Horizontal workplace violence is an aggressive and hostile behavior of group members or an individual towards groups of larger group or other members. This is often described as the inter-group disagreement.
In most workplace situations, horizontal violence may be a destructive ad unacceptable phenomenon. All of the members are insisted on working together in addressing the issues related on oppression. This further eliminates the unhealthy behavior in the workplace.
Top Strategies for the Workplace
Thus, it is important to consider the best strategies in every workplace to:
1. Acknowledge and recognize horizontal violence which exists.
2. Address and resolve the culture of workplace which allows for horizontal violence to be present.
3. Manage a consistent, integrated and continuous approach in promoting cooperation and addressing instances that relate to horizontal violence.
4. Provide education for the staff related on horizontal violence; for instance, how and what to address, and the like.
5. Set up mechanisms which allow and enable staff member in addressing issues related on horizontal violence.
6. Create a statement that outlines the desired workplace behaviors, values and culture attributes. This is to be displayed in the important places all the way through the institution.
7. Talk to the staff members regarding the phenomenon.
Defining Horizontal Workplace Violence
Furthermore, horizontal workplace violence is considered to be an inter-conflict between a group of people. This is also manifested by covert and overt behaviors that involved hostility. This behavior is often linked to oppressed groups that may likely occur in arena with irregular power relations. Apart from it, the autonomy and self-expression of a group is mainly controlled by the forces that have greater status, power and prestige. It may also be unconscious or conscious behavior. It may also be emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and generally damaging behavior with long term and devastating effects for the recipients.
Apart from it, it may also be covert or overt. Although it may not be physical, it can still involve hitting, throwing or shoving objects. This is known as aggressive or submissive syndrome which comes from lower self-esteem or inner self-hatred.
This is also one way that oppressed people show up their tension, especially when they are not able to solve and address issues with oppressor.
Effects of Horizontal Workplace Violence
Horizontal violence may be a symptom that shows powerlessness and oppression. This is about the culture of workplace wherein the water is only to the fish. It shapes, dictates and moulds the behavior in the culture of workplace. It may also be considered as a bullying. This is also the result of politics and history of the western society. The practices and ideology are also linked to horizontal violence with stereotyping and socialization of females and males in the western culture.
Horizontal workplace violence may be a cultural and systems issue. This is also a symptom of spiritually, psychologically or emotionally oppressive and toxic environment. This may also be the symptom of pathology of individual, although this may have flourished in the climate that condones and supports aggressive behavior.
Examples of Horizontal Workplace Violence
Actually, horizontal workplace violence may include of sabotage, infighting, discourtesy, criticism, scapegoating and unkindness.
1. Belittling gestures like folding, rolling of the eyes, staring in the space whenever communication is attempted.
2. Verbal abuse that includes threatening, dismissing, intimidating, undermining, calling, and humorous “name downs.”
3. Gossiping (nasty talk, negative, destructive), backstabbing or backbiting.
4. Sarcastic comments.
5. Nitpicking or fault finding.
6. Minimizing or ignoring another’s concerns.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.