How to… Deal with gaslighting at work

Image supplied Canva / Yan Krukov , Pexels                                                  Article written by Margret Harris

Gaslighting is not found only in personal relationships – it can happen at work too, and can be as difficult to identify and deal with.

“An abusive boss or co-worker who shouts and bullies is easy to spot, but gaslighting is more subtle. It’s sneaky, sometimes hard to prove and often doesn’t break any rules,” says Debbie Goodman, CEO of executive search company Jack Hammer Global.

She advises:

Document everything. This will ensure you have the evidence needed to escalate the matter if you choose to;

Having notes, recorded conversations, witnesses to incidents and e-mail; chains make it harder for the perpetrator to deny their behaviour;

Reduce contact with the person who is gaslighting you as much as possible while developing strong relationships with other leaders in your organisation;

Confronting the abuser is not advised as they are experts at manipulation;

Before reporting someone to HR, consult colleagues, friends and mental health professionals, and make sure you know how the process will work; and

Unfortunately, sometimes the only solution is to make plans to leave the company.

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