Mobbing – Mass Bullying

mobbingWhat’s the difference between mobbing and bullying? Mobbing means bullying of an individual by a group in any context such as a family, friends, peers, school, workplace, neighborhood, community or online. The term itself comes from animal psychology; an example is the ugly duckling being cruelly pecked by the flock because he looks different.

Mobbing in the workplace is mass bullying, with active participation of the management. It is a group campaign of harassment and cruelty, conscious or unconscious, designed to undermine the confidence, question competence, and undermine the effectiveness of certain employees.

Who is targeted?

Ironically, the most productive, innovative, and effective employees are frequently targeted, especially if they are creative problem solvers, dedicated hard workers or devoted to achieving the mission and vision of the organization.

Why do people mob?

Mobbers overlap with those of bullies. Those who mob often feel secretly inadequate and threatened by those more competent and creative. They may be terrified of change.

Some common mobbing actions include:

  • ignoring people’s work or giving credit to others
  • discrediting work and magnifying minor mistakes
  • taking away responsibilities
  • leaving a person out of important meetings
  • spreading vicious lies and rumors about targets’ personal or professional lives
  • poor evaluations

If you are being mobbed—take action.

If you believe you are being mobbed or are at risk of becoming a mobbing victim, you are not alone. It is important to name what is happening and understand that you are not responsible for the campaign against you.Document everything that happen. HR departments and unions need to be approached with extreme caution, because staff rarely have sufficient training to deal effectively with this issue. Be willing to walk away.


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