The Importance of Treating People with Dignity and Respect

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The Essential Guide to Managing Stress

We are aware that all employees should be treated with dignity and respect and that bullying and harassment is detrimental to both morale and team dynamics and should never be tolerated.  However, if you are being bullied, it is not always easy to know what action to take.  All employers need to demonstrate a duty of care to everyone who works for them but, sadly, this is not always the case.

Being Bullied

Emilee is a 35 year old, London accountant who enjoys her work. She appears to be a self-confident, efficient and outgoing person who you would not think could be easily bullied.    However, the opposite is the case.  She told me that her boss, John, only speaks to her in order to criticize her work and, otherwise, completely ignores her from one day to the next.  Never is there any word about what she has actually achieved.  To date, she has done her best to ignore this attitude because good jobs such as hers are not easy to come by and she is committed to her work. However, a few weeks ago, Emilee could finally take no more intimidation and she arrived at my consultancy room, in tears. Continue reading

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Anger Management: Does Modern Life Make you Angry?

Traffic jams, supermarket queues, computer crashes or a crowded metro are all stressors that can upset us and make us angry. We become irritable with our colleagues and shout at our family and loved ones. We become obsessed with trivia and suddenly that which should be the lowest of our priorities, develops into the most important problem in our life.

This is because our expectations are such that everybody will be on time and everything will always work immediately as we expect it to.

The doctor’s appointment was at 9 am so why are we still waiting at 9.30 and consequently being late for work? Our computer unexpectedly crashed again although it was only ‘fixed’ yesterday and now that vital report will be late and we have to apologise to the General Manager!

These incidents happen around us all the time and because our lives are so finely tuned, it only takes one small thing to go wrong and the rest of our day can be ruined and our complete agenda disrupted. Then, all we really want to do is to go back to bed and start again!

When something goes wrong, we find ourselves trying to apportion blame onto others which may, or may not, rebound against us. Our emotions start to get the better of us and we lose control; our anger rises to the surface and the first person we come into contact with experiences our rage and disappointment. It is not a pleasant experience for either ourselves or our colleagues.

A London Daily Telegraph report recently cited a survey which found that 90% of people get upset by dealing with call centres while 50% become so angry when their computers crash, and they lose their work, that they physically attack them.

We all can get angry and there is nothing wrong with the occasional loss of temper. In fact, it is probably better to show our emotions rather than to keep them bottled-up inside. Continue reading

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How to Deal with Bullying in the Workplace and Cyber Bullying

Last week, I delivered a presentation on workplace bullying to a group of volunteers in a large retail company, in the UK.  This group have volunteered to provide a listening and sign posting service for anyone within their organisation who has been subject to workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination.  They have all been professionally trained to give guidance to any individual who feels they are at risk and their role is to
be proactive and to provide an informal route for an employee if they experience such a problem.

Bullying issues are, unfortunately, experienced around the world but not every organisation will make a commitment to provide this support to their staff and the commitment and motivation from this team is to be greatly admired.

Bullying in the Workplace

You may wonder why there is a need for such a team of people.  Well, with many managers under pressure to achieve targets and deadline, it is inevitable that the high levels of stress they have to endure is going to affect them.  Some managers under stress, may demonstrate bullying behaviour without being consciously aware of it, but that does not make it any less acceptable.

Bullying, of course, is perceived differently by everyone.  What is acceptable for one person is unacceptable to another.  What makes one person laugh, makes another
person cry.  That which may work in one culture, does not work in another.

There are many signs of bullying behaviour that are highly visible, for instance: the person who is publically humiliated by their manager or the individual who wrongly takes the credit for someone else’s work. However, there is another more insidious form of bullying behaviour that needs to be addressed: that credit for someone is so-called ‘cyber bullying’. Continue reading

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