Bullying at work October 26, 2016 January 25, 2017 Gill Brabner

Brenda – our Diginity at Work drama-based learning workshop

This morning’s headline in the Guardian gave us a familiar story: NHS staff lay bare a bullying culture

For those of us working in the NHS or with the NHS this is not news but a depressingly often repeated theme about workplace culture.  Delving a bit deeper into this issue I found a podcast from NHS employers which explains an initiative which aims to support BME staff who are more likely, than their white colleagues, to be in front of a disciplinary hearing. This sounds like an important piece of work and one that raises awareness of conscious and unconscious bias.

But what about tackling the deeply embedded behaviours that create these problems long before all parties find themselves in the stressful situation of a disciplinary hearing?

Michael West (@WestM61) says that we require a culture of compassion. In this video he offers 4 ways to create the conditions for compassion at work:

  1. I have to be present, in the here and now, listening with fascination
  2. I have to come to a shared understanding
  3. I have to have a felt empathetic response
  4. I have to take thoughtful action

This provides a compassionate response to working with patients, which I know from our work in the NHS,  staff want to do, day after day, now let’s offer a compassionate response to colleagues who are struggling too.


We provide drama-based training workshops designed to support organisations to address Dignity at Work issues.  For a free taster workshop of “Brenda” please get in touch.