Verbal Assault in the Workplace

You are working in your cubicle when you suddenly look up. Something isn’t right. Voices are raised across the room. You and many others look over and see two people in the middle of a heated discussion. What began as a business disagreement between colleagues is quickly escalating. A moment later you and everyone else watching wince. What was once an argument has turned fully into verbal assault in the workplace.

Verbal assault in the workplace can be harmful to everyone involved. First, it harms the relationship between the individuals involved. People have to rely on one another when working in a business, and a verbal assault makes everyone uneasy. In addition, everyone else who overhears the verbal assault suffers as well. The end result is a less productive and more hostile working environment. So what can you do to help de-escalate verbal assault in the workplace? Lets take a look.

1. Identify

Verbal assault in the workplace rarely happens out of no-where. Instead, it is the result of a continued disagreement that escalates over time. Some individuals are more prone to verbal assault in the workplace then others. By identifying these individuals ahead of time, it is easier to keep track of the primary people who may verbally assault others.

2. Intercede

A precursor to verbal assaults in the workplace is a loud conversation and raised voices. By interceding, you can stop the verbal assault from occurring. Talk directly to the individuals and remind them of where they currently are and what they are doing. Try to find additional assistance and set up a counseling session so that the problem can be solved appropriately. Do not try to physically impose yourself, as such actions are only likely to escalate what is going on.

3. Resolve

As stated before, verbal assault in the workplace is mostly caused by continuing problems between workers which are in turn unresolved. By resolving these problems, you can stop them from escalating. Sometimes, individuals will have to be taken aside and spoken to regarding their behavior. In rare cases, a person may need to be fired for inappropriate behavior.

Simply put, verbal assault in the workplace is a problem that needs to be resolved on an individual basis. By identifying, interceding, and resolving the problem before it escalates, you can help maintain a functional, safe, and healthy work environment.

Statistics of Workplace Violence