What I find stunning is that anyone is shocked by this

I’m not saying he is guilty; I’m saying power differentials have to be addressed

The only way to stop predatory, powerful people from abusing that power is by empowering their potential targets. This should be done via workshopping potential issues and making explicit what you, as the employer, expect your employees to do. Already assertive people will see this as pointless, however, the way that assertive people and targets see the world is different. Assertive people aim to be reasonable, and targets aim to be nice, to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, which abusive personalities exploit.

Targets say things like, “I thought everyone who worked for the BBC would be nice.” “I thought if I was nice to everyone, then everyone would be nice to me.” “I think he is just getting impatient with me as I have a lot to learn.” “Her standards are so high my job is to reach them.” No one makes as many excuses for the bully as their target. So employers need to re-educate their employees and, in so doing, will ensure the company’s reputation.

Submission can cost lives, as we’ve seen in the NHS. At its most extreme, the clip below shows how one of the most submissive cultures can cost lives in the air.

Submissiveness costs lives in the NHS and in air travel


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