Have you ever wondered what happened to the schoolyard bullies that you had the misfortune of meeting during your youth? Sadly, a number of them grew up and took jobs with the organisation where you are currently employed. As a team leader, you may even be supervising one of them.
Adult bullies, like their schoolyard counterparts, tend to be insecure people with inadequate or absent social skills and little empathy. They turn their insecurity outwards, and find satisfaction in their ability to attack and diminish the capable people around them. A workplace bully subjects his/her target to unjustified criticism and insignificant fault-finding. Additionally, he/she humiliates the target in front of others, and ignores, overrules, isolates or harasses the target with unfaltering regularity.
It is not uncommon for the team leader to be unaware that a bully exists on his/her team until the target complains. Once the behavior comes to light, the team leader can take the following course of action.