Slander In The Workplace
Slander in the Workplace – What to Do?
Millions of people experience slander in the workplace and suffer every day. It could be the boss or a co-worker who troubles you and causes you daily psycho terror when all you want to do is your job.
Slandering is similar to the high school bullying many have to go through. A temporarily frustrated working atmosphere or a harmless conflict among colleagues is usually not categorised as ‘slander’ because it is only human to make mistakes and be in a bad mood at times. The victim is usually harassed, treated unfairly or simply excluded for no apparent reason and over a longer period of time. Rumours are spreading, important documents disappear mysteriously and the same person is victim of several attacks like these. It can really hit anyone, male or female, young and old. Once you become a victim, you lose the ability to communicate effectively, lose your motivation and feel destroyed every single day.
Slander in the workplace can assume different shapes and there are warning signs that you can look out for. Your co-workers may start to ignore you, stop greeting you and stop a conversation when you enter the room. You may encounter several occasions where you have not been notified about an important event or progress, and you may look stupid in front of your boss. Similarly, any teamwork becomes difficult because your suggestions are put down and ignored, you are excluded and your input is not wanted. If you take a day off or sick leave, your colleagues may act it up and tell your supervisor that you are pretending to be sick.
Generally you may find that there are rumours about you that affect your relationship with the team and your performance at work. Co-workers may gang up against you and you feel alienated. A slandering boss may always take credit for your work, tell you that your achievements are not good enough, refuse to grant annual leave, distributes work unequally, demands unreasonable speed and gives you assignments that are particularly difficult to make you feel like a complete failure. The victim suffers extreme psychological pressure, fears the workplace and feels completely defenceless. Especially if slander in the workplace becomes physical – it may be a shove or a scratch on the car – victims must take action to resolve the situation.
Ignoring your colleagues or boss is not a solution, and neither are friendliness and ‘a humble servant’ attitude which are going to make things worse.
The first thing to do when you notice the first signs of slander in the workplace is to speak to the one colleague that may have initiated this movement. Take them into a private room as they can speak openly without losing their face. If confrontation seems to fail, you may want to speak to a neutral colleague but be aware that they will often not want to get involved because they fear to also become a victim. But at least you can talk to somebody and maybe ask for advice. Being a victim makes you feel increasingly unimportant and unsure about your social skills and performance and it is good to speak to a professional psychiatrist who will help you through this rough time.
If you encounter an issue with colleagues you may ask your boss to help, maybe transfer you to a different department or site. You can also take legal steps because slander in the workplace is against the law, and you may find that a letter from your lawyer is enough to scare somebody. If you simply cannot get peace, don’t torture yourself any longer and simply quit your job.
Those who remain silent participate in their own slander, and those who let it happen strengthen the bullies. So roll up your sleeves and take action!