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Book Review: Bully-Proof Workplace

​The Bully-Proof Workplace. By Peter J. Dean and Molly D. Shepard. McGraw-Hill;; 320 pages; $25.

Understanding the impact of workplace-related violence and having the knowledge to take a proactive and organized approach to mitigating it is essential for any security leader. Workplace violence comes in many forms. In The Bully-Proof Workplace, authors Peter J. Dean and Molly D. Shepard focus on the specific issue of bullying behavior and how it negatively impacts the work environment. The underlying premise of the book is that bullying behavior can and does occur at all levels of an organization, and that this behavior is just as psychologically and emotionally damaging to workers in a business setting as it is to students in a school environment. 

The book examines four types of bullies—Belier, Blocker, Braggart, and Brute—and the behaviors they exhibit. It provides recommendations for proactively identifying these individuals, plus strategies on how to counteract the impact of these behaviors in the workplace. The authors cite numerous data sources and case examples that support their assertions.

Many security leaders will find the information in this book helpful because it builds upon and amplifies information that is widely available from many sources in terms of workplace related-violence trends over the last several years. It would be useful for HR professionals, managers, and employees dealing with a workplace bully. New security leaders who are looking to build their knowledge base regarding workplace violence issues, as well as seasoned security leaders, will find the information relevant and timely.

Reviewer: Keith G. McGlen, CPP, CHPA (Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator) is the associate vice president of system security services for the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas. A proven security leader with more than 28 years of experience in healthcare settings, McGlen is a member of the ASIS International Healthcare Security Council.