Business Bullying: Who Has Time For That?

By Whitney Blessington | March 7th, 2013

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This is one of those “if I don’t sit down and write this now, I’m never going to write it” blog posts. And between you, me and the rest of the internet, I hope I never feel this compelled to write a post like this ever again. We’ve all seen the “bad client” jokes infographic or whatever. Even some clients laugh and say, “yeah, that’s us.” But there’s a huge difference between being a “bad client” and being a true “business bully.”

Business bullies are like real life bullies. The ones that pants’d you in middle school in front of a full gymnasium or kicked you in the shins, stole your lunch money and ran away. Seriously, there are people in the business world acting like this, believe it or not. We need to put a stop to business bullying.

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Listen, I know we’re not perfect. I’ll be the first to admit that everyone at our firm makes mistakes. I’ve been working for 12+ years, and 10 of those years were on “the client side.” As a client, I never once treated any “vendor” (although really any company invested in helping any other company grow, whether in exchange for cash, equity or goodwill should be considered a “partner,” not a vendor) with anything but the utmost respect. Ask any of them.

Also, just so you don’t think I have thin skin, or that I’m just a wuss, I have to tell you something kind of funny. I was sitting at dinner with my wife and two kids the other night and just blurted out – “man, it’s actually awesome when clients (partners) call us out on stuff when we’re actually in the wrong or have made a legitimate mistake.”

Seriously, that is feedback. That is productivity. That is productive, and that helps us put all of our clients, ahem… partners, in a better position long term. We welcome that, always. We learn from our mistakes and do better the next time.

But business bullying needs to stop. Seriously. We are all respectable, hard-working adults. We all bring different things to the table of value, and while we’re not perfect, we have a pretty darn good track record. Just like nobody at your company deserves to be bullied, just because you pay us, doesn’t mean we deserve to be bullied… ever.

We understand we get paid for our work, and with that comes responsibility that we take very seriously. We encourage all who work with us who may ever feel like our work has put them in a bad spot to just try and talk to us about it. Remember that you don’t just get more bees with honey, but also that we don’t tolerate bullies.

From 2001 – 2007 I was pretty much constantly business bullied by this man…

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…so I can take it from anyone else, but my co-workers shouldn’t have to.

When it comes to business bullying, who really even has time for that? Our friend here has the answer…

Have a nice day, and if you’re looking for a company that is interested in nothing other than solving problems and building cool stuff to help grow your business, give us a call. But if you have a bullying bone in your business, please don’t.

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