Mobbing is one of the types of directed psychological violence, harassment, persecution, the motive for which is the expulsion of a person. It is carried out by a group against one (a team against an employee, classmates against a student, students against a teacher, directors against subordinates, etc.). Mobbing in a team can manifest itself in the form of frequent quibbles or mocking remarks, a boycott or misinformation. It may also include injury, damage to personal property or theft, denunciations. An important point for the classification of such actions as mobbing is their duration. Directed harassment continues for several weeks, and sometimes months, has regular manifestations, and with time, an increasing number of participants.
Psychological pressure and terror can occur in the aggressive behavior of the boss or colleagues (the second name of this process is bullying). Not all researchers are allocated a third category - institutional mobbing, when moral pressure and persecution, psychological pressure is carried out with the help of checks, recertification and other inspection structures. Separately allocated cybermobbing, which is not carried out with the direct interaction, and with the use of Internet resources. For the purpose of tyranny of a person, insulting letters can be sent out, photos and videos of degrading content can be laid out.
What is mobbing?
Mobbing in a team is a form of indirect dismissal of an employee, bringing a person to dismissal through rumors, intimidation, verbal humiliation or isolation from the team. All actions of the aggressors cannot be regarded as unambiguously wrongful, their constant impact can harm the mental and somatic state of the victim. Dismissal occurs due to deep psychological trauma, when the mental resources of the individual are finally exhausted by unequal struggle and the only way out of a violent situation is leaving.
Examples of mobbing can be reminiscent of bullying, but these concepts, despite their similarity, have one key difference - when mobbing, management actively participates in the process of terror, is its organizer or ignores it, despite awareness of the problematic. When bullying conflict occurs at an equal level, without involving the higher, with the relationship often found in interpersonal interaction or with the involvement of a minimum number of people.
A mobbing victim cannot get help, protection or even support, because the leadership, if not explicitly, then is tacitly involved in the process of harassment. Open and brightest mobbing can manifest itself in the damage of an employee's property, moving and stealing his things, verbal insults, providing false information in advance, denigrating reputation and other things.
Mobbing can take place in a latent form, code instead of active attacks applied tactics of non-intervention and isolation - as a result, a person feels that it is impossible to work. For example, when important information is being concealed from a person or not at the right time (for example, that a business trip is scheduled tonight or a meeting has already begun). Also, latent harassment can manifest itself in minimizing intercourse, which is different from a boycott, which clearly doesn’t speak to a person and it carries some purpose. When communication is limited, the appearance of interaction is maintained, while all conversations are brief, in the case, there are no questions about health, if there are obvious signs of indisposition (increased pressure, loss of orientation). On the part of the authorities manifests itself in the absence of a decent assessment of labor, assignment of impracticable cases, ignoring the initiative and other things that not only impede the increase, but that can provoke a decline or dismissal.
The consequences of mobbing are extremely devastating, and it is considered by many scientists along with rape, murder and suicide. A large percentage of suicides are carried out as a result of the inflicted psychotrauma in the process of mobbing, as well as many cases of unreasonable aggressive behavior were recorded from those individuals who have been subjected to psychological violence.
A victim of mobbing, depending on the initial stability of the psyche and the duration of exposure, can receive a whole complex of disturbances. In the easiest cases, violations of the mnestic sphere are observed, attention suffers, insomnia or nightmares are possible. With a serious degree of exhaustion, the consequences may take the form of nervous breakdowns, deep clinical depressions, panic conditions, the development of psychopathology and heart attacks. Psychosomatics is activated, the main goal of which is maximum absence in the workplace in order to avoid violence.
Usually, in a team where mobbing is practiced, the victim is made guilty, unworthy. But not only for the victim there are negative consequences - the level of productivity of the whole team is significantly reduced, since a large share of energy is spent on bullying. Family ties of all participants of the persecution are crumbling, since such behavior begins to become a habit and is transferred from the working environment to relatives.
The emergence of mobbing may be due to external factors or intrapersonal characteristics of participants in the process. Quite often, the hidden reason is the desire to dismiss an employee when it is impossible to do this using legal rules. In such situations, the process of harassment can be stimulated by the leadership in order to achieve voluntary dismissal from the person.
The next in frequency of occurrence is an unspoken internal hierarchy, when employees working for a long time in the company consider it their duty to teach newcomers. Usually, there is a staff turnover in these groups, with the backbone remaining in full force. Internal reasons can be fear of competition, intolerance to innovations, or a desire to lead newcomers. Close to this cause is the desire to preserve one’s place and authority by belittling others. Such employees do not seek to improve their own professional level, and all their activities are aimed at carping and discrediting the rest.
The desire to increase their own importance and to establish themselves is pushing many people to humiliate and insult others. This can manifest itself both at the expense of subordinates and colleagues, equal in position. This behavior is motivated by psychological trauma, complexes, lack of ability to achieve respect for work and develop their professionalism. The result can be not only the humiliation and the subsequent departure of employees who are attacked, but also the loss of authority and respect from the aggressor itself.
A person’s personality traits cannot guarantee the absence of mobbing in his direction, there are no criteria for those who cannot be attacked for sure, but at the same time, behavior that contributes to outbreaks of psychological violence is highlighted. Of course, contributing to the allocation among the team, and the higher the degree of dissimilarity, the more likely mobbing. If a person does not adhere to the habits of the collective, argues with the established order, questions the authority of the authorities, takes negative attention, violates the norms that are considered to be universal (politeness, tolerance, conscientiousness, morality, etc.).
Victimization (victim behavior) can provoke mobbing in the most friendly and supportive team. Usually, the victim herself with her behavior provokes aggression, showing weakness, plaintiveness, constantly complaining or waiting for a strike. This condition is a consequence of psychotrauma, possibly physical violence in the family or bullying at school age.
The structure of the organization itself can help or prevent mobbing, by reducing the level of tension or increasing anxiety. The initial presence of inequality of rights and obligations, the ambiguity of the main goals and policies of the corporation, equal wages with uneven load, lack of job descriptions and other things that are designed to stabilize and streamline the work violates the psychological balance. The emotional state of a collective can be compared with a powder keg and the slightest spark (new employee, next task, related privileges, etc.) can provoke not only a single act of opposition to injustice, but also aggressive behavior, as a style of interaction.
Envy is developing rapidly in groups of such a structure (for salary, employee age, initiative, or even new shoes). The one who somehow stands out is beginning to be poisoned, and attempts to discuss this lead to the requirements of becoming, like everything that is obviously impracticable. Race, intelligence, sense of humor, culture of communication, professional potential - admirable qualities, but also destructive behavior of colleagues.
Mobbing at work
Mobbing is a form of violence, about which, most often, talk about the work teams. The term is not applicable to emotional aggression within the family or among strangers, since it initially implies a working relationship and inclusiveness (explicit or indirect) of leadership, as a power that does not contribute to the elimination of the situation.
Usually the victims are new employees, attracting a lot of attention and not following the rules of the team. In some embodiments, it is possible to confuse mobbing with the process of adaptation, when it is natural to point out a person to mistakes and a sharp reaction to his criticisms, since authority is not deserved. The adaptation period can take up to a month, if conflicts and tensions in the relationship increase, and those who initially behave in a neutral manner take sides, then we can talk about mobbing.
Examples of mobbing relate not only to newly arrived employees, relationships can change within an established team with personnel changes, in times of crisis, with the opening of interesting vacancies or the need to replace a manager. Persecution may also occur among a cohesive team as a result of changes. For example, a change in social status (it does not matter, marriage or divorce), professional development (completion of additional courses, self-determination and initiative), and other moments due to which a person begins to stand out.
The main responsibility for the occurrence or absence of harassment lies with the leader, who must provide the necessary psychological atmosphere, as well as prevent such incidents in time. It is possible to prevent the development by dismissing the attacker (if there are no objective reasons for his aggression) or the victim (if there is a fact of provocation or objectivity of the claims of the attacker). But it is impossible to exclude mobbing where the manager himself practices a degrading attitude towards employees, ignoring them or encouraging bullying for the sake of amusement.
The working environment is a reflection of the internal culture and ability to communicate, the climate in the team demonstrates psychological well-being. That is why the banal lack of communication skills can lead to general anger, just as a low level of internal culture leaves a person with only one way to settle differences - conflict. In a healthy and stable environment, a person with the effects of stress can normalize his mental state, one who has not enough practice in communication can learn interaction, who is afraid of ridicule to develop confidence. Just as the one who stubbornly resists his own changes, over time will cause a negative for people with any level of tolerance.
Mobbing at school
Mobbing at school is a rarer occurrence, usually for children's groups, bullying is typical when one child mocks another (relationships are clarified at the level of two individuals). When mobbing occurs group harassment, and the roles of the victim and mobbers can be distributed differently. A group of students can pursue their classmate, a student of another class or school, as well as a teacher. Likewise, a group of teachers can demean the entire class or one student or his colleague. It is worth noting that the most frequent option is when a group of children terrorize their classmate, and the teachers, noticing what is happening, do not interfere in the process.
Examples of bullying allocated about fifty titles, and is characterized by the distribution depending on gender. So, guys more often choose physical methods of impact - kicks, trips or beatings. For girls, the choice of psychological aspects of violence is characteristic - gossip, slander, isolation, boycott, sarcasm. The use of threats, insults, ridicule of reproaches is equally inherent. Cybermobbing is especially popular, which makes it almost impossible to identify an aggressor. There are often cases when the victim is specifically brought to a nervous breakdown, and the video is posted on the network or they create a mass of photomontages and posts, the purpose of which is to humiliate.
The lack of reaction on the part of the teaching staff to what is happening is explained by the reluctance to intervene (there is no fact of physical damage, and the comments, even if in an incorrect form, are related to reality). In addition, most teachers themselves sometimes provoke mobbing or behave like tyrants in relation to the class, which reinforce the negative strategy of behavior. For many, due to their own personal characteristics, mobbing does not represent something that goes beyond the norm. This attitude of management and teachers, as senior leads to the widespread distribution of mobbing.
The school manifestation of violence ultimately forms adult individuals with mental disabilities, where a mobber is most likely to be a criminal, and the victim is a regular psychotherapist at best, at worst a socially unadapted person. And if during the persecution in the adult group there is a need to stop further bullying, then the school will need prevention among all classes, as well as psychological assistance. It is important to remember that many tips that are relevant to adults (for example, not to respond to provocations) are completely useless among children. They need not to be steadfast, but to engage in active struggle, for example, to make friends with someone from the group of the offender, find a strong ally, or decide everything individually with the leader of the group of pursuers.
In trying to resolve the situation, it is important to monitor the child’s condition and consider the issue of transferring to another school until the persecution and bullying have caused a deep psychotrauma.
How to resist mobbing
The development of mobbing has several phases, depending on which will distinguish the methods of opposition, struggle or prevention. Prevention of mobbing includes ensuring a quiet working microclimate and timely resolution of conflict situations. Constant improvement of management skills of management, rational and optimized load distribution are necessary. Everything related to the facilitation of labor, the drafting of norms and the clarity of requirements contribute to the preservation of relationships and a positive emotional state.
It is necessary to exclude, including fines and dismissals, cases of kinship and love affairs, the spread of gossip and blackmail. Thus, in some countries, a ban on mobbing is negotiated by an employment contract and involves material compensation. Forming the right corporate culture will help avoid the lack of innovation and differences between people. Otherwise, an aggressive communication style begins to form, as a way to relieve tension and search for a victim for practicing negative emotions.
It is in this first phase, when one person becomes a place for the descent of negative emotions of a collective, and violations in the human psyche begin, even minor ones, leading to emotional instability. In order not to become a target, try to show participation to people and include charm, and also do not allow yourself psychological terror. The less people will allow themselves such behavior, the less it will be welcomed, and will be unacceptable in relation to you. At this stage it is better to keep business distance with everyone, even if you have a long-term friendship with your superiors, you must leave it outside and not advertise. В случае, когда к вам начались придирки, необходимо реагировать максимально спокойно и на объективном уровне выяснить цель претензий. В этой стадии моббинга это еще возможно.
When the actions of the mobber are not stopped at the initial stage, the attacks become stable and recurring, then in this situation the victim faces a constant sense of seizure and the resulting health problems. It is still optimal to disengage from the situation, to try to figure out the causes of discontent. The important point is the conscientious performance of work, instead of distraction to clarify the relationship, then at the appeal to the authorities in your direction there will be no complaints. If it is impossible to resolve the conflict independently, then you should contact the staff psychologist, the personnel department or the head if there are no previous posts.
The next stage is the isolation of the employee from the whole team, he does not receive feedback on his work and is deprived of informal communication. The psyche perceives such a state as an immediate threat to life and spends enormous amounts of energy to maintain working capacity. During this period, diseases of the somatic and psychiatric spectrum develop, suicidal attempts and frequent absences of work due to health condition appear. If the situation has reached such speed and all previous actions did not help, then you can go to court to resolve the dispute. Most likely, the case will end with the dismissal (it cannot be determined in advance by anyone) and payment of compensation.
The final phase of mobbing, if the situation is not resolved - dismissal. In the optimistic version, the person was able to maintain mental and physical health, in time realized the negative impact and quit or found a new job. In the worst case, the dismissal is due to professional incompetence.
It is important to be able to find the edge when the situation becomes unbearable for a person and begins to harm health. It’s time to leave the team, where it is impossible to influence the mobber - this is a guarantee of health preservation, but also an opportunity for career growth where no one will hinder development.