9781921513442

Bully Blocking at Work : A Self-Help Guide for Employees, Managers and Mentors

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781921513442

  • ISBN10:

    1921513446

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-01
  • Publisher: Lightning Source Inc
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Summary

No one goes to work to be humiliated, abused, ostracised, subjected to rumours, or assaulted. Yet this is the reality of a working day for more than one in six workers. Bullying causes billions of dollars in lost productivity, expensive mistakes, employee replacement costs, and health and welfare rehabilitation expenses. Most workplaces currently have few resources and systems to deal with the problem, leaving the victims to sink or swim, and the bullies to remain professionally incompetent. Few understand that bullying is not tough management or an aggressive personality trait to be suffered. Severe and unremitting bullying catapults the victim into such a damaging emotional state that it can lead to the breakdown of their very survival mechanisms. Bully Blocking at Work reveals for the first time the true evil nature of workplace bullying, helping the reader to understand its toxic, destructive impact on all employees whether they are targets, bullies or onlookers and provides advice for coping and confronting bullying, from both a personal and organisational perspective. The author has worked as a psychologist for over thirty years and has spent many hours listening to clients, conducting interviews, reading, speaking and writing about workplace bullying. Sprinkled liberally throughout the pages are quotes from the many sufferers of bullying that the author has personally worked with over many years.

Author Biography

Evelyn Field is a practising psychologist, professional speaker, media commentator and author with extensive clinical and personal experience in dealing with the trauma of loss and abuse. She has been helping workplace bullying victims for over 30 years as well as training and writing about both workplace and school bullying. She regularly presents at international conferences and workshops. Her previous books on school bullying, 'Bully Busting' and 'Bully Blocking' are both bestsellers, and now published in five languages. Evelyn lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Excerpts

Most people find it difficult to acknowledge when they are being bullied,  when they witness someone else being bullied, or when they are doing the  bullying themselves. Few understand that bullying is not tough management  or an aggressive personality trait to be suffered. Workplace bullying  is toxic. It is a unique, unbelievably soul-destroying abuse of power. It  threatens an employee’s health and wellbeing, and any workplace that  condones or fosters bullying is dysfunctional and dangerous.  Everyone dreads being humiliated, rejected, vulnerable, and without  social support yet these are the results of workplace bullying. It strikes at  the heart of who we are; activating a primitive fear of exclusion by the tribe  — of being abandoned — creating feelings of anger, shame and denial.  Severe and unremitting bullying catapults the victim into such a damaging  emotional state that it can lead to the breakdown of their very survival  mechanisms. 
 I have worked as a psychologist for over 30 years and helped many  different types of clients, including targets of schoolyard bullying and  victims of criminal trauma. I have spent many hours listening to clients,  conducting interviews, reading, speaking and writing about workplace  bullying. Still, to this day every time I hear a workplace bullying story in  my practice I am hit with a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s  so awful I sometimes want to expel the story from my mind, and feel like  running away. 
 Most people accept that children can be bullied at school, yet cannot  comprehend that workplace bullying is far worse than school bullying, far  more extensive, and a massive health and productivity burden for the workplace,  employers and their employees. Tragically, we now see bullies abusing and intimidating their staff and underlings under the guise of management  billed as entertainment. Endless ‘reality’ television programs parade before  us a staggering range of people of all backgrounds with a unifying trait of  throwing tantrums in public, verbal abuse, and the single-minded pursuit  of their own goals, no matter what the cost to others. 
 No wonder then that four men were found culpable in 2010 in the  suicide of a young waitress at a trendy café in central Melbourne, Australia,  from constant bullying, and sentenced to hefty fines under that state’s occupational  health and safety laws. 
 Workplace bullying is a serious psychological issue that deserves the  utmost attention by the health, management, and human resources sectors.  Today, many mental health professionals fail to assess symptoms accurately;  some diagnose and treat victims inappropriately and relate to them without  empathy or professional respect. It is no wonder. There is little education for  either those treating the problem, or those who can prevent it. Psychiatrists  and psychologists have yet to develop accurate diagnoses and evidencebased  treatments for targets of workplace bullying. Unfortunately, many  cases of workplace bullying that are ignored or dealt with in ignorance spiral  out of control into destructive conflicts, harming both the bully and the  victim, as well as severely damaging the productivity and reputation of the  organisation in which it occurred. 
 This book therefore aims to educate readers about the evil nature of  workplace bullying; to help you understand its toxic, destructive impact on  all employees — whether they are targets, bullies or onlookers — and  provide advice for coping and confronting bullying, from both a personal  and organisational perspective. I hope that its impact can create a new  movement to help employees and employers reduce the hazards of workplace  bullying and align modern work and behaviour practices with reconciliation,  social inclusion and improving performance. The goal is to  acknowledge, validate and create safe workplaces. This involves empowering  everyone, including employers, managers, targets, bullies, bystanders and  the public to use collaborative processes so that everyone benefits.  Sprinkled liberally throughout the pages to come are quotes from many  people I have worked with over the years. These are the genuine voices of  victims and bullies; managers, relatives, bystanders and friends. Their words  help to emphasise the concepts discussed in the text as well as providing a  source of commonality with the reader who has suffered a similar fate. Sometimes it is the simple act of hearing another’s pain and struggle that  helps us take those important steps forward for our own survival.  Remember though, if as you read the information and examples provided  you feel too many traumatic memories or emotional stress is surfacing, that  you can always return to it later. This book is designed to provide you with  long-term support, so read some bits that seem relevant now and refer to it  later as required. 
 I have intentionally refrained from overusing the term ‘victim’ in this  book, preferring instead to use the descriptors ‘target’ to indicate someone  who is the intended receiver of a campaign of bullying behaviour, and  ‘recipient’ to indicate someone who has experienced bullying behaviour by  virtue of being present at the time of a bully’s outburst. Likewise, although  men are more likely to be found bullying than women due to their greater  representation in management and the workplace generally, throughout the  book I refer to both genders to remind the reader that women bully too and  that both men and women can be affected by bullying.  Finally, no matter what help you gain from reading this book, you  must always use professional advice from legal, psychological or medical  specialists where required. In those cases, remember to be as clear and  objective as possible in communicating both your own needs and the circumstances  and effects of the events you have been involved in and why  you are seeking professional help. 
 

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