Workplace Bullying Article
Thought I would send you the piece below that you might find a small space for.
Tackling Adult Bullies
The recent call from Queensland’s Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie for an Australia-wide plan to tackle schoolyard bullying is to be heartily endorsed. But our approach needs to take account of the more than just schoolyard bullying. Young bullies who don’t learn why such behaviour is wrong will likely remain as bullies into adulthood. The effects of workplace bullying are now a significant issue for many adults — workers, managers, employers and their families. A fact reinforced by one of Australia’s leading child bullying experts, psychologist Evelyn Field, who now devotes the majority of her time to educating and treating adult sufferers of workplace bullying.
Field’s efforts since her landmark 2010 book “Bully Blocking at Work” have concentrated on alerting both business and government to the personal and financial costs of adult bullies and supporting sufferers. According to Field the destructive and evil effects of adult bullying can produce such a damaging emotional state that it can lead to a total breakdown of a person’s very survival mechanisms. Field is thus unapologetic about tackling bullies head-on and provides no-nonsense advice on protecting yourself at work. She is scathing in her opinion of some business and legal practices she sees as perpetuating bullying behaviour.
Evelyn’s concern’s are also shared by South Australian based clinical psychologist Dr Moira Jenkins who has just released this country’s first comprehensive guide for business on how to prevent and deal with workplace bullying and the burgeoning legislative duty-of-care requirements coming from both federal and state governments. Jenkins’ book is aptly entitled “Preventing and Managing Workplace Bullying and Harassment” and stresses that dealing with workplace bullying is not some ‘feel good’ exercise but essential core business.
A failure to adequately prepare in any business for bullying can lead to an entrenched “toxic” workplace. For Melbourne organisational psychologist Leanne Faraday-Brash those workplaces soon turn into “Vulture Cultures”. In her provocative book of the same name she outlines both high-level strategies and readily applicable tips to deal with such an environment. From the incompetent to the incomprehensible, the disruptive to the dastardly, Farady-Brash can readily reel off a litany of bullying behaviours amongst the many companies she has consulted with.
It is for these reasons that we must work now to prevent a new generation of bullies from entering our workplaces. No one goes to work or to school to be humiliated, abused, ostracised, subjected to rumours, or assaulted.
About the Author:
Stephen May is a former psychologist, immediate past president of the Australian Publishers Association, and owner of Australian Academic Press, a specialist book publisher devoted to making a difference to Australian lives.