March 1, 2022
Timothy R. Clark invites Nicki Eyre to discuss Navigating Workplace Bullying. As someone who experienced both opportunity and adversity during her career, including her own experience of feeling bullied at work Nicki Eyre brings unique insights and expertise on how to navigate bullying in the workplace. Here are a few key take aways from the conversation.
Acts of bullying fall on a spectrum.
Acts of bullying fall on a spectrum from overt, blatant, clearly destructive forms of bullying to subtle mild forms of bullying. The intention behind a leader's actions matters. Often new managers can, for lack of proper training, unintentionally find themselves bullying team members. Leaders may intentionally make life harder or try and "manage-out" team members that are underperforming or they feel threatened by. If you are to combat workplace bullying it's important to know where it lies on the spectrum and to address it early.
Current practices lead to escalation.
Anti-bullying policy and they'll give you a grievance policy and everything pushes it up the scale towards a more adversarial approach. Then organizations become concerned about how to keep out of court. Instead we need to recognize bullying behaviors earlier and resolve issues before they escalate. You have to look at the main causes of bullying in an organization and work to change behaviors and culture.
We need cultural accountability.
In addition to performance accountability (what gets done) we also need cultural accountability (the way that it gets done). Everyone in an organization regardless of their role plays a part in creating value for the customer. It's important that we recognize the work others do and the way that they do them.
Speaking up is not enough.
What happens when you speak up that is far more important than speaking up. Because if things aren't being done differently, if someone is punished for speaking up or if they are not heard, then there isn't a point to speaking up. We can't have a speak up culture without first creating an environment of rewarded vulnerability (psychological safety).
Small behaviors make a big difference.
One of the things organizations get hung up on is trying to do something really big to make a difference. In reality, it's a series of small things that you do consistently to keep you moving forward in the right direction. There are no quick fixes. It is not a static process but one that you must continually work on.
About Our Guest
Nicki Eyre is the Founder and Managing Director of Conduct Change. She also leads the work of the Conduct Change Foundation as they research and campaign for the implementation of effective routes to redress for individuals, both in terms of approach and legislation, as well as supporting individuals to move on when they are struggling emotionally.
Nicki is a Member of the International Association on Workplace Bullying & Harassment, and was recently invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her work in this area.
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