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Bullying focus begins to shift to workplace

PHOENIX -- Bullies are not just on school playgrounds. They're in the workplace too.

A workplace bully could be a co-worker. It could even be a boss.

Portland, Ore. attorney Jathan Janove is an expert on bullies at work. He gives webinars on this topic and said some bosses create a "Zone of Fear" of anxiety and intimidation that interferes with people's capability to perform on the job.

"Most bosses that do this -- and many, many, many do -- they aren't aware that they're behaving as bullies."

A bullying situation may not involve frightened employees. Sometimes it's the boss telling an inappropriate joke. Not too many people are willing to say, 'Didn't get that one, boss.'

Janove said direct responses are best. Tell the chief it's not funny.

"If that doesn't work, then action should be taken. It should be dealt with. Not only are you the victim but there are probably other victims as well."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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