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Bullying Worldwide Coaching Magazine: In-depth Knowledge, Outspoken Opinions
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief: Ton de Graaf, Executive Coach / Chartered Business Coach™
When we think of bullies, we tend to remember the ones we knew at school. Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop there for everyone. For some, the bullying continues into adult life.
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Coaching is more than a set of tools and techniques. To be a successful coach you need a highly refined combination of advanced knowledge, technical skill, intuition, self-awareness, and business and entrepreneurial acumen. Our mission is to promote the powerful and positive impact executive, business and life coaches are having by educating and inspiring the coach and client community worldwide. We offer an inside view on the methods, techniques and theoretical underpinnings that put coaching at the forefront of best practices for achieving deep structural change in people’s lives.
The bullies we knew at school have continued to bully or intimidate the people around them and may have used these techniques to climb the employment ladder to a position of authority. Although there can be a fine line between a tough boss and an abusive one, bullying generally refers to being subjected to repeated emotional or even physical abuse. Most people understand bullying as behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that is intended to hurt another individual or group either physically or emotionally. If you are struggling with bullying, harassment, cyberbullying or anti-social behaviour issues, we hope this edition will enable you to identify solutions and remedies along with practical help. Live and learn, Ton de Graaf, Executive Coach / Chartered Business Coach™
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IN THIS EDITION:
The Reality of Bullying
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith Helping a Manager Understand His or Her Leadership Style Options
By Prof. Dr. David Clutterbuck Toolkit: How To Stand Up Against Bullying As A Leader
By Lyn Christian Bullying : A new approach to tackling bullying at work.
Dr. Suzanne Henwood and Sarah Carruthers Strong Leadership and Cultural Integrity
By Jessica Hickman â€“ The Bullyologist
The Reality of Bullying By Leanne Hoagland-Smith
One of the hot topics in todayâ€™s culture regardless of country is this one word â€“ bullying. Yet maybe it is time to peel away the onion and look at bullying as a symptom instead of the problem. 4
Before we look at the true problem, let us explore the cost of bullying. For example, in the US, 72% of U.S. workers are disengaged because of bullying actions within the workplace. This disengagement costs American businesses an estimated $450 to $500 billion annually. As there is no legal definition of bullying behaviour, the various definitions share common behaviours such as: • • • • •
Harassment Mistreatment Persistent Repetitive Violence
As we peel away this onion called bullying, we discover these behaviours potentially evolve from individuals with • Low self-esteem/self-belief • Low role awareness • Low self-direction Additionally, bullies potentially lack empathy and demonstrate very little emotional intelligence.
From an executive coaching perspective, possibly the best place to begin is to assess the individual with specific psychometric assessments. Bullies lack emotional intelligence or the ability to recognise and understand the emotions of others as well as to recognise and understand their own emotions. They are unable to manage both. Much as has been written about emotional intelligence and leadership. There is general agreement that effective leaders demonstrate high emotional intelligence. If the bully is an executive, the results of the emotional intelligence assessment might be a wake-up call. Another psychometric assessment path would be the DISC profile. Depending upon the publisher of this assessment, there could be a plethora of discussion questions which might help generate clarity around role awareness and self-esteem. Personally, I would begin with the Attribute Index which reveals the individualâ€™s decision making style as well as external and internal temperaments. Add in 78 key talents, this assessment is a terrific spring board for gaining clarity around self-esteem, role awareness and self-direction.
Bullies have been unfortunately part of the human population since its inception. Unfortunately within US businesses, 47% of executives surveyed believe it is not a critical issue. (Source: www.business.com) What is even more serious, among these same executives, is that 67% of them believe workplace violence has no negative impact to their budget. Through a better hiring process, enforcement of the company’s values or code of ethics within the organisation and the implementation of executive coaching, the “bully” population can be dramatically reduced.
By trailblazing through conventional learning and business practices, heurist, writer and speaker Leanne Hoagland-Smith quickly demonstrates through ACE© how to advance people (talent) and operations (management) to that next generation of revenue growth for individuals and SMBs. She seeks forward thinkers who are stuck in the current status quo and want to stay ahead of the flow. Call her at US 219.508.2859 CST or visit www.processspecalist.com to learn more. 7
Helping a Manager Understand His or Her Leadership Style Options By Professor David Clutterbuck
How a manager behaves in any specific situation depends on many factors, including how much preparation time they have, but the two most significant factors are their general style preference and the range of options they have within their preference. The role of a coach or mentor is to help them become more aware of their preferences and options, so that they can widen the range of responses and select those most appropriate and effective for each situation.
John Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention dates from 1975 and is a practical way to match intuitively the style and the approach to the situation and the individual within it. He identifies two main styles of manager’s intervention: Facilitative and Authoritative, each with three sub-styles. Authoritative style, as the name suggests, describes people, who like to take charge. The three choices they have are: • Prescriptive – defining for the employee what needs to be done and how (though not necessarily why) • Informative – drawing on personal experience to show the employee what to do and what to watch out for • Confronting – challenging their thinking, sometimes aggressively, to help them think independently
Facilitative style starts from the assumption that direct reports know what they have to do and how. The three optional approaches are: • Cathartic – intervening when they are stuck or frustrated, giving them the emotional support to work through their emotional blockers and finding a solution together • Catalytic – helping the direct report discover and reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses, using this knowledge to find ways forward • Supportive – helping the direct report build their confidence, self-esteem and sense of contribution to the team’s work.
The coach or mentor can help by: • Encouraging the manager to reflect upon their beliefs and their experience of how people react to different styles in different situations • Asking “What does this direct report need from you right now to perform at their best?” • Asking: “What might you learn by trying out a different style or different options?” • Reviewing with the manager his or her experience with these experiments – including feedback from the employee
Professor David Clutterbuck is a leading international authority on leadership and developmental dialogue. David is visiting professor at the Mentoring and Coaching Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University (MCRG), at the coaching and mentoring faculty of Oxford Brookes University, and at York St John University. Blogsite: E-mail: Website:
davidclutterbuck.wordpress.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.davidclutterbuckpartnership.com
Coaching Toolkit An in-depth opinion about a gadget, device, strategy, etc. suggested as support for coaches to do their work even better.
By Lyn Christian MCC, CFCC, CCmBIT Coach
How To Stand Up Against Bullying As A Leader Schools with Anti-Bullying Programs in place have fewer Bullies. But schools are not the only place where bullying occurs. Do you ever witness behaviour at work that you would classify as bullying? Do you see it on T.V. and in the news? And what does the presence of such behaviour say about your workplace, our society, our politicians? We can all do better.
Bullying can be defined as anytime a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker or who they think is weaker. In the workplace bullying can involve direct attacks such as name calling, mean teasing or some form of taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumours or trying to make others reject someone. Since schools are truly getting a handle on how to roll out AntiBullying programs, I went right to the heart of one of the best movements in the Western Hemisphere. Since bullying is such a concern, some of us would like to better understand how to help wipe it out and inject your culture with more kindness. If that is you, listen as Lyn Christian interviews the founders of the Golden Gate Movement; Jolynne Ward, Michael Hughes. In this interview with the Golden Gate Movement team, we discuss the following topics: • Pro-social vs bullying stance • How do you stand up against bullying when you're in a leadership position and how do you counter it with prosocial? • How do you feel what you're teaching and sharing in schools can help in corporations, whether it be down the road or in the present time?
I highly recommend looking at the Golden Gate Movement pledge and taking a tour of their website to get further ideas on how to address Bullying with your clients. https://goldengatemovement.org/ To learn more about how you can incorporate this community in your life go to the 10 principles of The Golden Gate Pledge. https:// goldengatemovement.org/pledge/
Lyn Christian has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training. Lyn also is a CCmBIT coach. She is the founder of SoulSalt and can be reached here: email@example.com 16
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Bullying A new approach to tackling bullying at work. By Dr. Suzanne Henwood and Sarah Carruthers co-owners of The Healthy Workplace
Have you ever coached someone who has been bullied? Or really thought about what is going on in many workplaces today? 20
Let’s just step into their shoes for a moment - Try and imagine you can’t eat or sleep because your fear is so high. Imagine waking to realise today is another work day and you can’t escape. You spend your day tense and on high alert not knowing when, where or how it will happen today. When you tried to report it, your manager told you to stop whinging and get back to work. Imagine feeling defenceless, helpless, frustrated, worthless, alone and scared every day. If this was your everyday work life, how long would you stick it out? How long before you left your job or considered taking your own life? Just imagine what it must be like to be one of the five people bullied at work every year – subjected to an assortment of constant criticism, haranguing, unreasonable demands, blaming, passive-aggression, threats, sabotage, isolation, manipulation and gaslighting. Or perhaps it’s easier to imagine being the one in five that witness workplace bullying and rarely do anything about it? Or maybe you feel for the manager who just doesn’t know what to do. Or perhaps you identify best with being the bully as the target is just getting what they deserve? Or that it’s nature’s way of weeding out the weak and whiney? Or perhaps you choose to be oblivious to it going on?
Bullying is a major problem in our work places, one that can no longer be ignored. We want to share our thoughts on how coaches can step in and make a real difference in this space, to create a climate where everybody feels physically and emotionally safe. To bring kindness, compassion, courage, dignity, self-respect and wisdom into a workplace near you. The facts: • 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it (and figures are similar across the globe) • 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace • 70% of perpetrators are men (although the behaviours of women can often play out more subtly making investigation more challenging) • 60% of targets are women • 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects • 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences • In 25% of cases employers took no action when bullying was reported • In 46% of cases after investigation no changes occurred • 23% of targets quit their job, 12% were forced out of their job and another 11% transferred, 8% were fired. That means close on 80% were no longer employed. 1)
1) 2017 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, June 2017
What is bullying? According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, workplace Bullying is the repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a target by a perpetrator(s). Itâ€™s not one bad day or one lost temper. It is the persistent misuse of power, to intentionally humiliate, intimidate or manipulate a target. It can be overt or covert, and be perpetrated by anyone in any position in an organisation..
How does bullying harm workers neurologically and physically? Bullying can sabotage the growth of neurones, reduce connectivity in the brain (closely resembling the neurological changes by those who have been physically and sexually abused) and cause a wide range of debilitating mental, emotional and physical stress. One five year study by Nielsen et al (2015) published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that people who had been bullied were twice as likely to consider suicide.2) In Sweden it is claimed that 10-15% of all suicides are due to bullying.3) 2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4605166/ 3) TUC Hazards Fact Sheet number 70.
Fig 1. Effects of bullying 4) Many people have been bullied for a long time, some without recognising it. Have you noticed any of your clients experiencing any of these symptoms?
4) www.workplacebullying.org, World Health Organisation 24
While bullying behaviours may be aimed at one person, the devastating effects and toxicity it produces can spread throughout a team or whole organisation causing issues like high absenteeism, low morale and decreased productivity. And, clearly from the evidence to date, there are no easy, quick fix solutions. Managing bullying in the workplace requires a clear intention, clear boundaries and dedicated, persistent action to change behaviours and create a safe work environment for all. We think it’s time to offer a new approach and make a real difference as coaches. Who are the bullies? Bullies seek to gain power, influence, or avoid trouble, by putting down a co-worker who appears to the bully to be a threat to the bully's own success, or alternatively, an individual who is particularly susceptible to bullying.5) Bullying is very rarely about anger. It arises from feeling superior and seeing no value in selected individuals.
“Bullying is about contempt – a powerful feeling of dislike towards someone considered to be worthless, inferior or underserving of respect. Bullying is arrogance in action. Once people believe that someone is less than them, they can harm them without feeling empathy, compassion or shame.” ~ Barbara Coloroso. It is also about a target being seen as competent, capable and therefore a threat. 5) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mysteries-love/201711/the-workplace-bully-and-the-office-sociopath 25
Bullies tend to have a Jekyll and Hyde manner of engaging with others; they are charming and even charismatic in one setting and as ruthless as a hardened criminal in another, crushing a threat by whatever means necessary (e.g. lying, cheating, manipulating, undermining and sabotage) – like a warped workplace politician. Professor Boddy calls them Corporate Psychopaths; “to people they need to impress, the corporate psychopath’s image or façade almost never varies and those above them typically think of them as ‘star’ employees – marked for further promotion and advancement in the organisation. To everyone else – especially those below the corporate psychopath – their true manipulative, bullying, ruthless, callous, uncaring, untruthful, parasitic and abusive personality soon becomes apparent… They typically bully for two main reasons: firstly, for predatory purposes; because they enjoy damaging people and their careers, and secondly, they do it to cause confusion around them enabling them to get ahead while everyone else is distracted by chaos.” There is support for the theory that some bullies’ brains are wired to get a sadistic pleasure from picking on victims. A recent neuroscience study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai showed bullying activates reward circuits in the aggressors. As the brain registers all pleasures by releasing dopamine (whether from sex, chocolate, drugs or bullying) bullies actions create the same sort of buzz in the bullys’ brains as most us get from doing good deeds or eating chocolate. Over time, the brain adapts and becomes accustomed to the pleasurable activity / substance and needs a bigger hit to give the individual pleasure. Ultimately the compulsion to control others becomes like heroin to a drug 26 addict.
So how do we as coaches recognise bullies / corporate psychopaths? Professor Boddy utilises the PM-MRV2 (Psychopathy Measure Management Research Version 2); a ten-item measure of psychopathic characteristics. We suggest coaches use it as a guide to assess people who might be referred to them due to poor behaviours. Look for: 1. Superficial charm and apparent intelligence: Theyâ€™re friendly and easy to talk to, agreeable, make a positive first impression and are apparently a genuine person who is socially at ease. 2. Untruthful and insincere: They are convincing liars because of their apparent sincerity and honesty. 3. Cheating personality: They fail to live up to promises, and deceive, seduce and desert others. They are good at organisational politics, claim the good work of others as their own and would probably steal, forge, commit adultery or fraud if they could get away with it. 4. Totally egocentric and self-centred: they cannot love or care for others and only discuss love in intellectual terms. They are totally indifferent to the emotions or fate of their colleagues. 5. No remorse about how their actions harm other employees: They deny responsibility for their own poor behaviour and accuse others of responsibility for failures that they themselves cause. They put their own career advancement above their colleagues.
6. Emotionally shallow: They can readily demonstrate a show or display of emotion but without any true feeling. They cannot experience true sadness, woe, anger, grief, joy or despair and are indifferent to the troubles of others. 7. Unresponsive to personal interactions: They donâ€™t respond to kindness or trust in the ordinary manner. They can display superficial reactions but do not have a consistent appreciation for what others have done for them. They are indifferent to the feelings of others and can openly make fun of other people. 8. Refuse to take responsibility for their own actions: While initially appearing to be reliable and dependable, they can then act unreliably and with no sense of responsibility or regard for any obligations to others. 9. Calm, poised and apparently rational: They do not display neurotic or irrational characteristics. They are always poised and not anxious / worried even in troubling or upsetting circumstances which would disturb or upset most other people. 10.Lack of self-blame and self-insight about own behaviour: They blame their troubles on other people with elaborate and subtle rationalisations. They do not think of blaming themselves, even when discovered in bizarre, dishonest or immoral situations that would promote despair or shame in other employees. 6)
6) https://news.curtin.edu.au/stories/__corporatepsychopaths/ 28
Tips on how to coach a bully We believe the same level of care should be provided to the bully as the target to both increase self-awareness, modify their behaviour and help with issues like managing emotions, aggression, lack of confidence and low self esteem. Our top five tips when working with the perpetrators of bullying are: 1. Be clear on the desired outcomes of the coachee and that they are ecological for all involved. 2. Assess their self awareness of behaviours and impact on others. We often use ‘Perceptual Positioning’, an NLP technique to enable people to see multiple perspectives in any situation. 3. Decide whether it is appropriate to work with them and if they are willing and open to change. 4. If they are open to change, establish the motivation behind their behaviours and work on resolving it in more ethical and positive ways. For example if they bully for pleasure, we suggest teaching them how to find pleasure in a more powerful, accessible and immediate way; this includes asking them to bring together a series of positive life experiences, anchoring their felt sense and stacking them into a single (anchored) resource that can be used any time they feel the urge to act negatively toward others. 5. Teach mindfulness and emotional intelligence / relationship enhancing skills. We have had great results using simple exercises like those detailed in the book ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’ and compassionate communication exercises based on Mark Waldman’s work ‘Words can change your brain.’ These can be done with individuals or as workshops across entire organisations.
Who are the target’s of bullying? Many people assume that the targets of workplace bullying, are like those we remember from school - the skinny / fat, non-athletic, quiet, nerdy, weak, different… type’s. Dr Gary Namie’s 7) research showed that the targets of bullying, are generally not weak, or easy prey but instead independent, competent, well liked, kind, ethical and honest individuals. In short, they are seen as a threat by the bully. What makes an individual a target is an inability to successfully thwart the bullying because they either don’t fight back or confront the bully immediately. As Gary say’s “this is not weakness – just reality…. Bullies eat nice people alive.” According to WBI 2013 research the top reasons bullied individuals gave for being bullied were: 1. The target’s refusal to be subservient, to not go along with being controlled (reported by 58%) 2. The target’s superior competence or technical skill (56%) 3. The target’s social skills; being liked, positive attitude (49%).
7) https://www.workplacebullying.org/ and author of “The Bully at work.” 30
Fig. 2 What interpersonal style best describes the person TARGETED for abusive mistreatment in bullying situations you have known?
Many of the targets desire to tough it out, along with their strong work ethic, the desire to downplay its impact or shame, can prevent them from admitting what is happening despite it not being their fault.
How can coaching help targets? Coachingâ€™s role is many and varied when it comes to helping targets. Our top five ways to make a real difference are to: 1. Help them understand that they are not alone and that they did not cause the bullying to happen. Having an open and honest conversation that sadly there may be very little they can do to change the behaviours around them is key (even though there is a clear injustice in allowing bullying behaviours to continue). Ultimately, the coach may assist them to make a decision to leave the workplace. 2. Enable them to regain a sense of safety and a positive sense of identity (which could potentially transform their experience.) Ontological coaching methods such as mBraining can be excellent for this. 3. Teach them to change how they respond â€“ developing a deeper awareness of themselves, increasing their resilience, compassion, and a greater ability to regulate their emotional responses and wellbeing (despite the behaviour of others). Coaching methods that work with the intelligence of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) can be particularly effective here â€“ for example mBIT Master Coaching). 4. Make it clear legally what employees can do if they are being bullied; teaching them how to present a form complaint and prevent victimisation if they do e.g. by talking to HR or opening up to an antibullying advocate or at least someone an employee can talk to informally.
Some of the tools we use to teach self-care on an ongoing basis include: 1. Teach self-nurturing strategies. When clients experience regular bullying or re-live traumatic memories during sessions, teach them to take care of themselves (good nutrition, exercise, sleep etc.) and to self-nurture through simple strategies like: • Slowly and mindfully stroking, rubbing, squeezing their arms and hands in a way that feels pleasurable for them. The Havening technique is a great example of this. 8) • Stimulating the Vagus nerve to increase parasympathetic firing and enhance vagal tone over time e.g. rocking, humming, chanting Om, utilising deep belly rhythmic breathing etc. 2. Multi-Mindfulness Mindfulness can help individuals develop a deeper awareness of themselves and improve their ability to regulate emotional responses, increase resilience and compassion. Adapting the common westernised form of mindfulness, we strongly recommend a form of multimindfulness, where focus and attention (non-judgementally) is taught, incorporating head, heart, gut and ANS. For example: • Head – focus on a mantra – or looking at an object. • Heart – focus on the sensation of a positive feeling, such as gratitude, appreciation or compassion. • Gut – focus on dropping your attention into your abdomen and a sense of “I am.” • ANS – in quietness, do a whole body scan right out to skin level and be alert to any sensations and what they might be communicating to you. 33 8) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C1liEFCZm4
3. Develop a strong gratitude practice. The positive mental and emotional effects of a regular gratitude diary are well known. It involves expressing gratitude for the things in your life - not just the good things, but being thankful for everything in your life. The goal is to go at your own pace and include anything and everything that that comes to mind, then taking that gratitude to heart level so it is ‘felt’ and even to gut level, to a sense of you ‘being’ grateful. 4. Promote loving kindness and compassion. An overwhelming theme across the globe is the need to prepare people at all levels to have a sense of wellbeing, happiness and resilience so they handle life and traumatic experiences like bullying. At The Healthy Workplace we believe there are no circumstances when bullying is acceptable – there is always another way. Ultimately, we need to create a climate of kindness by being kind and standing up for kindness.
Introducing daily lovingkindness meditation in organisations could potentially accomplish more than legislation. We suggest instituting a metta / lovingkindness meditation as an organisational wide practice. It teaches us to be a better friend to ourselves and increase compassion to others. The basic idea is to generate positive thoughts / feelings while focusing on the intended recipient of your thoughts. You can choose your own phrases to recite or adopt a series of standard phrases. For example: â€˘ May I be protected and safe. May I be peaceful and contented. May I love myself just as I am. May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be happy. â€˘ May my family and friends be protected and safe. May my family and friends be peaceful and contented. May my family and friends love themselves just as they are. May my family and friends be filled with loving kindness. May my family and friends be happy. â€˘ May my workmates / entire organisation be protected and safe. May my workmates be peaceful and contented. May my workmates love themselves just as they are. May my workmates be filled with loving kindness. May my workmates be happy. In summary Experience to date shows that writing a policy, having legal frameworks in place or expressing a desire to create psychologically safe environments is not yet enough. We believe that coaching and creating a positive culture could be the missing link. 35
We advocate an approach that brings kindness, compassion, courage, dignity, self-respect and wisdom to all of those involved: the perpetrator, the target, bystanders, managers and the bully - and someone that we haven’t talked much about - the antithesis of the bully. The antithesis is someone that actively resist bullying tactics, defends and speaks up for those targeted and witnesses. Imagine if this happened at all workplaces across the globe creating a powerful force for change – what an amazing role coaches could have. As coaches and influencers, let’s be the change we wish to see in the workplace and in the world and let’s focus on nurturing the positive aspects of all workers to empower each of them to recognise, respect and support each other, so that all of them can thrive. We would welcome a conversation with any coaches or organisations who are challenged by or are working in this area and are willing to share their experiences.
Dr Suzanne Henwood and Sarah Carruthers are the founders of The Healthy Workplace where they help individuals thrive at work and in life. Together they help organisations create inspiring, and high-performing workplace environments that facilitate collaboration, encourage ownership, enhance wellness and productivity. And they help individuals to develop the ability to withstand, recover and grow in the face of stressors and the changing demands of work and home. If you or your organisation would like to find out more please visit www.the-healthy-workplace.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Multiple Brain Integration Techniques in Action
Would you like to know more about this exciting new approach? Want to learn the tools and techniques for deep transformational change? Then please visit www.mbraining.com for more information, free articles and mp3’s. Or check out our books, ‘mBraining – Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff’ and ‘The mBIT Coaching Workbook and Facilitators Guides’, which are in effect the text books for the new field of mBIT Coaching, and in which you can find numerous examples, case studies and step by step instructions for the mBIT Techniques. (see www.mbraining.com) You can also read our new book, ‘Coaching Wisdom’ which brings together all the mBIT articles previously published in the Worldwide Coaching Magazine along with additional new material. 37
Strong Leadership and Cultural Integrity – the keys to overcoming workplace bullying By Jessica Hickman – The Bullyologist
Numerous studies have confirmed that the relationship between an employee and their immediate supervisor is the biggest predictor of staff turnover in a workplace. When there’s an abusive manager around, good people leave – even when attractive pay, job satisfaction and chances for promotion are present. 39
A workplace bully is the ultimate killer of staff retention. People don’t leave a job – they leave a manager. The opposite also applies – supportive managers who foster mutual respect attract better talent and save a business time, money and the need to constantly replace fed-up employees. Want to identify hidden pockets of bullying in your organisation? Take a good, hard look at your staff retention figures, especially after there’s been a manager change. The intimidating ‘my way or the highway’ leadership style is a recipe for disaster and results in employees who are incapable of doing their best work. How can they, when ongoing harassment has left them angry, distracted, afraid and emotionally confused? Emotionally distressed employees make more mistakes, are more likely to be absent due to stress and are more prone to workplace injuries. Associate Professor Bill Sutton of Stanford University determined that workplace productivity can decline as much as 40% when workers have to cope with the distractions of bullying. Think about that figure for a moment – can your business afford that kind of epic loss? 40
In places where leaders turn a blind eye to bullying, a selfperpetuating cycle often occurs: • A highly skilled employee leaves as a direct result of bullying • They’re replaced by someone who must be trained up to a similar level • The bully gets even more frustrated, leading to more heavyhanded behaviour As a business leader, if you’re shuffling bullying into the too-hard basket, failing to recognise it when it occurs or neglecting to take strong and immediate action to combat it, you’re part of the problem.
Bullies are opportunists. They thrive in environments where strong leadership is absent. 41
So how can you become a more effective anti-bullying leader in your workplace? • Set clear bullying definitions so there’s no confusion about boundaries • Make worker health, well-being and happiness a priority • Provide a simple system for employees to report bullying incidents • Recognise that the most effective way to stamp out bullying is by changing the culture of an organisation • Have specific, well defined consequences for bullying in your company policy – and have the courage to enforce them • Promote a climate of trust where employees at all levels can express concerns freely without fear of reprisal (too often, reporting a bullying incident only makes life worse for the target) • Commit to taking action against unacceptable behaviours immediately - delays only help the bully • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy to bullying of any kind Choosing to do nothing about workplace bullying is leadership failure – and from a cost-benefit perspective, there’s no upside to keeping a serial bully around.
About the author Jessica Hickman was born in Wales and moved to Australia in 2013. Through a three-year personal ordeal with workplace bullying, she empowered herself to become a dynamic activist and advocate in the field of bullying and mental health in work, school and online environments. Jessica worked in a Human Resources position on a Darwin-based oil and gas project in Australia. Here, she identified gaps in mental health support within the Resources industry and learned the core lessons that sparked her mission to be a change-maker, dedicated to creating safe and supportive work environments. Jessica was a champion for positive change, winning awards and recognition for her outstanding work, but behind the scenes, Jessica suffered from extensive and prolonged workplace bullying that included physical and emotional intimidation, misogyny, threats, harassment and verbal abuse - which over time led to extreme anxiety and stress-related hospitalisation. Although her job was to implement best practice for employee support and to encourage healthy, respectful and productive company culture, Jessica herself became the victim of a relentless workplace targeting that caused her to live in fear at her own desk. Equally ironic was the fact that her tormentor was her own HR manager, a person tasked with the professional responsibility of ensuring that this type of behaviour would not to be tolerated in the workplace.
She filed over 30 reports to upper management about her manager’s behaviour, with poor results and little or no protection. Working through her own suffering, she continued to strive to create a positive workplace culture while enduring toxic leadership behaviour that was tearing the company down. Turning fear into fuel, Jessica now uses her valuable experience to be an advocate for positive and lasting change. Through adversity comes power, and Jessica now helps others understand the complex nature of modern bullying, educating today’s leaders about the damaging effects that toxic workforce cultures can have on personal and business success. As the founder of Bullyology and author of ‘The Bullyologist Breaking the Silence on Bullying’ Jessica delivers practical antibullying solutions for workplaces and schools. Jessica is an in-demand speaker at business conferences, leadership workshops, charity fundraisers, corporate events and school assemblies, providing targeted keynote addresses on subjects that include workplace bullying, gender equality, resilience, corporate and school culture, mental health and more. You can contact her at jessica@Bullyology.com.
Linkedin: Jessica Hickman IG: @Bullyology Twitter @Bullyology1 44
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Letter to the editor
YOUR WCM TEAM
Worldwide Coaching Magazine
Ton de Graaf is one of the very few executive coaches in the world who is designated by the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches as a Chartered Business Coach™ (ChBC™). He is the owner of Quest Coaching International and the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Worldwide Coaching Magazine. He coaches and inspires the next generation of international corporate leaders across the globe. He can be reached here: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.tondegraaf.com
Leon VanderPol is the founder of the Center for Transformational Coaching. He is the creator of the Deep Coaching Intensive coach training program, a personal and professional development program designed to help coaches and holistic practitioners have the depth of skill needed to support people through periods of inner transformation and awakening. Visit him at www.centerfortransformationalcoaching.com to learn more about this life-changing program.
Julia von Flotow is an executive coach, mindfulness instructor, executive coach and founder of the Kaizen Leadership Institute, Toronto, Canada. Her 12 step program to becoming an authentic and mindful leader has helped hundreds of independent professionals and business owners live happier lives and build more sustainable businesses. More info: www.kaizenleadershipinstitute.com or E-mail Julia
Lyn Christian has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training. Lyn also is a CCmBIT coach. She is the founder of SoulSalt and can be reached here: email@example.com
By trailblazing through conventional learning and business practices, heurist, writer and speaker Leanne Hoagland-Smith quickly demonstrates through ACEÂŠ how to advance people (talent) and operations (management) to that next generation of revenue growth for individuals and SMBs. She seeks forward thinkers who are stuck in the current status quo and want to stay ahead of the flow. Call her at US 219.508.2859 CST or visit www.processspecalist.com to learn more.
Professor David Clutterbuck is a leading international authority on leadership and developmental dialogue. David is visiting professor at the Mentoring and Coaching Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University (MCRG), at the coaching and mentoring faculty of Oxford Brookes University, and at York St John University. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.davidclutterbuckpartnership.com Grant Soosalu (M.App.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), Grad. Dip. Psych, NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Master Behavioral Modeler) Grant Soosalu is an international leadership consultant, trainer and writer with backgrounds and expertise in Leadership, Coaching, Psychology, NLP, Behavioral Modeling and Applied Physics. More info: http://www.mbraining.com Grant can be reached at email@example.com
Dr Suzanne Henwood is an mBraining Master Coach and Master Trainer, as well as being an NLP trainer, Mindfulness Facilitator and Map of Meaning Facilitator. She is the Director of her own company (mBraining4Success) and is the CEO of The Healthy Workplace, a joint venture with a mission to change how we lead and do work globally - to bring humanity into the workplace. Suzanne has a special interest in Leadership and Stress as two key areas for coaching transformation. Suzanne can be reached here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Wheeler is Managing Partner of The Levin Group, a global leadership advisory firm. With more than 25 years of coaching and consulting experience, she works with leaders around the world who must innovate and deliver exceptional business results within an environment of rapid change and increasing complexity. You can contact Patricia here: email@example.com 48
If you are struggling with bullying, harassment, cyberbullying or anti-social behaviour issues, we hope this edition will enable you to iden...
Published on May 30, 2019
If you are struggling with bullying, harassment, cyberbullying or anti-social behaviour issues, we hope this edition will enable you to iden...