Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z. An A-Z of Workplace bullying- An Incomplete Journey

The areas of Workplace Bullying I've touched on over the past month for the 2011 A-Z April Blogging Challenge hosted by Arlee Bird over at Tossing it Out  include:

A      Angst & Anguish
B      Bullying behaviour - how to recognise it
C      The Courage it takes to stand up to a bully and the Climate in which bullies operate
D      Danger, Depression and Doctors
E       Ethical behaviour
F       Friends, and how important they are to support the bullied person
G      Guilt. The target may feel guilty for being 'weak'
H      Harassment and Health
I        International students and others
J        Journal - The importance of keeping a Journal
K      Known causes of bullying
L       Lies - bullies tell lots of these
M      Mind, Mates & Movement
N      Nurses and other Nice people
O      Obstructive and Outrageous behaviour
    PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Q      The Qualities we instill in our children
R      The Responsibility to tackle bullying
S       Sociopaths and Serial Bullies
T       Targets and Teachers
U      Underestimate and Unrelenting
V      Vulnerable - the vulnerabilities a bully looks for
W     Why Me? The personal and professional characteristics that make you attractive to a serial bully.
X      The X factor - why some people act with integrity and others go to ground.
Y      You can do something if you're being bullied.
Z       The A-Z of Workplace bullying. The A-Z April Blogging Challenge, 2011.

The focus of these posts was the serial bully in the workplace, however much of the information may be relevant other types of bullying, including:
  • abusive, manipulative and violent partners and family members
  • abusers of those in care
  • bullying neighbours, landlords, authorities
  • cruelty to animals
  • cult leaders
  • child bullies who will evolve into adult bullies
  • paedophiles
  • racial abusers
  • sexual abusers, rapists
  • violent offenders
  • ...
  • ...
Some reflections on the A-Z Challenge
There's so much I haven't touched on, including bullying between tribal or clan groups as we're seeing in the Middle East and human rights abuses throughout the world: Australia, America, Canada, China, Africa, India, we all do it. As societies, we treat people who have different beliefs as lesser human beings. (Think health care reform, religious intolerance, and rational climate discussion in the US and other countries.)

I haven't even touched on how countries such as Australia shamefully bully detainees - those people who used to be called displaced persons after the Second World War. Back then were often greeted with compassion and acknowledgement of the horrific experiences they'd survived, but nowadays similar people are incarcerated behind barbed wire for years as if they're criminals. I haven't looked at bullying between countries for scarce and dwindling natural resources. It's just too big.

Bullying is a huge topic, overwhelming in it's prevalence and complexity through all segments of society in Australia and other countries.
East Side Gallery. Berlin. 2009.
If I've raised awareness, and helped someone, somewhere, then it's been worthwhile. I'd love to hear from you if something in these posts has supported or encouraged you or someone you know. If there are factual errors, let me know and I'll amend them.

Making Australia Happy was a short TV series which involved reputable health care professionals. The idea was to invite some very unhappy people to follow specific interventions (nothing weird or outlandish) to see if their happiness levels could be improved. Their Happiness Index was measured before, during and after the interventions. It's well worth looking at.  This link to the show includes a further link to the Australian Happiness Index.

How these posts came about
These posts are by no means an exhaustive coverage of Workplace Bullying. I had anticipated writing entertaining Drabbles for the challenge over at jumpingaground, but on March 31st (ie the day before the challenge began) suddenly thought I might be able to do an additional A-Z blogging challenge looking at Workplace Bullying here at traverselife. It wasn't anything I'd consciously planned ahead, although I do have some professional and personal experience.  

The posts were never intended to be academic in tone, but very user friendly with pictures complimenting the words. Each post took many many hours of writing and editing, trying to make them as accessible as possible, but even so I'm well aware many need extensive re-editing. However, I've done it! I doubt I'd have tackled such a big topic if it hadn't been for this challenge and my last minute decision to be involved. 

The Photos
Many of the photos I've used were taken at The East Side Gallery in Berlin in November 2009 as well as around that city. I happened to be in Berlin for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and spent hours wandering along, jaw dropped in awe at the extensive, edgy, confronting and fantastic art at the East Side Gallery.  

The idea of the gallery was that it would be an international wall for freedom and encourage discussion about walls and borders.  It's a short section of the Berlin Wall that has been retained and is used as a huge outdoor art gallery, it extends for around 1 kilometre. The art is simply amazing, with artists coming from around the world to contribute. For some of the history of the East Side Gallery see hereWorkplace bullying seems to me to be a variation on the theme of walls, borders and obstructions.  

I hope to focus on the healing journey after being bullied and finish with this joyous painting by Terry Denton.
from Terry Denton's book Flying Man.
Terry's TV series "Gasp" has been nominated for an
ANNECY award in France as Best TV series. Good luck Terry! 

There are many outstanding resources on line. A couple I find useful are Bullying. No way! an Australian resource for teachers and students, and a UK site Bully On Line. The FB group eBossWatch is well worth a visit for links to current articles. David Yamada writes excellent posts over at Minding the Workplace and his blog is well worth keeping an eye on.

This is in no way an exhaustive list, and each country will no doubt have equally good or more relevant websites. If you're being bullied please seek advice from a professional health care practitioner experienced in this area.

I'm going to take a break from blogging here for a while after Monday's review, though I'll possibly post some more lighthearted words and photos over at jumping aground. I'll be back with my haphazard non scheduled posts when my brain has recovered. I hope to see those who've become Valued Visitors as well as many of you who've dropped by without commenting. I'll probably focus on assertiveness and healing but if anyone has some ideas, please let me know - no promises, but input is welcome.


David L Macaulay said...

nice one Sue - a rather comprehensive guide to workplace bullying - congrats on completing the challenge.

Grandpa said...

I had this comment over at my blog - it should have perhaps be here: Sue - thank you! Nice meeting you too. You deserve the break after such a well-researched and informative subject you did for the Challenge. You are probably the only one who chose to do comprehensive and continuous posts covering such an important topic. I think it has benefited a lot of people. Well-done!

Life on The Farm said...

I'm so glad we've connected, Sue. This series has been helpful to me (I've experienced this -to some degree- repeatedly) and I forwarded a link to one of your recent posts to a friend who's being bullied. It was helpful to her to - especially the description of the bullier (manipulative, sociopathic, etc.). You've written about this in a very user friendly, compassionate AND comprehensive manner. I'm impressed and grateful!

Yes, deep breaths. Congratulations on crossing the finish line!

Tony Payne said...

You did a great job, some really useful information in your posts. Well done :)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Thanks for tackling such an important topic during the month of A-Z. I hope someone is able to take that information and turn their life around for the better.

sue said...

David, cheers! We did it. Thanks for your comments. Each and everyone helped me get through.
Grandpa, thanks for taking the time to come over and repost. That means a lot to me. I've had some positive feedback which is fantastic.
Robyn, I'm sending a HUGE thankyou your way. To hear that a post has helped someone is the best feeling. A lot of what I've come across isn't user friendly, and I'm so pleased to hear I hit the right tone for someone! - although sorry that your friend is suffering and that you have too. I think the next logical post would be assertiveness. I might tweak something I did a while ago. I look forward to seeing you later on, but for now...Zzzzzz
Tony, thankyou,
Jeffrey, thankyou, I think the first step is to acknowledge that the bully exists, the next step is to work out how to handle the situation. None of it easy.

Thankyou all for your encouragement. What a month!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I'm coming back to read your A-Z. WoW!

Malcolm said...

Pretty helpful info, lots of thanks for this article.
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