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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



October 18th, 2014

An explosion of proclamations for 2014 WBI Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

WBI State Coordinators, the national network of volunteers who lobby state lawmakers to introduce, then enact, our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, are also the prime activists for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week. Every year, in many states, cities and counties recognize Freedom Week. In turn, state lawmakers have to pay attention to the grassroots attention paid to ending abusive conduct in workplaces in their respective states.

In 2014, California leads the proclamation race with over 80 cities endorsing Freedom Week just prior to the start of the Week. Check the California Healthy Workplace Advocates website for a current listing. Here is a sample of California cities and counties.

Oakley, Calistoga, Pleasanton, Adlanto, Temecula, Campbell, Oceanside, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Oakdale, Lemoore, Palm Desert, Thousand Oaks, Carpinteria, South Lake Tahoe, Wasco, Santa Maria, Capitola, Saratoga, Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek, Indian Wells, Port Hueneme, San Juan Bautista, Costa Mesa, Kingsburg, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz County, Watsonville, Fowler, Sand City, Moreno Valley, Santa Clara, Grover Beach, Dinuba, Pinole, Ontario, Rohnert Park, Duarte, Goleta, Lompoc, Hermosa Beach, Tulare, Rancho Mirage, Redlands, Ridgecrest, San Leandro, Capitola, Placentia, City of Santa Cruz, Palmdale, Manteca, Portola Valley, Downey, St. Helena, Torrance, Moorpark, Sebastopol, Murieta, Contra Costa County, Mission Viejo, National City, Wheatland, Foster City, LaCanada, Dublin, Montclair, Tehachapi, Tustin, Pico Rivera, Lodi, Anderson, El Cerrito, Burbank, Tehachapi, Brea, South El Monte, Livermore, Lassen County

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Posted in Freedom Week, WBI Education | Post Comment



October 17th, 2014

Wisconsin county joins Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

County Declares No Tolerance for Workplace Bullying
By Lyn Jerde, Portage (WI) Daily Register, Oct. 16, 2014

Andy Ross made it clear at the outset: Nobody is saying that there are bullies working for Columbia County.

But, in urging the County Board Wednesday to approve a resolution proclaiming Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week, Ross said the county’s top governing body should reiterate the importance of a bully-free workplace.

Ross is a member of the County Board’s Human Resources Committee, which offered the resolution, which the County Board approved unanimously.

The Workplace Bullying Institute, based in Bellingham, Washington, started largely because one of the founders, Ruth Namie, once had a “boss from hell,” according to information on the Workplace Bullying Institute’s website. In the 1990s, she wrote, there was little legal recourse for victims of workplace harassment if the harassment wasn’t overtly racist or sexist.

The Institute has declared next week, Oct. 19 to 25, as Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week.

The Institute defines workplace bullying as “a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved.” This kind of bullying usually doesn’t entail physical threats, but rather deliberate emotional and psychological abuse.

Ross told the County Board that the resolution puts the county on record that such behavior won’t be tolerated in any Columbia County department.

“This is one of those topics that we wish we didn’t have to address,” he said.

The topic is being addressed, Ross noted, in ongoing management and leadership training that has been provided, first to county department heads and later to lower-level managers in county departments. The training, offered through Madison Area Technical College, will focus this fall on how managers can avoid bullying behavior.

“Depending on how old you are,” Ross said, “it may be something that was acceptable, and pretty common, years ago. But we can’t tolerate it anymore.”

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Posted in Freedom Week, Good News, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI Education, WBI in the News | Post Comment



October 17th, 2014

About the bully’s intent to harm

I hate talking points (propaganda) for American-style capitalism. For example, some of the most loathsome soundbites are: All hail entrepreneurship (Shark Tank); Everyone can live the American Dream if they only try hard enough; Ignore gross inequality – having a tiny elite group of individuals owning a disproportionate share of all wealth is good for the country; and Support for our neediest (compassion) is a sign of weakness.

By extension, this mindset also espouses these lies about workplace bullying … People who claim to to be “abused” at work must have provoked their mistreatment … they (targets) undermine virtuous employers … and if, and only if, someone gets hurt at work, perpetrators never intended to harm, it was all a misunderstanding or misperception by the recipient.

The WBI 2014 IP-B study countered the myth about intentionality of bullies completely. We asked bullied targets — not the public, not managers, not bullies, not HR, not owners, not executives, not corporate defenders — and they overwhelmingly stated that their bullies acted with deliberateness (82%) and knew they were harming their victims. When we add in the perpetrators acting on behalf of others, an astonishing 91% were deliberate and malicious. Only 2% of bullies were “accidental” perpetrators.

To conclude that if targets are hurt by bullying, their hypersensitivity was to blame, is a damnable distortion of reality.

What matters most is that bullied targets are hurt by decisions made by perpetrators to behave negatively. Lies about bullies’ stated intent matter not one whit. Effects and consequences trump intent. [Using the same logic, we at WBI also state that bullying is not simply based on whether or not negative behaviors occurred but if those acts happened AND they caused the targeted person adverse consequences. We allow for behaviors to have different effects on different recipients allowing for individual differences in the ability to cope and respond to negative actions. If there is genuinely no harm (immediate or latent) to the target, then bullying did not occur.]

Another arena in which the same blame-the-recipient scenario pops up is the modern political apology. Rather than say “I’m sorry,” thus accepting personal responsibility, politicos say “I’m sorry if you felt hurt by anything I did,” displacing blame on the victim of wrongdoing. And we blithely, through our inept media reporters, accept this sleight of hand by not challenging it.

Lawyer-cartoonist Ruben Bolling perfectly captured the shifting of responsibility for intentionality in the strip below — The “R” Word — with NFL overtones.
Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 1 Comment



October 17th, 2014

HBR: How to Deal with a Mean Colleague

By Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review, October 16, 2014

When a colleague is mean to you, it can be hard to know how to respond. Some people are tempted to let aggressive behavior slide in the hopes that the person will stop. Others find themselves fighting back. When you’re being treated poorly by a coworker how can you change the dynamic? And if the behavior persists or worsens, how do you know when you’re dealing with a true bully?

What the Experts Say


“When it comes to bad behavior at work, there’s a broad spectrum,” with outright bullies on one end and people who are simply rude on the other, says Michele Woodward, an executive coach and host of HBR’s recent webinar: “Bullies, Jerks, and Other Annoyances” You may not know which end of the spectrum you’re dealing with until you actually address the behavior. If it’s a bully, it can be difficult ­— if not impossible — to get the person to change, says Gary Namie, the founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute and author of The Bully at Work. But in most cases, you can ­— and should ­— take action. “Know that you have a solution, you’re not powerless,” says Woodward. Here are some tactics to consider when dealing with an aggressive colleague.
Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | 1 Comment



October 16th, 2014

WBI Survey: Reversing Emotional Abuse

REVERSING EMOTIONAL ABUSE
WBI Research/Instant Poll: 2014 – D

WBI credits friend and researcher Loraleigh Keashly for coining the term Emotional Abuse at Work as synonym for workplace bullying. Her 1998 review of the then-current scientific literature was aptly titled. Bullying always impacts the targeted person’s emotional state. The effect is always negative, not positive. In most cases, individuals are either happy or emotionally neutral at work, content to do their jobs. Bullying comes unannounced and uninvited. It compels immediate attention. All of one’s cognitive resources are deployed to cope with the psychological assault.

In worst cases, there is trauma that must be dealt with. In all cases, the target is stigmatized and social relations with coworkers strained. At the very least, the onset of bullying is a sad event. The once neutral or happy person is forced into negativity. At the outset, attempts to think “happy, positive thoughts” are overwhelmed by the negative reality imposed by the abuser.

Bullying triggers distress, the human stress response in reaction to the bully’s tactics, the stressors. If left unabated, prolonged distress leads to stress-related diseases, all sorts of health complications.

The most effective stress mitigation factor is social support. Validating human support can reverse the deleterious effects of emotional abuse. Isolation exacerbates the distress. Sometimes learning about the first-time experience can alleviate distress. After all, bullying is rather ambiguous when first experienced.

WBI research (WBI IP 2013-H) found that for 33% of bullied targets, their bullying at work was the first abuse ever experienced in their lives. Those people will take the longest to recognize Only 19% were bullied in school; they may or may not recognize the bullying happening to them at work because they might have expected bullying to have ended with school ending. Sadly, 44% of targets have a prior history with abuse from family experiences. Prior history alone does not guarantee instant recognition and labeling of the emotional abuse happening to them, but their visceral reactions become cues to recognition. They have “been there before” with respect to the emotional negativity; they have known fear, apprehension and anxiety.

WBI Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

For this survey, we asked 820 respondents (bullied targets and witnesses) to describe sources of positivity for bullied targets shrouded in negative emotions.

Question: As a bullied target, who made you feel better, changed your negative emotions to positive or at least less negative?
Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 1 Comment



October 15th, 2014

Bridgeport, WV mayor declares Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week

Robert Greer delivers proclamation to WV Healthy Workplace Advocate Pam Schade at Bridgeport, WV City Council meeting. The event was captured by WBOY-TV, Clarksburg, WV.

West Virginia has been active with Healthy Workplace Bill legislation. New legislation will be introduced for the 2015-16 session.

Celebrate WBI’s Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week October 19-25, 2014

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Posted in Freedom Week, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), WBI Education, WBI in the News | Post Comment



October 15th, 2014

PEI RNs commit to stopping bullying in their workplaces

The Association of Registered Nurses made the cessation of bullying among their members (lateral violence) and against their members (bullying & abusive conduct) a priority. The project was launched at a 1-day conference in Charlottetown on Oct. 10. Speakers included Gary Namie, Director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and Vicki Foley, Nursing Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island. Both speakers appeared on CBC-PEI radio show Island Morning promoting the event.

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October 14th, 2014

Indonesia: Siapa Biasanya Korban Bullying di Tempat Kerja?

The international reach of WBI …

By Timi Trieska Dara – 14 Oktober 2014, MetroTVNews, Jakarta, Indonesia

Intimidasi (bullying) di tempat kerja bukan hal baru. Sebagian besar korban bullying adalah perempuan. Survei yang dilakukan Workplace Bullying Institute Amerika Serikat mencatat sekitar 37 persen pekerja menjadi korban bullying.

Penulis sebuah penelitian, Karan Smith, mengatakan sekitar 40 persen dari pelaku bully di tempat kerja di AS adalah perempuan. Korban bullying sebagian besar adalah perempuan. Selain itu, pria pelaku bully juga sering memilih perempuan sebagai korbannya.

Berikut beberapa hasil pengamatan terkait bullying di tempat kerja:

1. Bullying memiliki banyak bentuk
“Taktik bully dari yang bersifat keras–berteriak, membanting pintu, dan ngomel–hingga yang halus, misalnya karyawan yang dibully tidak diikutsertakan dalam pertemuan penting atau ditugaskan tanpa sumber daya yang memadai untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan rekannya. Rekan kerjanya bisa direkrut dalam ekspedisi untuk mengisolasinya. Di belakang korban, pengganggu melancarkan aksinya, meskipun bos sendiri sering menjadi penyebabnya,” kata Karan.

2. Pelaku bully memilih karyawan yang baik sebagai korban
“Karyawan yang diserang sering kompeten, berkomitmen pada satu prinsip, dipilih untuk kekuatannya, bukan kelemahannya,” ujarnya.

3. Ikan membusuk dari kepala
“Bullying biasanya terjadi dalam kepemimpinan yang buruk,” kata Karan.

4. Bullying menciptakan penyakit
Korban bully akan sering mengalami tekanan darah tinggi, depresi, diabetes, dan bahkan masalah di tempat kerja seperti gangguan pasca-trauma stres.

Cara terbaik untuk mencegah bullying, baik pria maupun wanita, adalah mempertimbangkan alasan sosial yang mendasar mengapa hal itu terjadi di tempat pertama.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, WBI in the News | Post Comment



October 9th, 2014

Shop & support the Workplace Bullying Institute

People who benefit from the advice found at this WBI website or in our books or on the WBI YouTube channel, or from the WBI videos designed to help bullied individuals can now help WBI.

GR Northwest is our online shopping site. A small portion of the sales goes to WBI.

We start with seasonal offerings — Halloween and Christmas.

Tell us what you normally purchase online and we will attempt to make those items available so you can support WBI simply by making your routine online purchases.

Dash off an email to

ideas at grnorthwest.com so we can try to acquire those items for you.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | Post Comment



October 9th, 2014

WBI Survey: The Many Ways Workplace Bullying Offends Its Targets

THE MANY WAYS WORKPLACE BULLYING OFFENDS ITS TARGETS
WBI Research/Instant Poll: 2014 – C

At WBI we teach extensively about the health risks of bullying for its victims, the bullied targets. Health risks are documented in the extant research literature and in the collection of prior WBI studies. We have also explored perceived injustices associated with bullying.

Harassment is considered “offensive” mistreatment. Offensiveness is subjective. What offends one person might not adversely affect others. However, when people are hurt, upset or angry over the behaviors by another person specifically directed at them, they have the right to claim to be offended.

At the very least, bullying is offensive. It is also demeaning, ostracizing, disempowering, cruel, threatening, humiliating, untruthful, and unrelated to work itself.

WBI Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

For this survey, we asked 1,031 respondents (bullied targets and witnesses) to describe the five most offensive aspects of the bullying experience.

Question: As a bullied target, what aspect of the bullying offended you the most? Check the top 5.

There were a total of 4,588 choices made by the 1,031 respondents. The top 6 from the list of 17 choices appears in the graph. We plotted the actual number of respondents who chose each item. The proportions based on the 1,031 respondents are shown in parentheses. Though respondents were allowed up to five choices, numbers 5 and 6 were virtually tied in rank, so both are shown.

Being accused of incompetence when I possessed more technical skills than my accuser 580 (.568)
Being humiliated in front of coworkers 493 (.483)
Feeling ashamed though I did nothing wrong 432 (.423)
Management ignoring my complaint 426 (.417)
Having coworkers ostracize, exclude & reject me 370 (.362)
Retaliation that followed my complaint 368 (.360)

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 3 Comments



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