Why star performers get bullied at work?

01/6​​Workplace mobbing is a real thing​

Star performers may be doing exceptionally well professionally, but socially, the workplace dynamics and the group interactions might not be in their favour. As an individual we like when people acknowledge our efforts and we gain recognition. But many times our success may put us at the receiving end of direct or indirect bullying by our colleagues or other team members
Some reasons for this may include:


02/6​Crab mentality

People may be envious of the star performer’s success and achievements. They may try to spread rumours or bully them directly in group settings by passing petty remarks. Many might feel intimidated or insecure with the star performer and see the benchmark being set by them as an additional burden on their work.


03/6​​Performance fear​

Building your credibility needs a lot of effort and integrity, but maintaining the trust you have gained requires ongoing effort. However, with the top performer around, others might fear losing their credibility or jobs might make co-workers perceive the star performers as a threat and they would develop resentment towards them.


04/6​​Group dynamics​

Being a star performer can be equated as being more popular or taking on the role of the leader of the group. This might cause disturbances in the already established group dynamics and power control in the group which may lead to bullying, to reassert control.


05/6​​Cognitive Dissonance​

Ruchi Sharma, Consultant Psychologist, HCMCT Manipal Hospital Dwarka says, “Cognitive dissonance occurs when there is a discrepancy between a person’s beliefs or attitudes and their behavior. In the workplace, some individuals may hold negative beliefs about star performers, viewing them as arrogant, entitled, or unfair beneficiaries of favouritism. When star performers prove these beliefs wrong by actually being hardworking and deserving of their success, it creates cognitive dissonance for those who hold these negative beliefs. To reduce this discomfort, they may engage in bullying as a way to confirm their negative beliefs about the star performer.”


06/6​​Strength in numbers​

The number of group members or other workers is much more than the number of star performers. They are viewed as ‘excluded’ from the group and the shared sense of belongingness may be missing. So it becomes easier to single them out and bully them.


End of Story


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