Harassment in the place of work is one of the most common challenges a lot of people face. Despite being a major problem in many offices, organizations and governments have not been able to do more than they have been doing to put a stop to it.
If you have been facing all sorts of intimidation at work; then you are probably not alone as hundreds of thousands of employees are going through similar pains. Here are five tips to help you figure out how to deal with harassment at work.
- Keep your mind open that one of these tips might work for you: It is important to keep your mind open and not conclude that you stand no chance of dealing with sexual harassment at work with these tips. You probably might have heard a lot of people say it is not easy to deal with this problem; well these are tips that have worked for a lot of people, and I am sure it would work for you if you implement them properly. However, it is important to address the harasser and make your stand clear to him/her before taking further steps to deal with it.
- Understand what workplace harassment is: You have to understand what workplace harassment is. Most Nigerian workers only view workplace harassment from the perspective of sex—“my boss wants to sleep with me…” Office or workplace harassment could include, but not limited to the following: experiencing repeated unwelcome, intimidating, threatening, or humiliating behaviour to verbal insults, offensive emails or phone messages, withholding of information, unjustified criticism, spreading gossip, and discrimination.
- Try to understand your level of interaction with difficult colleagues/boss: Sometimes your personalities such as insecurities, fears, and past experiences affect how you define and deal with harassment at work. To stop being harassed sexually or in any way, you need to find out what role you are playing at work.
- Get proofs of harassment: We now live in a world where technology has simplified a lot of things. One of the reasons why sexual or any form of office harassment has remained a problem all these years is lack of or inadequate evidence. Even if you can’t afford an iWatch, you can get yourself a conversation recorder app and have it installed on your smartphone or mobile phone. You can record telephone conversation between you and the harasser or record office conversation too. You can also ask a loyal colleague who is also being harassed to help you out with as witness.
- Talk to your partner/counsellor: This is not an invitation for your partner or counsellor to get directly involved with the situation in the office; but to keep your options open. Some men don’t like being kept in the dark when things like this happen to their spouses in the office.
Like I said, harassment is a terrible thing, and should not be encouraged in whatever guise it presents itself. Deal with it as soon as possible; but be wise about it.
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