Is Your Office a Bully Free Zone or do you experience stress and anxiety?

According to the memoirs of former British prime minister, Tony Blair, ‘A Journey’, he writes that he felt bullied by his chancellor, Gordon Brown.

Being bullied tends not to be openly discussed in case this increases the risk of further ill-treatment, and because the victim often feels ashamed to discuss it with colleagues in case his/her professional credibility is called into question.

Even the mildest form of intimidation may be very disturbing, and, if prolonged, the effect on the victim can be severe. A bully will typically shout and verbally abuse victims publicly, in order to confirm his/her control and will often allocate tasks which they know the person is incapable of doing.

How can victimisation be avoided?

Individuals who are being bullied have a number of options including confronting the bully; contacting the HR department [if available] or complaining to the bully’s immediate superior.

In reality, however, the victim will often stay and keep silent or, alternatively, if they are so unhappy, they will end up leaving their job. If possible, talking to a colleague can help, but in the end it is up to the victim to take action. My advice would be to confront the bully immediately, and in a direct but quiet way that does not escalate the situation, i.e. so that the bully does not become further incensed to a point whereby he/she will want to exact revenge.

My clients often tell me that informal complaints are usually met with little or no response. While a complaint of bullying or intimidation is very often difficult for managers to resolve, an indication that the complaint is being taken seriously is welcomed by staff who have expressed concern over a bullying situation. As people are often reluctant to discuss being bullied, managers need to be sensitive to the telltale signs, and know how to act when they see them.

Undoubtedly the most effective intervention is the training of managers to help them ensure the quick resolution of such disputes between their staff. Quite often, managers do nothing simply because they do not know what to do. It is also clearly important that employers recognise the impact that bullying can have indirectly on the morale of the entire department concerned, as well as on the individual employee. In particular, a formal document detailing policy and procedures should be in place to deal with issues of workplace bullying and/or harassment – as this indicates unambiguously that the organisation takes the issue of intimidation seriously, and provide a mechanism for dealing with complaints, both informally and formally.

Bullying is unacceptable in the modern workplace and no responsible company or organisation should be seen as condoning it. The health of employees is important, and that includes both physical and mental wellbeing. Have you ever been bullied at work? Leave your comment in our column.

Key Points about Bully-Free Zone

· Bullying destroys staff morale

 · A demoralised workforce is less productive

 · Bullying and intimidation must be reported

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Keynote Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for charismatic, high-impact workplace stress management presentations and organisational change strategies.

See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX  Or check-out our latest ideas about stress help, instant acces to stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L  and stress management training aimed to reduce stress and delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, Dubai, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

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Can we relieve stress and anxiety by improving our communications?

I know that this is going to ‘date’ me but I actually do remember life without cell phones or computers.  I established my stress consultancy over 20 years ago and it became successful without either piece of technology in place. When I think back to those times, I really do wonder how we achieved this with such limited communication tools. 

Travelling to London today, on the train, I read with interest in the newspaper that ‘the iPhone delays the end of British Summer Time, (BST)’ which reported that thousands of users of the latest iPhone had lost an hour of their working day after its pre-set alarm failed to register the end of BST.  Meetings were cancelled and workers were late for work after the glitch in the iPhone 4 failed to change the time to one hour earlier as from last weekend.

And I started to realise how dependent we are on technology.   

Communicating with each other

We expect computers and phones to connect us to our business and family, at the touch of a button, to an extent that we are now utterly dependent upon them, 24/7, in order to run our lives.

Most people would now rather ‘text’ in preference to speaking on the phone or in person. Our vocabulary is now increasingly made up of signs, symbols and three letter acronyms such as DVD, CRM, USP and URL.  We write within a 140 character wordcount to post around the world on Twitter.

This is not a criticism but rather an observation.  Some of my clients who come to my counselling rooms tell me that they find it difficult to communicate with their children and we sit down together and wonder why there is this mismatch.  Is it that the parents can’t keep up with their children or is it that children find it hard to accept that their parents are from another generation. 

In effect, we try to make common ground – a place where the young can learn from the old and vice versa.  A place where we can value experience and also innovation.  A place where there is mutual respect.

I told you I was going to sound ‘old fashioned’ and I am not saying I want to go back to the ‘good old days’ – which is, of course, impossible.  New technology has brought new ways of working to an extent that would have seemed unbelievable only twenty years ago. Instant communication has made us hugely more aware of what is happening, not only in our place of employment , not only in our own country but also  what is happening 24/7 around the world.  That has to be good because knowledge is power and we all need to be empowered.

Plus, of course, we can talk to our friends and family – almost anytime!

How do you see all generations learning from each other.    Do leave your comment in our blog here.

Key Learning Points

  • New technology has brought new ways of working
  • Knowledge is power and we all need to be empowered
  • We live in a transitional era in which technology is king

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Keynote Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for charismatic, high-impact workplace stress management presentations and organisational change strategies. See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX  

Or check-out our latest ideas about stress help, instant acces to stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management training aimed to reduce stress and delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, Dubai, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

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Motivating Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

It was a pleasure to be back in Dubai last week, and the positive mood from the commercial sector was perceptible. Company outgoings have been streamlined and I now hear the word ‘consolidation’ increasingly being replaced by ’growth’.

The presentation I delivered entitled ‘Release the Hidden Entrepreneur in You’ at the Big Idea event was a resounding success. Aspiring Entrepreneurs presented their business ideas to a panel of judges, of which I was one. The creativity and innovation delivered from the platform certainly demonstrated to me that entrepreneurship is the keyword, not only for the winner who deserved his award but for all the finalists.

Entrepreneurship is the prime factor that will bring about a quicker economic recovery in the region as a whole, and in the case of Dubai, will bring about a turnaround in commercial and industrial activity.

Entrepreneurs bring innovation and life to the workplace with new ideas and an energy and enthusiasm that is communicated to the entire workforce. In all countries and all societies there are those who lead and those who follow, and commercial activity needs both to attain sustainable success.

Dubai, in particular, has been a good example of this over the past fifteen years as a sleepy fishing port has been dramatically transformed into one of the world’s busiest tourist destinations and a commercial hub for the entire Gulf region and beyond.

A case study

I talked to Khalid Al Kamali, an 18 year old student – who is also a UAE National Snooker and Billiard Team player – and his thinking was refreshing and insightful. Here was a young man studying for law but with a passion and drive for the chosen recreational sport in which he excels. Khalid maintains that you cannot be successful if you don’t have the right attitude and mindset.

To be so young and yet have such a clear vision and focus will certainly take him to where he wants to go in life. The future for Dubai, and the UAE, is certainly bright if we use Khalid as our example. A young man with a strong belief system who lives and breathes his personal goals.

‘Motivating Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow’ is my mantra, and after my visit here last week, it has been strongly reinforced by the optimism I encountered for the future, in so many business people with whom I talked.

I will be returning to Dubai during Global Entrepreneurship week, from 15 – 21st November, when it is estimated that 7.5 million participants will take part in 32,000 events in over 100 countries around the world, exposing people of all ages to quality entrepreneurial experience. Now, isn’t that a perfect example of the world pulling together?

Key Learning Points

■  Entrepreneurs bring innovation and life to the workplace

■  Entrepreneurial attitudes and mindsets will bring about sustainable growth

■  Global Entrepreneurship week takes place from 15 – 21st November. Do you have an innovative idea for tomorrow’s business world? Leave your comment in the column.

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Keynote Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for charismatic, high-impact workplace stress management presentations and organisational change strategies.

See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX Or check-out our latest ideas about stress help, instant acces to stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management training aimed to reduce stress and delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, Dubai, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

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