Take a stand against bullying
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It’s not exactly the topic we would like to address but until this problem goes away, we are obligated to do so. It’s up to all of us to be aware, speak up, and do what we can to end it.
Read most any survey or story and you will discover that the problem of bullying is not going away. Through our research (www.brandongaille.com/24-important-statistics-of-bullying-in-the-workplace/), we discovered some alarming statistics:
~ 96 percent of American employees experience bullying in the workplace.
~ The percentage of bullies who have been after a specific target for a minimum of one year: 89 percent.
~ 54 percent of bullies have been bullying for more than five years.
~ 62 percent saw sabotaging of others’ work or reputations as the primary form of bullying in the workplace.
~ 51 percent of employees say their company has a policy for dealing with bullies, but only 7 percent who are aware of a policy against bullying know of anyone who has ever used it.
~ Bosses make up the majority of bullies.
As we read statistics like these, we realize that there is much work to be done in order to end it.
Our objective here is to lend our voices in raising awareness in hopes that you will come away more informed, and, if the victim of bullying, to be empowered to take your stand against it. So where do you begin?
Many in the workplace tolerate bullying without realizing what it is. Too often, workers pass off bad actions and behaviors from bosses, or others, as that person just being that person. So rather than call it what it is, and not wanting to “rock the boat,” many suffer quietly while bullying goes unchallenged and unchecked. The time is now to stop suffering in silence and for those bad behaviors to stop.
It’s simply not enough to recognize bullying when you see it or experience it. You must be courageous enough to address it. This can be beneficial not only to you but for the person doing the bullying as well. In the research we cited it went on to say, “One of the issues of workplace bullying is that the bully doesn’t actually know how they are being perceived.” The bully may not recognize that his or her actions are bullying and when confronted will stop. If not, then address the issue head-on and the bully will know that you are not going to tolerate it.
ABSTAIN FROM IT
You do not have to participate in bullying; this type of behavior does not benefit anyone. If you have the desire to be a leader, start sowing the seeds of empathy, trust, and respect. Leadership is built on relationships, not fear. Being part of the “in” crowd is not worth devaluing the worth of yourself or others by participating in bullying behaviors.
ADVOCATE AGAINST IT
Now that you are aware of it, become part of the solution. Bullies only gain power when others participate either through the support of their unacceptable behavior or fear and dread of their words and actions. You have the power to stand up and advocate against bullying. When we refuse to accept bullying behavior regardless of who is bullying and who is being bullied, we take away the bully’s capacity to gain power and control at the expense of others.
We no longer live like animals. We do not need an Alpha to take control by brute force. What we need are leaders. Leaders who support instead of sabotage; influence instead of force; and earn respect instead of despising. Every one of us has the ability to take a stand against bullying; to acknowledge it, to address it, to abstain from it, and to advocate against it. If not now, when? If not you, who?
©2018 Doug Dickerson and Liz Stincelli
Read more at Dougdickerson.net.