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Topics: Career Development, Communications Management, Leadership
Have you ever stood up to bullying in the workplace?
If so, what happened? Looking back, is there anything you wish you would have done differently?
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Yes. Nothing, and Yes. Despite lots of talk about zero tolerance etc., and official policies etc. the reality is quite different based on my personal experience, and those that I know who have had similar experiences. Most of what is in place within organizations is purely for effect to give persons the appearance of a legitimate mechanism to right the wrongs of others. Think twice is my advice.
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1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 20, 2020 4:11 PM
LORI WILSON
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Hi Steve: Thank you for being brave enough to share your experience. HR is there to protect the company, and often - unless there is clear, factual documentation over a period of time - nothing is improved. I am sorry this experience happened for you.
Jan 20, 2020 3:52 PM
Replying to Steve Ratkaj
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Yes. Nothing, and Yes. Despite lots of talk about zero tolerance etc., and official policies etc. the reality is quite different based on my personal experience, and those that I know who have had similar experiences. Most of what is in place within organizations is purely for effect to give persons the appearance of a legitimate mechanism to right the wrongs of others. Think twice is my advice.
Hi Steve: Thank you for being brave enough to share your experience. HR is there to protect the company, and often - unless there is clear, factual documentation over a period of time - nothing is improved. I am sorry this experience happened for you.
Hi Lori
Especially in matrix organizations , Senior Managers tend to protect their territories and teams , So if you have an issue with a stakeholder that reports to a different boss, good luck trying to resolve that issue! More often than not, it ends up in Frustration , lack of motivation and compromise .
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1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 20, 2020 6:14 PM
LORI WILSON
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Hello Deepesh: I'm hearing from you that in a matrix organization standing up to a bully is very difficult to do. Is there anything that can be done in a matrix organization - such as policies, training, etc. that could make a difference? Do you believe a project manager could encourage these types of things in a matrix organization?
Lori -

Yes - I quit a job early in my career when an executive attempted to bully me into not hiring someone I had already made a verbal offer to (having been given the authority to do so).

I felt that put me in an ethical bind and that I needed to send a strong message to the executive and the rest of the organization that this was a line that shouldn't have been crossed.

While I felt some short term pain and regret, had I not done so, long term it would have been difficult to look at myself in the mirror.

Kiron
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1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 20, 2020 6:16 PM
LORI WILSON
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Hello Kiron: Thank you for your courage in sharing your personal experience. It is never easy to stand up for what you believe is right knowing the cost can be your job! Because I also personally know you, I can totally see you standing up courageously for what is right. Thank you for being that ethical example to us all.
Jan 20, 2020 5:04 PM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy
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Hi Lori
Especially in matrix organizations , Senior Managers tend to protect their territories and teams , So if you have an issue with a stakeholder that reports to a different boss, good luck trying to resolve that issue! More often than not, it ends up in Frustration , lack of motivation and compromise .
Hello Deepesh: I'm hearing from you that in a matrix organization standing up to a bully is very difficult to do. Is there anything that can be done in a matrix organization - such as policies, training, etc. that could make a difference? Do you believe a project manager could encourage these types of things in a matrix organization?
Jan 20, 2020 5:39 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Lori -

Yes - I quit a job early in my career when an executive attempted to bully me into not hiring someone I had already made a verbal offer to (having been given the authority to do so).

I felt that put me in an ethical bind and that I needed to send a strong message to the executive and the rest of the organization that this was a line that shouldn't have been crossed.

While I felt some short term pain and regret, had I not done so, long term it would have been difficult to look at myself in the mirror.

Kiron
Hello Kiron: Thank you for your courage in sharing your personal experience. It is never easy to stand up for what you believe is right knowing the cost can be your job! Because I also personally know you, I can totally see you standing up courageously for what is right. Thank you for being that ethical example to us all.
Lori,

Yes, the first time I was too surprised to have a positive reaction to the offender, I was not the one being bullied it was a coworker. Since I have made a point to get the bullier to realises that it was pushing too much.

Do you find it has increased in the workplace since the last American election?
Hi Lori,

I really enjoyed your webinar, and it has challenged me to review my handling of past incidents where I have experienced “executive-level bullying.” I believe if confronted with those same situations today, that I would handle them differently, meaning giving them HR visibility.

It’s always complicated and full of risk, but that should not negate doing the right thing for myself and for others who are likely experiencing the same events/issues.
Lori,
Your webinar on this topic was very interesting, thanks for sharing. Bullying at work place in our part of the world.i.e. Middle east & South Asia is very common where employees who enjoy some kind of authority or superiority on the basis of their influence & connection to higher Management used bullying techniques often. Many of employees give-in to bullying due to their personal reasons and weaknesses such as Job security, recognition and promotions. To my personal experience I have switched at least 03 Jobs due to such polluted work environment.
Although now things are changing but still we have long way to go to bring better work environment and transparency.
It is a difficult topic to talk about because the defintion of "bulling" , when it is consider in the practice, will depend to much on each country culture. I know, there is a core that it is immovable, but please understand me. One of my personal behavor which I practiced in independent way of the company culture where I worked for is to keep a culture of mutual respect between team members. Because this type of things and others, I always got involved from the very begining in all the activities related to select people for working with me. No matter that, things could happend. My actual work place has "well oiled" mechanisms to deal with that starting for company culture which is practiced in the action.

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