Bullies in the workplace aren't as easy to discover as they are on the playground. In the business world, bullies won't be stealing your lunch money, but using their confidence to manipulate weaknesses.
"There can be a very thin line between a bully and a leader," according to an article in the Harvard Business Review.
A leader, unlike a bully, builds confidence in the strength of fellow employees and recompenses weaknesses to help the employee or company succeed, the author noted.
"The tragedy in all of this is that the bullies I've encountered could be incredible leaders — they are smart, charismatic, even alluring," wrote the author, Whitney Johnson, founding partner of Rose Park Advisors, an investment firm. "When narcissism trumps the collective good, you are dealing with a bully."
Knowing strengths and weakness can protect employees from a bully, according to the article.