Lorenz coined the term “mobbing“: he used it to describe group attacks by animals on a competitor for food or an otherwise superior adversary, in this case that of geese on a fox. The Swedish doctor Peter-Paul Heinemann used the term in 1969 to describe the phenomenon by which whole groups attack a person considered to be acting outside of the norm. The term was made famous in its current use by the emigrated Swedish doctor and psychologist Heinz Leymann. It was he who spoke of mobbing, or 'bullying', in terms of the professional environment.

Bullying at the workplace
With regards to bullying at the workplace, distinctions are made between bullying by a superior or bullying carried out by colleagues in inferior positions. The subject literature sometimes terms the former as 'bossing' or 'downward bullying' and the latter as 'staffing' or 'upward bullying'. Psychological terror as inflicted on employees by higher ranking managers occurs in Germany in 40% of cases, a further 10% resulting from the conjoined bullying of an individual by both boss and colleagues. Some experts go so far as to suggest a bossing-quota of around 70%. In contract, in only 2% of cases will a manager be bullied by an inferior.
In addition we have 'horizontal bullying', denoting an affected individual being bullied by colleagues of equal rank. More than 20% of victims identify a colleague as perpetrator. Approximately the same percentage of victims account for being bullied by a group of colleagues. A little under 15% of bullying victims indicate they are being bullied by both their manager and their colleagues.

The consequences of bullying
Bullying has far-reaching negative consequences on victims' health as well as on their private and professional situations. Regular hostile attacks spur negative emotions and intense uncertainty in bullying victims, which generally do not leave behaviour and performance in the workplace unaffected. 98,7% of German bullying victims indicate that they feel the above being affected by bullying. In most cases victims will show signs of demotivation, intense mistrust, nervousness, social withdrawal, feelings of impotence, performance and thought blockages, self-doubt, anxiety and failing concentration. In terms of professional consequences, bullying can lead to notices of termination, relocation and even the victim's incapacity to generate income. Almost 45% of victims suffer psychosomatically as a result of bullying, of which almost half are on sick leave for over six weeks. Post-traumatic stress disorder for example is one of the best known consequences of bullying.

Prevention and Intervention
There are many ways to do something about bullying. In many cases however, the only solution victims see for themselves is handing in their notice. However, measures can be taken both by the victim and the employer to curb bullying at the workplace. Practitioners advise putative victims to set boundaries for the perpetrator, insofar as they are still in a mental constitution to do so. It is essential to signal an early 'stop' - otherwise the perpetrator sees nothing in the way of continuing to bully a purpoted victim. This course of action is successful after Esser/Wolmerath and constitutes a favourable inner change in the affected individual not to be seen as a helpless victim.

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