Skip to main content

Workplace Bullying (6) - Make a difference

People who are bullied or lonely at work are not really capable of changing the situation themselves.   If they do get included their reaction might reinforce negative opinions, because they might react by withdrawing or even by being offended.

It really is a vicious circle, although sometimes consistent kindness and positive attention can make a difference. Knowing that somebody is being bullied, and not being prepared to face the bully is possibly understandable, especially if the bully is the boss, but distancing yourself from the victim is not a solution, either.

When researching workplace bullying, I searched for articles on how colleagues can help people who are being bullied.   While most of what I found was aimed at children (and if we could stop it at school level, what a difference that would make), what was easily available focused on "don't participate in the bullying" or reporting the behaviour.   Both very valid, but could be considered high risk by both the victims and the concerned colleagues.    

They might make a long term difference.   However, even if those steps are taken, the victim needs active support and kindness, now.  The type of kindness that makes them realise they are not alone, and that other people care about them, have observed the destructive behaviour, and are on their side.

The power of the bully lies in the support of the group, tacit or active.   When a bully sees that other colleagues are supporting the victim, there is the possibility he/she might back off a little.

It is difficult to break through the barriers thrown up by the bullied:

  • When somebody regularly refuses to join a group for lunch, it is easier to stop asking.
  • When somebody is consistently failing to fulfil their job requirements and doesn't ask for help, it is easier not to get involved.

Thinking deeply about this has made me very aware that many of us might have been both a bully and a victim, at different times of our lives.   Very few people want to think of themselves as bullies, but not wanting to interfere can result in us being unwilling accomplices to the bullying.

I am not suggesting that everybody goes out and confronts all the bullies we know, but I am suggesting focusing on building a positive, inclusive, constructive work environment where it will be difficult for bullying to flourish.   And it starts with kindness.

This has been the most difficult blog I have written for many reasons.   The most challenging is that I don't want to minimise the issue in any way.    The quote below is one of the most quoted sayings ever, and it is one that resonates with me.   I am very much aware of how huge our societal changes have to be to eradicate bullying, but I also know that if we can change one person's life for the better, it has to be worth it.   This is a topic with no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we can't try.   Once more, to quote Ellen Degeneres, "be kind to one another".





It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.  (Aked or Burke)

References and Links

Wikihow
Reachout - Australia
Accsys News
@TerylSchroenn




Popular posts from this blog

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …

Favourite Words

Shambolic – it simply sounds better to me than chaotic.. Do lots of people have favourite words or just a few of us nerds? As everybody is starting to think holidays (or maybe you prefer to vacation), it seemed a good time for a different type of blog. Have you noticed how many words with pleasant associations sound more attractive than those that describe the negative. Watching a TV quiz show the other night made me wonder. The contestant hated bulbous and gusset! There have always been some words that appeal to me, triskaidekaphobia being one. I now know that I had the meaning wrong! I thought it meant fear of Friday the 13th, but it is simply a fear of the number 13, so how does paraskevidekatriaphobia grab you? That is the real word for fear of Friday the 13th. Love it! Now I prefer rural to bucolic, but Robert Beard (see below) selected the latter as one of his favourites. Effervescent is a gorgeous word, so descriptive and onomatopoeic while ethereal makes me think of gossamer and fairie…

Resignation - keep building relationships

Resignation – avoid burning those bridges It has been a great pleasure working with a colleague like you. Now, you are off to your next big challenge! Good luck and farewell!
Isn’t that what we all want to hear when we leave?  We were appreciated and we will be missed.
The need for all parties to maintain professional conduct in the event of resignation is critical, particularly now when we are working within an unsettled socio-economic climate. Employees should avoid damaging relationships, and employers need to adopt a neutral approach and ensure that there are policies and processes that enable the separation to be objectively handled.  For example: ·A formal resignation letter is required·A formal acceptance of resignation is issued confirming any special conditions·An exit interview takes place·Handovers are planned and executed
Our HR team advise those who resign their position to adhere to a few golden rules. Failure to do so could harm whatever bonds have been formed at the workpla…