10 reasons to attend FREE Launch 12-noon Wednesday 18th May 5. Becoming an upstander.

Usually, bullying doesn’t involve just a bully and a target. Stella O’Malley writes in her book, Bully-Proof Kids about the importance of other roles in bullying. Usually, Bullies like status so audiences are important, that’s what they get off on – audience approval or compliance. “Wingmen” are fans of the bully, but the most important role is that of the bystander. If a target can not assert themselves it is the bystanders who decide the outcome. That outcome will be negative for the target if the bystanders find the situation amusing, intimidating, and/or say nothing at all. Stella has a much more positive, proactive title for bystanders: “upstanders.”

Naturally, children are hardwired to intervene if they see a pier in pain [Nice Guys Finish First BBC Horizon]. Bystanders if they take on the role of upstander can deflate the bully or bullies. Being an Upstander doesn’t have a huge as Stella O’Malley argues, “If you’re on public transport and someone is giving someone else racial abuse, even by just making eye contact with the target, and giving them a supportive look, helps reduce the bullying. Crossing the carriage to stand by them, maybe engaging them in conversation about the journey or the weather, will help reduce the power of the bully.” O’Malley’s mantra is to embrace the role of the upstander – and in schools in particular, she thinks nurturing an upstanding culture would make a huge difference.

I’m concerned that schools and workplaces will be too intimated at the idea of developing truly assertive children and workers to implement programes to bring about the necessary change. We’re not trying to produce ‘difficult’ children or disruptive workers the aim is to produce reasonable human beings and it is their workers who will protect the businesses they work for by challenging unacceptable behaviour.

Post Savile I was one of the union officials who helped the BBC develop new bullying and harassment policies. There was a very useful addition made – examples of what is and what is not acceptable behaviour. Certainly for targets context is everything – yes he was shouting, I was publicly humiliated but I had made a mistake in my work. To which my answer is that if management can not control their behaviour they shouldn’t be management.

School children and workers can resolve bullying problems by training in what is and is not reasonable behaviour and by encouraging upstanding. Upstanding can protect the reputation of a business or school. Added to which becoming an upstander is the biggest personal development you can give a child or a worker: empowered people are grateful. Children are told not to accept sweets from strangers, we can safeguard them for life by training them to identify unacceptable behaviour and how to respond to it appropriately. In addition to this I teach people to recognise the signs they are being assessed as a potential target and how to respond effectively. Upstanders can protect the business they work for not just from unacceptable behaviours, but also from breaking regulations or taking illegal action – as bullying is often used to cover up something worse. I think it highly probable that there was a lot of bullying prior to the financial crash of 2008. FREE launch 12-Noon on Wednesday 18th May
Book here: https://tinyurl.com/25e86sde

#FREELaunchBullyProofing @joannamoorhead @stellaomalley3 #bully #bullyproofkids #workplacebullying #bullying #bullyingawareness #bullyingprevention

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