“That’s me! I’m Brenda” said a young woman. The group sat in stunned silence. We were delivering our drama-based training programme called “Brenda” which focuses on the challenging issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace. We had just finished watching our actors play the scene, when the delegate, recognising herself in the way that our character ‘Brenda’ behaves towards a colleague, gave voice to the light-bulb moment that had occurred.
Raising self-awareness is an important step in an honest discussion about the impact of behaviour on others, along with the commitment to valuing difference and understanding the potential consequences of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour.
No-one should have to endure bullying and harassment at work. I’m sure everyone would agree with that statement and yet bullying at work continues. Yes, even in 2015. Sometimes the bullying is overt and physical as described in this Review of Culture at Essex Fire Service published just this week. But often the bullying is less obvious, and dismissed as just a bit of banter, and attempts to bring someone into the team culture.
Company culture is often described as “the way we do things around here”. How would you describe the culture at your place of work? What would be considered “appropriate behaviour” where you work? And does the behaviour and language used within your team reflect the stated values and beliefs of your organisation?
Bullying can occur in any organisation. But with the right management support, most issues can be addressed at an early stage and resolved, by ensuring that staff receive useful feedback on their impact on others, are supported to make the necessary changes, and everyone is clear about the behaviours they are expected to demonstrate in order to reflect the organisation’s stated values and beliefs.
It’s time to get this sorted. No-one should have to endure bullying and harassment at work.
If you would like more information on how we can support your organisation to address these issues, and switch on some light-bulb moments please get in touch.