Friday, 27 January 2012


I was writing a bullying and harassment policy and to update myself on the topic, did some research on the subject.  It's always useful to revisit the theories about bullying in a more in depth way.  By way of a refresher , here are some things for you to think about:
When a complaint is investigated and the finding is that communications should have been better, don't conclude that this is just down to poor management.  Withholding information is a form of bullying.  Poor management is a form of bullying. Don't protect the bully, even if the person is a senior manager.  A poor performer should be able to be told about his/her poor performance without feeling bullied.  So make the link between your performance management practices and anti-bullying training. Appreciate also that bullying is caused by the perpetrator's own feelings of inadequacy.  So put in the support mechanism, not just for the person claiming to be bullied , but also for the person accused of bullying.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Martyrs and resilience

Happy 2012!

I begin the year with a bit of blubbing as I face the long January following Christmas excesses.  How, I think to myself, have I let that happen? - when I know with a bit of better planning, I should be able to cope with and swallow those excesses.  A colleague said to me you can only plan for what comes next, but not worry about it.  In the meantime, don't martyr yourself (in the context of I am not the only one to indulge in Christmas excesses!).  Again, a real-life situation that suddenly transmuted into a work place scenario.  There are bosses who worry about how their employee will re-act; they martyr themselves, thinking what am I doing wrong? The employee is unhappy and not performing/ behaving badly, and that's my fault.  I am a bad manager. So - allow yourself the 5 minutes of worry and self-blame, then get a grip.  Everyone is responsible for his/her own actions.  An employee misbehaving or underperforming is doing that all by themselves - fact.  Now they may need support - in a manager communicating expectations of standards - of performance or behaviour, and you might need to to do it in a formal process.  The only fault a manager can own is in not communicating , and then not thinking, is there a different way to communicate this, because my first attempt didn't work.  That's as far as it goes- ownership of responses by the employee and their subsequent behaviours is down to that individual.  So to both employers and employees, own your actions and re-actions - don't martyr yourself thinking it's all my fault.  It takes 2 to tango.
Oh- and the resilience bit- that's to do with age and experience.  There are levels of resilience I think that grows with age and experience, but sometimes, you do need a time out as resilience levels just hit an all-time low.  So - give yourself a time-out- don't martyr yourself thinking you've got to be always coping. Have a blub!