In your opinion, what percentage of workers are bullied in the workplace?
The correct answer is 37%. More than one person in three will be the victim of a bully in the workplace. I thought I was the exception. Unfortunately, in my research I have found very few books on the subject. I found some articles in English, and a document on anti-bullying policies in Australia.
I already had a discussion with labor standards on the subject. They explained that in Quebec, the psychological harassment law is brand new, it has only ten years. It is difficult to find law cases since most of the time, the problems are settled before going to court.
Stop being against bullying!
Mother Teresa refused to participate in anti-war demonstrations. She always said “If you have an event that promotes peace, I’ll be there.” Why not approach your workplace in the same way?
I prefer an open environment where the exchange of ideas, creativity and compassion are encouraged, to an environment that is against bullying. Remember that what you give your attention to grows.
Understand me. Intimidation and harassment should be addressed accordingly. But, promoting a healthy work environment, open and collaborative is much more a productive environment than “ANTI – whatever you want”.
The culture of cruelty that leads to bullying
I would like to quote one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown:
“ As our fear, uncertainty, and feelings of vulnerability Increase, cruelty becomes an acceptable way for us to discharge our bread and discomfort. Rather than doing the difficult work of embracing our own vulnerabilities and imperfections, we expose, attack, or ridicule what is vulnerable and imperfect about others.
In our culture, vulnerability is Synonymous with weakness, imperfect and inadequate means clustering. Rather than acknowledging that we are all vulnerable and imperfect, we buy into the painful idea that we are less than; that we are not worthy of belonging. It is the struggle for worthiness and belonging that leads to bullying.”
What can we do to prevent bullying?
If we assume that bullying is closely linked to shame. The first thing is to talk about it, to put words to it. Shame, to survive, needs secrecy, silence and judgement. If you speak up, you take away all its power; you cut it to the knees.
Do you know what shame cannot survive? Empathy. Brene Brown uses the image of the ladder that allows you to get out of a black hole, THIS is empathy. Bullying cannot survive with being named and to be in contact with empathy.
Have a good day!