Stop fourth and fifth phase mobbing as defined by Heinz Leymann ~ It’s only nearly impossible! ~ And, I’d love to help…

“The first phase (of mobbing) is usually an unresolved, festering conflict. This triggers aggressive acts and hostile communications in a second phase. In a third phase, management may become involved, i.e. the level of interactions increases, and often, at that point, the target is being slandered or, in the worst case scenario and in the fourth phase, may be branded as mentally ill. This can then lead to the final chapter: expulsion. All that may very well be a tragic outcome of deliberate office politics, but it may also be thoughtlessness and a terrible lack of empathy.” ~ Dr. Noa Davenport

I’m working with the phases of mobbing as defined by Heinz Leymann and articulated by Dr. Noa Davenport. It’s worthy of note that Wikipedia defines this as stage three. Regardless of how stages are quantified researchers agree that distinct phases of mobbing, or bullying by a group, exist. I’ll add that I’m focusing on workplace abuse here. In the fifth stage of mobbing the targets professional reputation is almost always ruined. Currently, it’s considered impossible to fix that damage. Typically the target must relocate or change professions, if not both! This is completely unacceptable!

In order to be effective at correcting damage to their reputation the target must be effective at holding the perpetrator accountable for their behavior. This isn’t mean or confrontational, at all. According to the Harvard Business Review blog we can’t get workplace abuse under control without holding the perpetrators accountable. Moreover, these people reoffend. It’s saving someone else’s mental health and reputation! It’s a good deed and the more ethical course of action!

In the fourth phase of mobbing bullies and employers, frequently they are the same person, create a zero sum game. Either the target is mentally ill or the bully and their cohorts have caused a state of duress that may well have caused a mental breakdown. This zero sum game is easily won, provided the target is healthy again.

Naturally, it will be important to address slander as well. That’s simple. It’s only a matter of addressing it directly. Gossip is almost always inherently irrational.

Severely abusive individuals almost always project their severe emotional problems onto their targets. It’s intuitive that the aggressor is the one with the emotional problems. It’s inherently irrational to trust an abusive individual’s analysis of their victim’s character, period. But people do it. Address both directly!

Bullies count on secrecy and fear. As soon as they are held accountable and the silence is gone, their power is gone. Now, some are potentially physically violent and honestly I’m concerned about that in this case but it makes sense to use discretion there and also confront the possibility directly. It’s ideal to threaten to press charges.

They will try to say that it was a unique and unfortunate series of circumstances. Sometimes victim’s who are in denial come to that conclusion of their own volition. It isn’t true. Address it in advance. These patterns are well researched.

There are two components to handling the abusive behavior by a group. One is to confront each individual publically but without naming their name or position if it distinguishes them, unless they are a decision maker. All decision makers have to be confronted by title. I illustrate how to do this in “Workplace Issues” and in the open letters addressed to decision makers, all of which will be sent publically. The second is confronting the mob mentality. I’m writing a separate instruction page on that.

This is a real situation and I personally was harassed and bullied. The abuse counted as assault as well. It caused post traumatic stress disorder. This is a test model.

I intended to create a model that anyone could duplicate. It’s actually a model that a management professional can duplicate.

For now, anyone who wants to duplicate this please contact me.

I’ll be happy to help for free.

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To my Mentor: OMFG, how funny!

Quick preface: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.

I saw one of my childhood BFF’s in person for the first time in ten years yesterday! Since I’m writing Manage and Speak I remember a lot of detail about our initial interaction. I told her that you didn’t hire me your manager did and that he warned me that you, “Could be a little scary at first but that most of your employees like you once they get to know you.”

Now I know that this is keeping control through leadership, but I digress. Anyway she immediately said, “You probably just considered that a challenge.”

I laughed and affirmed her statement. I added, “We had a stare down the second or third time that I saw him. When I didn’t back down he laughed. Then he made rules that no one manage me in a traditional fashion and that I report directly to him.”

I thought that it was cool that she would anticipate that! I’m so happy to be back in contact with her! I missed her terribly!

OMFG, you are right!

In the summer that we parted company you said to me, “You are so (exploitive) naïve Cobra!”

You were accurate. One of my biggest weaknesses is corrected now!

But, it isn’t quite that simple. Someone with the qualities that the perpetrator has can frequently manipulate and lie to even experienced executives effectively. This concept is covered in “Snakes In Suits” published by Harper Collins Business Press. There was someone who you employed for several months that followed the same patterns. You finally terminated his employment at my firm recommendation. Later you marveled that you had missed it for so long. I only missed it for a few months also. But, people like that are frequently potentially violent, or at least capable of threatening violence so effectively that it causes a state of duress. Henceforth, my traumatic stress breakdown that it took three years to recover from. That guy is sick and scary!

By the way, he is going to feel like he did nothing wrong. And whatever line of BS he comes up with he will believe. But, the chances of his telling exactly the same story more than once are quite slim.

That is exactly why I didn’t see it or feel it at first!

Edited on December 25th, 2010.

Quick note to readers: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.


To the Perpetrator: I’ll explain a basic of management.

When I initially contacted you I asked if you, “fired your non-productive agents.”

I’ll clarify my terminology. A non-productive agent is someone who has a below average level of production and a negative attitude. It’s always ineffective to pressure team members to do a certain volume of business. It causes them to pressure clients and become complacent once the quota is met. But, someone who does a below average volume of business and has a negative attitude is a liability to the team.

It’s likely that someone who knows that is highly competent. But, you didn’t notice my actual level of competence until you became my client. I would have suspected the truth on the intake phone call and I would have know the truth within twenty minutes or less.

To the Perpetrator: Seriously?

Downtown LA's office skyscrapers. Including th...

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You informed me repeatedly that I have a serious challenge with, “Protecting my own interests.”

In our initial meeting I told you that I, “Offer the highest level of service and consultation in the market…am competent to generate more business than I can handle on my own and am always willing to walk away from the business.”

The above is the best way for a real estate agent to protect their interests. I’ll illustrate that point to you as your competition.