Are you being bullied at work or school?
Do you feel powerless to do anything about it?
Are you aware that you might have bullying behaviour?
Are you a ‘boss’ or a ‘manager’, or is the bully seen as a ‘boss’ or a ‘manager’?
There are many theories as to why bullying exists in the workplace as there are many theories as to why it exists in school, but to those who are at the blunt end of the bully, the time for theorising is over. Bullying is real. Schoolyard and Workplace bullying is real. On the human side it is physically, mentally and emotionally debilitating. At work it leads to stress, anxiety, sickness, depression and ultimately time off work. At school it leads to poor learning abilities, illness, anxiety, depression, and in some cases a lifetime of anxiety. On the business side it is very costly and if the unwanted behaviour is left unmanaged, the workplace becomes toxic. And who wants to work in a toxic environment? At schoolyard bullying is left unattended your children’s mental, physical and emotional health could have long lasting damage.
It could be argued that in any given environment, the member of the dominant culture is sometimes unaware that they are dominant. Most dominant people will rise to a position of authority in their chosen field but their behaviour relating to other people doesn’t have to be absolute. How we relate to others is a choice. We can choose to respect our co-workers and peers, and in turn be respected for practising a level of professionalism for others to emulate. Or we can choose to dominate through bullying.
The bully chooses their behaviour. And therefore in a world of cause and effect, that person is responsible for the damage they inflict. A bully never bullies up … they always bully down.
In my many years in the corporate world I have witnessed and experienced personally the negative impact of the workplace bully. I began to theorise that there are two types of manager.
- (The Executive) The positive pro-active manager who respects the people and organization, encouraging others to grow and maximise their human potential. This has a knock on effect, challenging the manager to expand his/her capacities to grow and perform at a higher level. A classic win/win.
- (The Boss) The other manager is the one who dictates from the pulpit, telling people what to think, when to think and what to do. Encouragement is stifled as the boss, or their authority might feel challenged. I have found that in most cases the boss in this situation is unaware of the impact from their behaviour. They are sometimes shocked to be told that they are either a bully or ‘they are the problem’. If we scratch under the surface of the bully the first thing we will find is a very low self esteem. As a coping mechanism for that low self esteem, they will drag everyone down below their level, so that they can feel somehow superior. It must be lonely down there.
And of course there are many levels of manager on the staircase up to the Executive level. Hopefully always on the lookout to see “how can I do this better?”
In schools bullying is sadly given lip service. I have had many school age clients who have low self-esteem and are lacking in confidence due to being bullied. Many schools will say that they don’t tolerate bullying and they have anti bullying policies however I would argue that the schools who actively seek to eradicate bullying behaviour are in the minority.
So where do I come into it?
Utilising a combination of coaching techniques, some NLP strategies, and Hypnotherapy, I have worked successfully with both the bullied and the bully. I have helped many people at all levels of organizations develop better strategies in dealing with workplace bullying. It is all about being empowered to make change. It is about choice. It is always about choice. You can either choose to change behaviour or continue on the same path.
With school children I have worked successfully with the bully and the bullied, firstly bringing an awareness that the bully’s behaviour is not acceptable, and secondly giving the bullied person the comfort that they can rise and grow away from the pain and discomfort that they have experienced. Sadly while many schools will proudly state that bullying won’t be tolerated and they have policies in place to manage bullying, the reality is that bullying happens and people are suffering as a consequence.
What have you got to lose? Contact me now for more information.
Call me on 0403 335751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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