Talking about workplace bullying is exactly how we get the word out that it exists, why it needs to stop, and what we can do about it. And that’s just what advocates Jessica Stensrud, Ty Weeks, and Andrew Winters did. In Shakeena Appleberry’s “Let Us Talk About It,” Shakeena, Jessica, Ty, and Andrew made these insightful points:
The basics of workplace bullying
- Workplace bullying puts more emphasis on money than humans, often completely removing humanity from work.
- Jealousy and insecurity lead to bullying in any forum.
- When image becomes a priority, bullying can thrive.
- Targets often fear reporting bullying because people know problems get covered up.
- Bullying is learned behavior. It is malicious and intentional. They may have been taught poor coping mechanisms, lack the ability to love, or don’t love themselves.
- Bullying is NOT about being tough. Tough, great bosses want the best out of people and bring the best out of people. Bullies do not. They do not use constructive criticism.
- Bullying doesn’t make people more productive. It makes them less productive because they live in fear and feel less than a human being. Targets tend to try to gain the approval of the bully instead of recognizing the problem has nothing to do with them.
- PTSD is a normal result of bullying, similar to rape cases or combat.
- Workplace bullying happens when leadership lets toxic environments get out of hand.
- Legislators address school bullying without considering what happens when bullies become adults.
- Bullying happens when the least competent employee targets the most competent employee and wins.
- Employers protect bullies because they can.
What we can do
- Our own mental health is the first priority. When it is, lack of action reinforces the status quo. So we need to change the culture through law.
- We also need opportunities to speak openly and honestly.
- If you see something, say something. Let’s hold bullies accountable.
- If we come together, we can stop it.
- Join a sign-holding event.
- The bottom line: workers deserve respect and dignity.