Archive for the ‘Guest Articles’ Category


Hermes: Workplace bullying — Isolating, devastating

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

By Katherine Hermes, Guest Op-Ed, Connecticut Mirror, March 19, 2014

If you knew that 900,000 Connecticut residents experienced a particular problem at work, wouldn’t you want to fix that problem? That’s how many workers in our state have experienced abusive conduct on the job.

There are problems great and small, global and local. But when you are the target of a bully, the problems are so personal and isolating that a wider world ceases to exist. My friend Marlene (Braun) was a conservationist, a birdwatcher, a lover of literature and film, an enthusiastic cook, a traveler, a scientist—but once the bully had hold of her, a suicide.

Her death catapulted me into a movement, founded by the Workplace Bullying Institute, to try to stop workplace bullying. I discovered that workplace abuse was not illegal unless the campaign of destruction was directly related to the protected status of the person being bullied. If the bully did not harass the target because of race, religion, sex, age, and so forth, it was legal conduct.

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Women leaders’ campaign to end “bossy” label for strong women

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Confident girls are often called the other B-word, and it can keep them from reaching their full potential, write Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) and Anna Maria Chávez (CEO, Girl Scouts, USA) on March 8, 2014, Wall Street Journal.

We were bossy little girls.

Sheryl: When my brother and sister describe our childhood, they will say that I never actually played as a child but instead just organized other kids’ play. At my wedding, they stood up and introduced themselves by explaining, “Hi, we’re Sheryl’s younger brother and sister … but we’re not really her younger brother and sister. We’re her first employees—employee No. 1 and employee No. 2.”

From a very young age, I liked to organize—the toys in my room, neighborhood play sessions, clubs at school. When I was in junior high and running for class vice president, one of my teachers pulled my best friend aside to warn her not to follow my example: “Nobody likes a bossy girl,” the teacher warned. “You should find a new friend who will be a better influence on you.”

Anna: The Latino community of my childhood had clear expectations for each gender: Males made decisions, and females played supporting roles. My brothers and I used to play war with the neighborhood kids. Each child was assigned to a team to prepare for battle. As the only girl, I was always sent to collect ammunition (red berries from nearby trees). One day, I announced that I wanted to lead the battalion. The boys responded, “You are really bossy, Anna, and everyone knows a girl can’t lead the troops.”

Fortunately, I saw my mother break this mold by running for our local school board. One of the most vivid memories of my childhood was hearing people come up to my father and say that it was inappropriate for his wife to run for office … and having him tell them that he disagreed and was proud of her.

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Pearlman: What you don’t get about NFL bullying

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

By Jeff Pearlman, CNN, Feb. 18, 2014

An excerpt …

… as the world — in and out of sporting — chatters over the 144-page report commissioned by the NFL to explore allegations of bullying within the Miami Dolphins, I can’t help but sigh, shrug and accept the reality that — even with Richie Incognito’s warranted public flogging, even with Michael Sam’s announcement of his homosexuality, even with continued societal enlightenment — little will change.

As anyone who has spent time covering athletics will tell you, life in a male professional clubhouse is often akin to the worst fraternity on campus — minus the rules, regulations and governing bodies. There is a caste system, but it has little to do with the most intelligent and mature rising to the top. Here, the skinny backup quarterback who attended, say, Harvard or Northwestern gains no points for his pedigree. The strong debater or the Tolstoy fan isn’t considered a guide or guru.

No, this is the heartland of Richie Incognitos — large, loud, oafish dunderheads who would be branded bullies elsewhere but are here leaders. As the NFL report detailed, Incognito and Co. appeared to take a sadistic pleasure in torturing Jonathan Martin, a teammate considered to be weak.

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Magrass & Derber: The U.S. as a Bully Nation

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Bully Nation
by Yale Magrass and Charles Derber

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has appropriately been called a bully. This has implications well beyond Christie. His calling out has the potential to shift the growing public conversation about bullying from a pyschological narrative about abusive individuals to a new discourse on institutionalized bullying, carried out by ruling institutions and elites.

The current focus on bullying – like much of the discussion about guns and gun violence – has tended to focus on individuals and mental health. It is a therapeutic narrative. Bullying is seen primarily as a psychological problem of individuals. The victim needs therapy, better communication or adaptation skills. Bullies are characterologically flawed and need therapy or perhaps legal punishment.

But there is little or no discussion of larger social or cultural forces in the United States and the American institutions or leaders who bully other countries or workers and citizens at home. Institutionalized bullying is endemic to a capitalist hegemonic nation like the United States and creates death and suffering on a far greater scale than personal, everyday bullying, as important and toxic as the latter might be.

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Guest Blog: Break the Silence, Report Workplace Bullying

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

By Sarah Yuengling, RN, MSN 9/6/13
Workplace Bullying University Alumni

Save your co-workers life; report bullying. Suicide and Post Traumatic Stress do occur from being bullied in the workplace. Nurses take an oath to do no harm to others. This includes protecting your co-workers from being bullied. Reach out your hand and help your co-workers so they can receive counseling.

The importance and impact of bullying in the workplace is significant to nursing in many ways. Bullying threatens the very foundation, of not just nurses, but its business ethics, structure, and productivity. Nursing is a sensitive structure that demands teamwork, dedication, and drive.

The rise of bullying threatens to create barriers in nursing that will result in a negative way. This impact bullying has on nurses impedes their ability to function professionally by interfering with teamwork, morale,and personal health. Prevention is the only way to stop or eliminate bullying. An anti-bullying program must become an integral part of nursing training by deeply imbedding the need to identify and prevent this destructive action in the workplace.

A nurse takes the oath to do no harm to others. Nurses dedicate their hearts and minds to practice faithfully in their profession. The qualities a nurse must possess are to be compassionate, sympathetic,and empathetic towards others. These qualities are especially important for nurse managers so they can guide and mentor nurses along their career path. A nurse manager who lacks these qualities and does not support their nurses, creates problems in their working environment.

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Guns make gunshot wounds: It has to end – trauma doc’s plea

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Again advocates of stopping psychological violence at work must face the reality that organizational life is part of societal life. It is all connected. Massacres remind us of the American brand of violence that is all too frequent. Bullying pales in comparison, but it is a form of violence. When we demand that it stop, we have to acknowledge the societal context.

Moral decency trumps NRA distorted rationales for availability of military combat weapons for citizens. Buried in the saturation media coverage of the Sept. 16 Washington Navy Yard massacre was a press conference by Med Star Washington Hospital Center CEO and Chief Medical Officer, Janis Orlowski, M.D.

I first heard her comments on the radio. She was remarkable in that her voice wavered as she spoke eloquently about “evil” visited upon families when death and injuries of the innocents in the typical American massacres. She said that we all have to “work together” to stop it. The “it” was unclear. Then, in response to a question, she began the statement captured in the Associated Press video below. As soon as she said that we used to fight with fists, then knives, then guns, the networks cut away from her.

She had uttered the forbidden 4-letter word: GUNS. As a trauma expert, she called massacres “senseless trauma,” and hoped that her trauma center could someday be put out of business because massacres (i.e., gunshot wounds) might be stopped. Emergency physicians have long lobbied for gun control because they see the wholesale slaughter of humans that guns allow.

Dr. Orlowski’s full statement about guns is captured in the video below. We should all listen and dive into the “gun control debate.”

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Police chief: Workplace bullying needs to be addressed

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Kansas City, Missouri police chief Darryl Forté wrote an eloquent and thoughtful blog about workplace bullying in police services. His perspective and words speak for themselves below.

Heavy on my heart this morning is the subject of bullying – not cyber bullying, bullying at school or even sibling bullying – but workplace bullying. Bullying is not solely germane to those more commonly discussed areas. It frequently occurs in the workplace.

I began writing this blog at 2:39 this morning. For some unknown reason, the topic was weighing on me with a sense of restlessness that I haven’t felt in months. As I tried to discount the heaviness on my heart and to rationalize the restlessness as excitement for being on a few days of vacation, I realized I had to share the realities and perception of workplace bullying, especially in a law enforcement environment.

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The reason WBI is all about helping targets of workplace bullying

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

We have explained in detail elsewhere why the Workplace Bullying Institute is not neutral in the war between unsolicited aggressors (bullies, mobbers) and involuntary victims (targets). WBI is target-centric. We’ve chosen sides. Bullies have their own powerful, funded support groups; they call them employers.

Now comes an eloquent letter from a bullied target posted by WBI colleague David Yamada at his Minding the Workplace blog. Lily, the author, explains painfully why she deserves our help. How could a caring human being believe otherwise?

Read her description of enduring misery.

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Shorty B Uses Music to Speak from the Heart

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Workplace bullying takes a tremendous toll on targets, and everyone deals with the stress differently.

Shorty B uses music to cope:

“Music is like therapy for me, and that includes listening to it as well as writing it. We all get bullied–it takes many forms and it is not just kids. Writing and performing helps me deal with stress–it’s a total release for me. That’s one reason I do it. If this song helps someone deal with a stressful situation, then that means so much to me!”

Take a listen to Shorty B’s song about her workplace bullying experience entitled You’re the Boss.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To purchase the full song, follow this link.

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Christina Cha from Survivor One World named as WBI Celebrity Advocate

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012


The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) proudly announces its partnership with Christina Cha, Final Four contestant on CBS-TV Survivor: One World, as its national celebrity advocate. WBI advocates for American workplace changes to prevent destructive abusive conduct.

“Christina experienced bullying firsthand on network television but never wavered from showing class and personal dignity,” remarked Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director. “We look forward to her encouraging others who suffer in silence far from the glare of a national spotlight.”

As fans of Survivor know, Cha was targeted for bullying during her time as a contestant on the show. On national television, Cha endured an onslaught of brutal verbal attacks that even made audiences uncomfortable. These acts were beyond the scope of fair competition, they were acts of bullying: deliberate and cruel and without provocation. Drawing on great inner strength, Cha never retaliated, but kept playing the game honestly and fairly, ultimately outplaying the bullies to make it to the Final Four.

Cha also experienced workplace bullying when she was a top sales executive. “Bullying is something that happens to adults as well as children” Cha said, “It happened to me. It’s real and it can be debilitating. I’m proud to support WBI that offers tangible solutions to bullied individuals and employers.”

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