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Overlooked and Ignored: Another Form of Workplace Incivility


Overlooked and Ignored: Another Form of Workplace IncivilityPatrice was a conscientious colleague at her local newspaper.

She was ready to pitch in when someone needed to fact check an item. She even offered to do light editing when time permitted. However, her assistant editor, Kyle, didn’t like her popularity and rising success. Despite her attempts to be heard, Kyle didn’t answer Patrice’s emails. Patrice had referred a lead to a story to Kyle, but Kyle brushed it off. When Patrice won citywide honors for her reporting, Kyle didn’t even acknowledge her in on the company Facebook page, like all the others who were acknowledged before her. Was she being ignored? Was this bullying?

So often the target of workplace bullying reports insults, cursing, public shaming, or even rude gestures. Those facing bullying at work do not typically want to be highlighted negatively. However, to ignore and overlook someone’s accomplishments and success is sending a not so subtle message that the boss truly doesn’t value the colleague.

Such dismissive behavior can be demoralizing for any colleague who deserves to be recognized. How can you tell this is happening to you?

  • Are you performing better than your colleagues, and your colleagues complement you on this performance?
  • When it is time for bragging rights, are you are seldom included?
  • Do people ask you for help on their work, but they don’t include you in social events, lunches, or after work functions?
  • Do you find your emails and inquiries are ignored? Or are inquiries harshly shut down?
  • Do you feel the management doesn’t publicly acknowledge your accomplishments when other people are celebrated for minor things?

These are some of the common signs of passive aggressive bullying. The message might be subtle, but it’s clear. Everyone wants to see that his or her work is appreciated and celebrated. Ignoring accomplishments is hurtful and demoralizing.

In this context, the high achiever is the target of bullying. Consider some strategies:

  • Ask a close colleague if they notice the same pattern. Nothing wrong with getting a different perspective.
  • Ask the manager directly, and politely for clarity on how your work can be included in announcements of accomplishments.
  • Continue to be a collaborative colleague, but learn that ‘no’ is a viable answer so you are not taken for granted.
  • Consider a quiet job hunt. Someone in the industry will appreciate your accomplishments.
  • Get your work acknowledged and celebrated in other publications.

Workplace incivility and bullying can take on make forms. While aggressive and violent behavior typically grabs the headlines, passive and dismissive behavior can be hurtful as well. Recognize passive aggressive incivility and seek way to kindly address it. If you say nothing, nothing will change.

Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.

JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.


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