The Bully…And The Art Of Intimidation
Bible Character: Nehemiah
Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. Nehemiah 6:4
What was the message?
Nehemiah was in the process of rebuilding Jerusalem’s city walls, and even though he had pure motives, surrounding kings were worried about the Israelites reorganizing. They felt threatened and sent him a message…FOUR TIMES… to come to Ono and meet with them to discuss his building of the wall. Even though the message appeared to be innocent, they really wanted to kill him.
Nehemiah refused to be intimidated by his opposition. He knew what he stood for and that the work he was doing was important. The kings saw him as a threat and were constantly trying to intimidate him.
I don’t appreciate bullies and I am glad there has recently been a great effort to reduce bullying. Bullying is often found in the workplace; through disrespectful comments, or even intentional campaigns. It’s good to remember that a bully often has some level of insecurity, which is the root cause behind their behavior.
In Nehemiah’s case the surrounding kings were scared of the Israelites becoming too strong if they organized themselves correctly.
Who’s in Charge?
Leaders need to have high standards for themselves first, and then also for their staff members. Obviously, if leaders use these “bully” tactics, they make it acceptable for everyone else to also use them.
Many times, a bullying victim is too scared to be a whistleblower, for fear of retribution. That’s why it is important for the leader to be plugged into the operation, and be close enough to their staff to recognize the behavior and stop the intimidation.