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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Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology.

Dedicated To: Hendric, Morgan and Ashleig

Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology. You were owed a world in which you all can live your lives safely and in peace. Less than fifty percent of you will inherit that. The horrifying truth for those of you who are female is that one in five of you will experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college. You will find a legal system that will not provide you with justice. You are likely to find that your university is more concerned about protecting its reputation than your human rights. They might even try to silence you about the tragedy. Almost all of you will be the target of gender based disrespect or love someone who is. I am extremely sorry that we let you down.

This sounds like a digression but it isn’t. I was in high school during the nineties. Before the nineties gay and lesbian rights were virtually unheard of. Open disrespect of gays and lesbians was completely socially acceptable. Prior to the nineties it was dangerous for people to be openly gay because they might become the target of violent hate crimes and they had little to no legal recourse. They lived in fear. I know that it’s hard to imagine now, but it’s true.

There was a lot of activism for gay and lesbian rights during the nineties. Probably the most important part of that was the One in Ten Movement. I was a part of that one. There were three things that I loved about it. A friend of mine is a lesbian so I was helping someone who I love. Also, I was creating important social change. This is the mind blowing one. What you had to do to be a part of the One in Ten Movement was *almost nothing!*

So, I’m creating a model that doesn’t cut into your time for enjoying life because we want to keep our priorities straight! All that you had to do to be a part of that movement was learn to recognize homophobia and correct it when you saw it. And, back then it was so common and intrinsic to the culture that our gay and lesbian friends had to coach us on it and explain it to us. However, it’s now 2010 so I’m just including video clips. When we heard homophobic comments we had to say something like, “I have a lesbian friend and I really don’t appreciate that.” Obviously, around ten percent of you will need to be a little more motivated than that. But, I want to make this as simple and easy for most of you as it was for me.

Thoreau writes that, “Wisdom is not gained but lost with age.” It’s similar to Jay-Z’s, “Forever Young.” Warren Bennis, the world’s authority on leadership, observes that leaders see what, “could be” rather than what is. There is another group who is capable, willing to, and excited about seeing what could be. It’s you! It’s one of the wisdoms that Thoreau refers to. I hope that you all will keep it for the rest of your lives. And I hope that you will use that wisdom today. Obviously, some of you will need to do a little extra work, but for about ninety percent of you creating real social change is as simple as watching a few short video clips and making a few simple decisions.

A world in which one is physically safe and treated with respect is a birthright.

Go claim your birthright!

To my Mentor: I’m sorry, it’s the worst thing that I’ve said to anyone in my life!

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You and I had a mentor-protégée relationship and not a romance. It was a touch confusing from the outside because we had a fair amount of casual sex. From the inside our relationship was extremely simple. We had a mentor-protégée relationship with benefits.

In the summer that we parted company you pointed out that you knew me like the back of your hand and that I knew you like the back of my hand. At that point in time you expressed concern that you were doing something that might have been hurting someone else. Then you said, “You can’t accept this can you?”

I told you that I couldn’t. I’m deeply sorry for that. It’s literally the worst thing that I have done in my life. I thought that I was being a strong person and a wise person. Truthfully, I was being a deeply unappreciative person and a fool.

As you know, a sales manager abused me. In this work I’m referring to him as, “The Perpetrator.” It’s interesting that I can define him as the perpetrator of sexual assault while defining myself as a survivor rather than a victim, isn’t it? But, I digress!

You also know that he was extremely threatened by me professionally and that his first move had been to try to manipulate me out of reinforcing my skill set at management. I’ll address why I didn’t feel it at first later. But, I did feel it enough to take control of the questions at one point. Candidly, immediately prior to that he had said, quite arrogantly, “Will you feel it? You might.”

At any rate, I took control of the questions and he got past me anyway, at least at first.

Honestly, he had to offer me a management position in order to get me to accept a position. On the night that we did the paper work he told me that he would promote me within three weeks. Within seventy-two hours he told me that he wouldn’t put me in a management position at all because he, “wanted” me, “focused on myself.”

When I offered my respectful resignation based on that he became horribly threatening and abusive.

I last saw him in person at his investment property the following summer. He was my client again at that point in time. I had accepted the listings with the specific caveat that we meet in person within seventy-two hours. I was going to end the relationship in that meeting, or attempt to again, and I thought that if I did it in person he might be respectful. I’m aware that my logic was completely irrational but it’s impossible to think clearly when one is suffering from nightmares and flashbacks, like I was at the time. Moreover, denial is quite common in these situations and I was suffering from it. As usual, he broke his word.

I met him by accident at his property. At that point in time I said that I thought that I would have been, “successful” at my position if I had been, “managing.”

He replied, “I agree with you.”

At that point in time he had asked me to go to another company, “do ten transactions and come back.”

I suggested that we end the “relationship respectfully” because we were, “not the right match professionally.”

Instead of acknowledging my statement he changed the topic by saying, “You’re big like me, I’ve seen you do it.”

He was referencing the point at which I took control of the questions.

In the following month he became so violently verbally abusive that three days later I suffered anxiety so severe that I had to call nine-one-one because I thought that I was having a heart attack. When the paramedics picked me up they thought that I had been attacked. When I told a paramedic that I had not he said, “I don’t believe you. But it’s okay, you will tell the doctors the truth.”

I notified him of this and he showed no remorse.

You taught me management. You taught me Drucker, Bennis and Kanter.

You taught me that what big people do is fix their mistakes and apologize.

Thank you for teaching me management!

Edited on December25th, 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 Legal and PR: I’ll answer this one in advance and up yours!

Screw (Kotoko song)

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One stunt that you would probably like to pull is saying that I clearly don’t understand the seriousness of my allegations because I’m using humor in my blog.

I studied English and not business. This is a work of creative non-fiction.

If it isn’t entertaining then no one will read it.

Also, I’m passionate about my cause and this might be effective marketing. Things that are unique and outlandish often get attention on the net.

And by the way, up yours! Your firm should have simply adhered to law!