The following is an installment in "Icebreakers 101 - Volume IX: UNDAMMING THE ICE", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.
Among the many techniques that bullies use, I employ the POINTS bully classification. This is a simple system that I created. The POINTS classification refers to the following intimidation tactics: Physical, Obnoxious, Intellectual, Necessity, Together, and Sexual. A short description of each follows.
- Go over these with the class.
Physical – This type of intimidator is one who uses size, strength, hostility, or posture to coerce others into action. Aggression is a big part of this. A bully does not necessarily have to be large to be intimidating.
Obnoxious – This sort of bully wears a thorny hide of sarcasm and forceful, tactless, and loud opinions. They believe that theirs is the only way. The views of others have no consequence. To most people, it is easier to kowtow to such a person than to defend a minor position.
Intellectual – The intellectual bully specializes in condescension. Their insecurities are masked in large words and aloof, arrogant sentences. Their offense consists of a belief that they are smarter than the competition. They enjoy making others feel inferior.
Necessity – Those who are in the chain of command who believe that it is necessary to belittle subordinates in order to get them to do as they say. This is power drunkenness.
Together – They say that there is safety in numbers. The together bully knows this. It is a sort of gang mentality. When observing this type, one sees differences between when they are alone and when they are in their clique. The together bully is always strongest when they have an audience.
Sexual – This strategy is used by both sexes. Some staff force their agenda by using gender as a weapon. For example, when the sexual bully is given instruction, no matter how reasonable, they might cry ‘sexual harassment”. The implication is to get results by perverting a valid and necessary complaint system.
- Facilitate discussion, being careful not to use names of staff working in the facility.
- Distribute the true or false bully test below.
||POINTS is a system to remember bully types. They are Physical, Optimistic, Intellectual, Negative, Together and Sexual bullies.
||Sexual bullies can only be male and their actions is directed only toward female staff.
||Intellectual bullies specialize in condescension and generally try to appear smarter than their target.
||Bullying is about intimidation and is always physical in nature.
||A bully does not necessarily have to be large in order to be intimidating.
||Together bullies operate in a lone wolf manner: They do not need an audience to perform as a bully.
||Some sexual bullies harass targets by claiming they, themselves have been harassed.
||Necessity bullies are usually in the chain of command and can be described as power-drunk.
||Obnoxious bullies typically consider the points of view of others.