PMI Portland Chapter

PM Bullying

Project Management Bullying: The Canary in the Coal Mine

Workshop Overview

Everyone … likely has a bullying story, whether as the victim, bully, or as a witness.
— Michael M. Honda

A canary in a coal mine is an advanced warning of some danger – so is a workplace bully. 70% of workers in the United States have been impacted by workplace bullying. Bullying not only causes harm to those in the target zone of the bullies but also has enormous negative impacts to the workplace culture, projects, programs, and success of our organizations. Projects are subsets of workplaces and since project management is an activity that involves working very closely with others, the impact of a bully in a project is potentially lethal to success. Simply put – workplace bullies prevent work from getting done.

Project management is a bully-prone profession – most projects are pressure-filled and challenged by time, budget, and scope restraints. In our hyper-competitive world there are intense and ever-present demands for results. Sadly, this focal point is candy for bullies. If there is one commonality amongst bullies, it’s a gift for whipping up results (and those used to get them). Finally, project managers are often targets – our skill, popularity, and expertise are perceived as a threat by bullies.

Fortunately, there are many proactive, preventative measures that project management professionals and leaders can take to mitigate the personal, project, team, and financial risks and improve the workplace environment for everyone. Your presenter, Paul Pelletier, is a corporate attorney, project manager and the author of “Workplace Bullying – It’s Just Bad for Business”. He serves on PMI’s Ethics Member Advisory Group and is a regular presenter at global PMI conferences and events.

Importantly, Paul practices what he preaches during the workshop; and as it progresses, he openly shares his personal journey as a target of bullying. This transparency enables the group to better appreciate the nuances of bullying and its impact on people, projects, and organizations. Paul will share his expertise and help you develop an action plan for preventing, managing and eliminating project bullying.


In the broadest sense, this workshop enables participants to understand what project management and workplace bullying is and how it impacts people, projects, work culture, and organizational success. More specifically, participants will:

  • Understand the fundamentals of workplace bullying and distinguish it from normal workplace interaction
  • Recognize and identify typical bullying and understand the motivation behind the behavior
  • Appreciate the range of negative bullying repercussions that impact projects and the whole organization
  • Approach bullying more strategically and within the context of organizational policies
  • Develop an action plan for addressing and eliminating project bullying


The PMI Portland Chapter Professional Development Portfolio has invited Paul to present this Workshop to our members on April 20. Registration opens online next month - please click here to secure a Workshop participant space.