Let me help you become bully-proof.
From working for one of the most competitive employers in the UK – the BBC for 28 years, I learnt bullies and harassers GROOM. This renders bullying and harassment predictable so that potential targets can be prepared to respond to the grooming with polite, effective responses that stop the perpetrator in their tracks.
I spent the first 18 years in the BBC working for BBC Drama and the latter 10 years working as one of the full-time trade union officials representing trade union members in the BBC, in collective negotiations, and with their cases: grievances, disciplinaries, capability procedure, redundancy processes, and appeals.
About 20% of my workload was about bullying, including helping the BBC rewrite its bullying and harassment policy after Judge Roses’ report found that BBC Staff did not expose Jimmy Savile due to a culture of bullying and harassment.
Most of the personal case support was listening to BBC staff, in bits as they described what they’d experienced. Most of these phone conversations ended the same way – the member would talk for precisely 1 hour about what had happened. Then they would say, “I don’t have any evidence, so I know you can’t do anything but thank you for listening.” I felt very frustrated, not that listening isn’t one of the essential skills, but I wanted to offer them something that would protect them in the future. I already knew targets of abusive behaviours are more likely to be targeted again. The lightbulb moment came when I had 2 cases in the same week where the perpetrator pressurized the target to apologise for something that was not their fault; once they had apologized, the bullying began.
I then spent 5 years reading everything I could find on bullying and harassment; most of it is rubbish. You’re told all the horrible things that can happen to you at work, and then the author suggests you go and talk to HR or lodge a grievance. I would argue by that point, it’s too late the damage has been done. The most rapid deterioration I’ve seen at work in someone’s mental health has been amongst those being bullied or harassed.
I went back through all my case files, identifying multiple forms of grooming and responses that work and ways to make sure that the target’s behaviour can’t be faulted. I then constructed webinars for
general audiences, reps, workforces, HR, and management to raise awareness and workshops for those who have been bullied to address the core of what they have experienced, helping them spot grooming, and have practiced appropriate and effective responses.
I would welcome the opportunity to work with you to help you, your members, your colleagues and your company to recognise the grooming to stop any attempt at abusive behaviours then and there. If you have any questions please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org