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Hostile Behaviour at Workplace: How to Deal With It

September 4, 2017 | By

Amarpreet Kaur, Partner at, speaks on how one should deal with hostile behaviors and why women need to raise their voice against such behaviors.

Silence can never bring you justice

Most of the times women ask me a simple question: What do we do?

The moment they say what do we do is an answer to itself that there is some action, which is required from their end, which needs to be performed, which needs to enacted upon.

For us it is important to understand that your safety, your security is of paramount importance to you.

The Challenge of Hostile Behaviour in Everyday Life

Hostile behaviour is part of our everyday life for women whether we talk about home, whether we talk about public places, whether we talk about workplace.

The environment is similar, the challenges similar to most of the women most of the times.

My advice to you is that a couple of actions that we need to understand especially if it has happened with you or not.

The point here is to understand that what will you do if ever you are stuck in the situation.

We have often seen women reaching out to us, and writing to us what should we do because most of the hostile behaviour are being demonstrated by the CEOs or the supervisors.

In such a situation the first thing that they feel is fear and they feel afraid of complaining or raising their voice. We need to understand that we need to take actions, which are appropriate because you are not wrong here.

Wrong Action Should Have Strong Reaction

To every wrong action there has to be a strong reaction. Not for today but for always.

Some of the things that you need to understand while dealing or coming out of these situations are:

– Speak up.
– Don’t be afraid.
– You are there for your work – for your job, for your professional work, for your career ambitions and not to please somebody or anybody for that matter.
– You are there to perform.
– Raise your voice.
– Put everything in writing.
– Do the documentation.
– Reach out to the HR.
– Reach out to management if necessary.
– Share what has happened to you with your colleagues, with your friends.
– It can be in the office or outside the office.
– The important thing is you should speak up and share what has happened with you.

Confront the Offender

Secondly, most importantly, you need to confront the offender. Silence can never bring you justice. You need to stand up for yourself before you expect others to support you, no matter what or wherever you are.

Even to the extent that if it is critical for you to resign, mention the reason of your resigning from the company.
– Seek help.
– Confront.
It is essential for you because if you cannot get away, you cannot run away from the same situation again and again.

You need to demonstrate that you condemn any unethical behaviour. You need to stand up for yourself. You need to fight for yourself.


harassment at workplace

Speak Up

The key thing that I want you to understand is that – please speak up.

Most of the women have chosen not to speak up and run away from the situation. And it had actually not helped them at all. We need to confront, we need to speak. We need to stand up and raise our voice.

There are n number of policies, procedures, processes, laws. None will be able to help us until and unless we decide to stand up for ourselves.

We take a stand to condemn harassment. We need to take a step forward to voice out our opinion, to voice out that we do not appreciate any kind of unethical behaviour being demonstrated to us.

Stand up for yourselves!

Share your experience by writing to us at so others can learn from it, ask questions to get answers for your issues, give answers to women who are in need.

Read more stories about women and their experiences at their workplace.

Download the basic A Survey on Women at Workplace report.

Read more articles on how to make your workplace better.

Amarpreet is Partner – Performance & Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at An alumnus of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Amarpreet is founder and Partner at The company which was founded in September 2010 and works on a unique concept of work from home supporting women professionals who choose to pursue career opportunities outside of the practice of travelling to office. Over the years Amarpreet has been involved in consulting Indian, Japanese and American clients in building, stabilising and efficiently running the people agenda in their companies. While Amarpreet has expertise in all areas of Human Resources, the notable projects that she has lead are in the area of compensation benchmarking, women at workplace initiatives, policy design and implementation. She has also been actively involved in women empowerment, diversity, PoSH and culture building related activities, which not only are the basic essentials expected by employees, but have a direct correlation to the top line of the company.
All Posts of Amarpreet Kaur

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