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Bullying and harassment: Three management cultures to avoid

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HC Online | 28 Oct 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
To avoid instances of bullying and harassment as much as possible, Stephen Bell recommends organisations look at workplace culture and leadership behaviour in the context of the management of risk
  • Bernie Althofer | 28 Oct 2010, 03:28 PM Agree 0
    Very good points raised by Stephen. I would add that the culture could also reflect an attitude of tolerance that leads to acceptance. Turning a blind eye, being a silent witness, not wanting to ''rock the boat'', suggesting that people should just leave, or even telling them to ''harden up'' does not solve the problem. It doesn''t even reduce the possibility that you might have some explaining to do when it all goes pear shaped. Employees should have enough trust in the workplace culture to be able come forward and report any form of inappropriate behaviour without fear of victimisation, intimidation, job loss or the need to engage a legal professional. Managers should have the courage and tenacity to tackle the hard issues, have the difficult conversations, and dare I say it, implement and follow through on termination processes when there are no other options left. Courageous conversations are only limited by our willingness to engage in them. Taking on the difficult issues can be made more difficult if we don''t know what we are doing. If in doubt, ask for professional advice. Follow the processes. Act in good faith. Try some respect, dignity and humanity. Stay safe and bully free.
  • Stephen Bell | 28 Oct 2010, 04:49 PM Agree 0
    ''Courageous conversations are only limited by our willingness to engage in them'' a good way to put it Bernie. I think a major step in this process is believing that part of your role is to be a coach - not only to develop skills but also the right behaviors.
  • Bernie Althofer | 29 Oct 2010, 10:28 AM Agree 0
    Some years ago, I went to a very interesting presentation about The Wizard of Oz. Remember the difficulties faced by the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tinman. The qualities those characters were looking for are in my mind, qualities we should all possess. Sometimes it just takes some else to come along (the coach)and show us the way along the road. Being assertive and not aggressive, treating others fairly, with respect and dignity and understanding too that they are also having a hard time. Our job as leaders is to get the best out of them. We will inspire others to greatness if we don''t model our own behaviours and conduct on the principles of fairness, respect, dignity and humanity.
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