Workplace bullying - alive and well
A recient high profile case in the NSW education system highlighted bullying again as a reality in society. The workplace is part of society and not unaffected by bullying.
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission defines bullying as:
"the repeated less favourable treatment of a person or thers in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviou that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker."
They estimate 2.5 - 5 million workers will experience bullying at some time in their work life and the cost for employers at between $6 - $36 billion dollers each and every year in Australia.
As a management consultant I see it often. People who would normally be considered intelligent people ganging up on others
or dramatizing situations to exclude others and actively working against an effective solution. (many reasons for this)
Whilst research talks a great deal about bullying and the legal processes it sometimes misses the a key point. A simple point which I'd like you to consider if you are 1 in 4 Australians who may experience workplace bullying.
Start by working out a plan to work with the bully/s to achieve a solution which is Win-Win. If the bully/s only have Win in mind and continue, it can mean that you are not in their equation. So set them free ( colleague, client, boss etc) to play the strange game by themselves because in many ways the bully/s behaviour is not about you and is bigger than you.
The result? By shifting your focus from what you don't want to what you do want you can remain happy & productive abd not play the game or stressful legal process.
One of the reasons I wanted to write this topic is because I was in a meeting earlier this year and overheard someone say "I'll strike you from our computer list and you'll never work again".
Now other than that being outrageous, very JR Ewing
(Dallas TV show) if not amusing (my humour) albeit with a great deal of empathy for all involved, it reinforced to me a few things:
1. Some people choose not to be self aware and are not open to gaining personal insights. (at that point in time).
2. You have control over the power you allow people to take.
3. Moreover when you remove negative energy like bullying from you work/life and focus on what it is you want in your life it comes in abundance. (Maybe too hippie, but proven to me).
4. Save you energy for those who value it.