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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.

Bullying Intervention

Please see the pages above or the section below marked bullying intervention.

To my Mentor: The Troops are Getting Fired Up!

Be Excited

Image via Wikipedia

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 was chatting with someone who is enthusiastic about my plan earlier today. Obviously, I can’t say who but she is a reputable member of the community. She said something along the lines of, “get those” people!

Naturally, I’m paraphrasing.

I’m excited about my project.

I suppose that a normal person would be afraid.

But, I’m excited!

To the Perpetrator: Regarding your accusation of “bad hygiene.”

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.

On the night that you let me go you accused me of having, “bad hygiene.”

I was breaking into cold sweats because I was having a traumatic stress breakdown caused by you.

It is so disturbing that this could happen at a company founded by a woman and with a team that is predominantly female.

To: The Woman Who Thinks That I Was Trying to Steal From Her

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 did not try to steal from you. I was used to an environment in which office computers were shared and that is candidly common. It was also common for us to bring friends to the office since the general public was walking in and out of the office all day anyway. My friend switched to a lap top computer because she was trying to get on to match dot com, which was blocked on the office computers.

If I expressed any remorse I would be faking it. I was already having a traumatic stress breakdown at that point in time. It was extremely obvious that I was being abused. You represent a firm founded by a woman and a team that is predominately female. Not only did no one try to help me, you all made it easy for him to get away with it. This is deeply disturbing.

I don’t feel that I owe anyone there an apology for anything, except the agent who I didn’t train. Even then I tried to keep my word but was afraid that the perpetrator might retaliate in the form of physical violence.

To The Woman Who Says That She Witnessed me Attempting Theft: Careless and Socially Irresponsible

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.

Here is the bottom line; virtually everyone on that team had reasonable knowledge that I was being abused. Despite that the vast majority of you decided to trust his analysis of my character. This is an excellent example of a low team E-IQ. And, that night you informed me that, “no one…believed anything that (I) said” and, “saw through it.”

I seriously doubt that you are capable of understanding this but I would never speak to another human being the way that you spoke to me that night. It isn’t about who they are it’s about who I am.

The next day the manager who abused me asked me if she was, “someone who I picked up in a bar?”

The above has an obvious sexual connotation. That certainly was not his first inappropriate statement. The truth is that she is from an affluent Jewish family and went to Rutgers University. I had known her for years. I had celebrated holidays with her family and she had celebrated holidays with my family. I told the manager who abused me this but I consider it likely that the information was not relayed. Moreover I said, “If you want to accuse me of theft call the police.”

I handled that correctly despite the fact that I was having a traumatic stress breakdown.

If anyone had actually cared if the allegation was true they would have checked the search history on the computer and checked to see if any files had been opened. No one did. Match dot com is blocked on the office computers, or was then. My friend was extremely anxious to know if she had a date. This is hardly criminal.

The perpetrator was looking for a way to discredit me completely. If he felt confident that no one would believe me then he could continue the abuse. My licensed therapist specializes in trauma. A woman fearing for her safety for a prolonged period of time can be as traumatic as rape and that is what happened to me. To put this in perspective when I relayed my experience to a former journalist he said, “It sounds like you are lucky that you got out of there before something happened.”

Sexual assault is about control rather than desire. According to RAINN one in six women are raped in America. They usually know their attacker and these crimes happen at all socio-economic levels. Given his inappropriate and abusive behavior my concern was extremely reasonable. I do not become afraid for my physical safety easily at all. Either he is potentially violent or he inflicted a state of duress intentionally. The other option is that he cannot control his own emotions and which is immaterial.

Retaliation is unethical but it is ethical to hold individuals accountable for their actions. To say that the firm and the team handled this poorly is an understatement.

For future reference kindness is a virtue. It is also a leadership skill and a strength in business.

To the Perpetrator: For the last time, the answer is yes!

My mentor warned me that as soon as you began managing me in a traditional fashion I would, “feel it” and it would, “hurt.”

Within less than a week of becoming affiliated with the firm I said to you, “I do not like the way that you are managing me. I know how to do that for myself.”

You replied by asking if my mentor had taught me to manage myself. I replied, “Yes it’s an important rule that” he made in the year that I met him. “I do that for other people but no one does that for me. I do not like it and if you do not stop then I will not stay!”

You ended the meeting abruptly. Once we were visible to other parties you said to me, “Go ahead, it will be okay.”

You acted as if you were reassuring me because I was insecure professionally or socially.

The truth is that I had said yet another thing that threatened you professionally.

For the last time, the answer is yes. He taught me to manage myself as defined by Peter F Drucker, the single most respected management theorist who ever lived.

I can see why you would feel threatened by that. But it isn’t an excuse for abusive behavior, at all.

And, you didn’t operate within confines of law!

To the Firm’s Founder: This is impossible, you know? The decision was irrational.

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’m trained for management also. Unlike the perpetrator I’m highly competent at it. It’s impossible that I would fail to notice the vast majority of team members pretending to misunderstand me. And, you were doing the same thing.

Now, within a few weeks of my becoming affiliated with the firm team members began observing the fact that there was, “something weird” about my frequent meetings with the perpetrator. You all were pretending to misunderstand me because you believed his arbitrary and unfounded judgment that I’m manipulative. Obviously, he had a motive to discredit me. Believing his judgment blindly was irrational.

To the Firms Founder: You do know the perpetrators motive.

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.

You and I had a conversation in the resource room. I told you that he had specified that I stop helping and training other agents. Regardless of the nature of the abuse the motive was professional jealousy.