I’ve been thinking about WHY people don’t take action against workplace bullying lately, and I’ve come up with three reasons:
1. Fear. In the case of workplace bullying, taking action means standing up to the bully. It possibly means standing up to managers who aren’t willing to acknowledge it’s a problem. What happens if people don’t listen? Will the bully retaliate? What problems will taking action create? These questions are answered in the context of fear, so the answers lead people to avoid taking action.
2. Spotlight. Many people don’t want to be in the spotlight. Why would someone volunteer to be in the spotlight if it meant they will be punished by the bully? Or worse, by the organization?
3. Apathy. Some people just don’t care enough to take action. Maybe the bullying doesn’t bother them personally. Or maybe they think it’s normal to be treated that way, so they don’t feel compelled to take action against normalcy.
Maybe one of these reasons is why you haven’t taken action, or maybe it’s something else. But one thing is for sure, if you’re not taking action it’s because you haven’t made the decision to take action.
If you want something to be different, you have to take action to get it. Whatever it is, do it today.
To make taking action easy for you, I took the liberty of stealing from my own training materials and put this job aid together. This is an exercise I run for clients in my training programs, and I’m sharing it with you so that you can run it with your team.
The job aid provides step-by-step guidance to facilitate a 30-45 minute conversation about professionalism. Feel free to use it yourself or email it on to your managers to use in their staff meetings.
Go get ‘em tiger!