Welcome and About

the picture consist of articles on bullying, I...

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Dear Reader,

If you are here because you are being bullied then I’m sorry for what you are going through. The experience can be traumatic for adults like it frequently is for children. Please know that you are not alone and there is hope. This isn’t your fault, at all.

Bullying has gotten a lot of attention in the main stream media recently. Primarily, the attention has been on bullying in schools and on college campuses. But, our rates of bullying in workplaces are comparable to the statistics of bullying in schools and universities. The reason that we have this pandemic problem with bullying in schools and on campuses is because we are a society of adults who ignore and partake in bullying and victim blaming. The problem isn’t the children.

The most common motive for sexual harassment is professional jealousy. It’s one of the most common motives for workplace abuse, or bullying, also. When I had just turned thirty a manager became threatened by me professionally.. What he did to me was a combination of bullying and harassment.

This happened to me at an extremely reputable firm in one of the most progressive cities in the world. Everyone on the management team had reasonable knowledge of the abuse. It isn’t my opinion that it’s a company’s responsibility to handle sexual harassment if they have reasonable knowledge of it, its law.

Instead of adhering to law they actively damaged my reputation. Unfortunately, it is common for the target or victims reputation to be more badly damaged than the perpetrators.

Mobbing is bullying by a group. Often, one bully starts the abuse but many others partake. It’s common for bullying by a group and victim blaming to be interwoven.

While this was happening to me it was apparent that every party involved counted on my silence. Then I was surprised by that. When I learned that settlements are typically contingent on the victim or survivors silence it made more sense. When I learned that if a target of harassment or bullying tells the truth about what happened then they open themselves to a liable or slander suit it made even more sense.

It’s impossible that the mainstream media could cover all instances of harassment or workplace bullyingbecause there are so many of them. Most people don’t want to wait five years for a court date. As long as survivors and victims remain silent these types of abuse will continue to be common place. According to the Harvard Business Review blog we can’t get workplace abuse under control without creating accountability for the bullies. This model is effective at creating accountability without exposing me legally.

Frequently individuals remain silent out of fear of retaliation by a large company and fear of damaging future employment opportunities. This model would be as effective under a pseudonym as it is under a real name. Unless the main stream media is involved then PR is unlikely to get involved.

My goal here is creating a model that the average individual can use in order to have a voice. It’s effective at holding workplace bullies accountable for their abusive behavior. It’s effective at holding the company responsible for neglect. It’s effective at stopping mobbing, or bullying by a group, and victim blaming. It’s effective at correcting unjust damage to a victim’s reputation. This model makes it safer for individuals to speak!

With workplace bullying and sexual harassment silence is the norm.

As long as silence is the norm these types of abuse will continue to remain common place.

Let’s speak!

Best regards,

Alise Kobre

 

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To: The Team Members Who Partook If you want to continue, you may. But it’s a poor reflection on you.

Sexual harassment

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Clearly, you all are the aggressors. I was just trying to live my life in peace. Clearly, you all aligned yourselves with a bully and laughed while another woman was having a traumatic stress breakdown due to sexual harassment. This isn’t behavior to be proud of.

Typically I ignore gossip. But, when it’s so hateful and damaging that it affects ones professional reputation it becomes slander. I had to address that and it was ethical for me to do so.

You may not use your own hateful statements, erroneous assumptions and half truths as an excuse for treating me in an abusive fashion in the future, period. There is no excuse for abusive behavior.

The person next to me is also doing it isn’t an acceptable excuse for abuse, either.

Now, if you want to continue with your immature gossip because you are that deeply insecure, you may.

But, it’s a poor reflection on your selves and not me!

Note: While you all are receiving this as a mass email it is also a post at the site “Stop Mobbing, Bullying and Harassment.” Moreover, hard copies of these posts have been sent to home addresses or PO Boxes of all parties copied. As Warren Bennis points out in “Transparency” it’s nearly impossible to suppress information now. And, bullies and large companies aren’t fairing so well in the media recently. The full copy list is attached.

 

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

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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 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 Perpetrator: Well, since you went there!

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 had absolutely no business referencing my personal and specifically sexual history, ever! But, since you went there in the second summer that I represented the firm at which I learned management I briefly dated a third year law student at the most reputable university in the area. He made the observation that I seemed to know the same concepts that the MBA’s did but simply not know the terminology for them! I can reference the theroists now.

Again, you had no place going into my personal life, at all. But, it’s what men who are threatened by women professionally have done for years and traditionally get away with.

Times are changing!

To my Mentor: I want to tell you a secret! (language warning)

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.

There is something *fucking* wrong with most of those people! Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone that I said that! 😀

To the Current Manager

This isn’t your fault at all and believe it or not I actually feel badly for you. The unfortunate truth is that most professionals have witnessed work place abuse, frequently gender based, and done nothing about it. You didn’t actually witness it but you clearly had reasonable knowledge. I consider it extremely likely that your attempting to handle this in the ethical and legal fashion would have jeopardized your position at the company. It’s quite common that companies retaliate against the victims of harassment and anyone who aligns themselves with them. Since one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge I feel confident that the corporate culture includes covering things like this up and turning a blind eye. Who knows, maybe they will prove me wrong. But, this wasn’t your fault, even if you were the one who referenced the perpetrators notes.

Honestly, when someone has to choose between their own job security and taking the ethical course of action most will chose their own job security. That is a complex moral decision, not a simple one. And, I’m not saying that’s what did happen it’s just an educated guess. It’s exactly why most people remain silent and turn a blind eye to this type of thing.  The bottom line is that one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge and this isn’t your fault, at all.

Simply put, it isn’t ethical to hate someone or try to ruin someone because they did what is considered normal within their own society. However, as long as the silence continues these tragedies will continue. Some are teenage suicides due to bullying, some are sexual assaults that go unpunished by our legal system and even universities and others are cases of workplace abuse so extreme that they are traumatic be they harassment, assault or otherwise. We are also typically silent about domestic abuse and child molestation, both of which are disturbingly common.

In short, we are silent about abuse of women, other minorities and children. This isn’t okay. I have always been quite passionate about women’s equality and I see no distinction between women’s rights and human rights. If I were to remain silent then I would be an incredible hypocrite. Moreover, these are human rights violations and public health issues. Something must be done. And, nothing will be accomplished as long as silence is the norm. The silence can only be broken one voice at a time. And, every single voice actually does matter.

But, I don’t hate you and I hope that you aren’t used as a scrape goat or ostracized. What you did is considered normal by society and it’s what most people in that situation do. It’s the social norm that is evil and wrong, not you or your team members.