was successfully added to your cart.
Monthly Archives

January 2014

Bullying: The Tone at the Top

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments


People often feel that bullying is inevitable, or expected. People think that having a hardened attitude toward other workers is the best way to make it to the top of the proverbial ladder. Others who see bullying-type behavior don’t feel they have many options toward getting it resolved.

According to a 2012 Career Builder Survey, 35 percent of workers said they have felt bullied at work, and 17 percent decided to quit their jobs because of the situation. These numbers show that people are feeling the effects of workplace bullies. For people to decide to give up their livelihoods on account of physical or emotional mistreatment is intolerable. Employees have a greater desire to work hard and churn out quality work when they are in a positive work environment. It benefits business owners to not only have a safe environment, but also to provide a good work environment to attract to talent in the future.

Workplace bullying still exists in a big way because there is no law to keep people from treating other people poorly. Companies must take time to make sure their employees feel safe and even satisfied. It is important to be open about these issues and not shy away from solving them when they come up. In business, the tone is set at the top . . . meaning the boss’s actions are the ones that determine the actions of everyone else. Bullying starts and ends at the top of the businesses and bosses have to remember to treat employees with respect to ensure they will treat others the same way.

Adult Bullying is Still Alive Today

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

Adult Bullying in Today’s World

Adult bullying seems to be the topic of the news these days. From stories about Governor Chris Christie to children driven to suicide by cyber bullying, it is almost as if bullying is the norm.

I came across the website, www.bullyingstatistics.com, and I found some interesting information I thought was worth sharing.

It would seem normal that as people progress through different stages of life and become mature, they would leave their youth bullying behaviors in the past. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. Just as children can be bullies, so can adults. Although most adults will more likely resort to verbal bullying rather than physical bullying, the fact is that adult bullying still exists today.

According to the website, there are several types of adult bullies and the way they operate.

Narcissistic Adult Bullying

This form of bullying occurs when the adult is self-centered and doesn’t really care much about the consequences that are to follow. On the outside, this individual feels good about him or herself, but the reality is that they only feel this way because they put others down.

Physical Adult Bullying

Although most cases don’t end up in a physical confrontation, there are still bullies that make threats of physical harm towards the victim. In some cases, physical bullying will include the destruction and damage of a victim’s property rather than physically assaulting the victim to establish a physical dominance.

Verbal Adult Bullying

The scary thing about verbal bullying is that words can be damaging. The bully who uses this tactic will start rumors about the victim in the workplace or even use demeaning language to humiliate the victim. The advantage of this form of bullying is that the bully is difficult to document.

With that said, the emotional and psychological impact on the bullied victim can result in a poor job performance. The victim may even suffer from depression if the abuse continues.

Impulsive Adult Bullying

Bullies in this category bully out of spontaneity and the intentions are less thought out. In certain cases, impulsive bullying could even be unintentional. It may happen out of stress or even an event that has no connection to the victim.

Secondary Adult Bullying

Secondary bullying occurs when a person that didn’t initiate the bullying joins in so that he or she can avoid becoming the next victim. Although secondary bullies often feel bad about their actions, they are more concerned about protecting themselves from becoming the bully’s next victim.

The website concludes with:

“Adult bullies are often in a set pattern. They are not interested in working things out and they are not interested in compromise. Rather, adult bullies are more interested in power and domination. They want to feel as though they are important and preferred, and they accomplish this by bringing others down.”

What are your thoughts? Do you recognize anyone?

Answers to Negotiating Conflict

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

Negotiating Conflict: NY Times

Here is an interesting article about conflict management from the New York Times.

In her three part series about negotiating conflict, Sheila Heen, an expert in negotiations, gives advice to people who are dealing with conflicts. The questions she answers includes both work and personal conflicts.


[maxbutton id=”95″]

6 Things Really Positive People Definitely Do

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

How To Be a Positive Person

Want to have a great 2014? Here’s how positive people will ensure their happiness this year.

One. They will celebrate the little wins. Many times we attach our happiness to big ticket items – a promotion, a new car, buying a house, or getting married. But researchers in the field of positive psychology have found that size doesn’t matter; it’s quantity that makes a difference. Over and over again, research has proven that people who stop to write down three things they are happy about, or thankful for, at the end of each day score much higher on the Life Satisfaction Scale than people who don’t do this exercise. In fact research has found that doing this every day for just three months will bump up your happiness significantly; do it for six months and your score will go up even more.

Case in point, I did a five week long training last year and in the first week I asked attendees to do this exercise. In week four one attendee mentioned that the day before she’d been out gardening and decided to stop and think of her three items. She realized she was thankful for her 18 year old cat that happened to stroll by at that moment. It was then that she realized she’d never stopped to be thankful for her dear old cat, and the exercise was indeed making her happier and more content. She said she could feel it really working.

Two. They will have strong connections and avoid negative people. Birds of a feather flock together. Happy people hang out with other happy people. They have a strong social network of friends, family and neighbors because these strong connections act as a buffer for sad times and will support them when life gets hard. We pick up the emotions of people around us – called emotional contagion – so if you spend your day hanging around people who talk like they are victims, who blame the world, who are unhappy at their jobs and in life, they will bring you down.

What if you can’t avoid negative people because you work with them? Do your best to limit your interactions with them as best you can. If they start to complain about something, kindly let them know you have challenged yourself to focus on the positive this year, and that you are trying to avoid negative talk. Hopefully they will respect your wishes.

Three. They will use positive language. Positive people talk the talk. If they fail at something, for example, they don’t talk to themselves about failing. Rather, they talk to themselves about what they learned and how they will improve next time. Seeing failure for what it is – a learning opportunity – helps positive people grow and achieve success.

Happy people also take responsibility for their mistakes. You won’t hear a positive person complain that something wasn’t their fault. They will take full responsibility for their problems, because only then can the problems be resolved.

Positive people also dream big. Their self-talk is focused on how they will accomplish goals, not on what will keep them from achieving those goals. Conversations about roadblocks are like solving puzzles, not about complaining. Finally, positive people accept what cannot be changed. Happy people learn to accept injustices and setbacks, and put their energy towards changing what they can control.

Four. They will see hard times as challenges they can overcome, not circumstances they can’t control. What most people would call a problem, a positive person would call a challenge. Positive people believe obstacles are an opportunity to learn what they are capable of.

During these past few years, for example, as I’ve been meeting people who were laid off and looking for a new job, I noticed that these job seekers fell into two categories. Some of them blamed the economy and their old workplace for the problems they were facing now that they were unemployed. Others saw being laid off as an opportunity to find a better job doing something they loved. The ones who were up for the challenge of job hunting, and who didn’t blame outside forces for their situation, were the ones who found jobs! I think we can guess that the interviewers noticed their optimism and ability to overcome a challenge.

Five. They will say thank you, and really mean it. Positive psychologists have linked gratitude to the ability to cope with stress. Thankful people have more positive emotions, are more satisfied with life, experience greater optimism, have better physical health, and are better able to reach their goals than people who are not thankful for what they have.

One study found that when subjects were asked to deliver a message of gratitude to a person who has been important to them, they reported an increase in their happiness that lasted for about a month.

And, people tend to view individuals who regularly show gratitude as generous, caring and pleasant. In essence, gratitude makes you happy, and it makes your interactions with others more pleasant, which in turn makes you even more happy.

Six. They will set goals and achieve them. Some people sit around and wish they could accomplish this or achieve that. Positive people sit down at their desk and plan out exactly what their steps are. They write down a specific plan that includes benchmarks, dates, resources, and whatever else they might need to keep track of their achievement. They hold themselves accountable to reaching their goals. When you reach a goal, your self-esteem gets a bump, and healthy self-esteem is part of being happy.

Governor Chris Christie’s Bully Image

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

 The Bully Image

Recently, in The New York Times, there was an article online about Governor Chris Christie and how he exacts revenge for even the smallest criticism.

“He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them. ‘I thought it was a joke,’ Mr. McKeon recalled. ‘What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?'”

[maxbutton id=”94″]

Create Civility in 2014 on Social Media

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

An Effort to Create Civility

I have written posts about incivility and rude behavior that is prevalent in the workforce. This year, I have come up with 5 things you can do to create civility on the different social media platforms.

Avoid Uploading Potentially Explosive Photos

The power of an emotional image is that it can contribute to a misunderstanding. People can interpret things differently due to the lack of context. In order to prevent a powder keg effect, think carefully about images you upload onto social media.

Avoid Judgments of Tone

Sometimes, it’s too easy to judge the tone of one’s voice on social network. What the person intended to write may not be the same way you read it as. As they say, most communications are nonverbal. Try speaking to the person and hear it in its intended tone. It may be completely different from the tone you imagined it first to be.

Avoid Talking to Trolls

Trolls are people who feel unheard and make a continuous attempt to gain respect from people. They create enemies in efforts to gain friends and respect. Don’t become their next target.

Take It Offline

It might be a good idea to send a private message or call the person to clarify an issue than posting it to their social media page where everyone can see it. Although you may disagree with someone, sending a private message can show that you still respect the mutual online relationship enough that you would send them a private message.

Help Others

If you spend your time online helping others and giving to the community, the people will more likely come to your defense when you are in trouble. They will also be more forgiving and give you the benefit of the doubt during a misunderstanding that happened on social media.

No matter how incivility exists today, we can all strive to create civility in 2014. Do you have any other things that can help foster a civil online community?