HR Matters - Spring 2014 - (Page 24)

HR Feature Workplace Bullying: Do You Have Honest and Strong Boundaries? I COURTESY VALERIE CADE By Valerie Cade Valerie Cade, CSP, is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work." Please visit her website, t is the nature of a good person's heart to want to connect, as opposed to creating conflict and dissonance. When anything but harmony exists, most people at best try to modify who they really are in order to cope. It is not natural. On the other hand, we tend to gravitate to people who allow us to be ourselves. So what happens when you feel uncomfortable and guarded around another due to their bullying or difficult behaviour? Usually anything but peace and naturalness. Here's the good news: you do not have to keep reaching out to a person who is not respectful of your feelings, wants, needs, circumstances or desires. Question: How has reaching out worked for you so far? Here's What Happens You go to work, hoping for the best, scared and off-balance, wondering what the bully will do to you today. This wondering leads you to waiting for the bully to behave in a certain way. Then you react, trying to minimize the negative behaviours, feelings and situation by over-reaching - giving more than you're comfortable with - just to connect. You feel powerless. You doubt yourself and you are walking lightly in order to not upset the bully. You cannot confront or connect with a bully. They will only change with consequences. 24 HR matters * Spring 2014 Honest and Strong Boundaries The above example displays no boundary on the part of the target. Note: creating a healthy, strong and honest boundary does not make you an unkind person, it makes you a wise person. Ask yourself, do you feel free and peaceful, or do you feel like you are walking on eggshells around the bully? Note: Walking lightly or tiptoeing around the bully actually increases your chances of being bullied, as you display no boundary to the bully. There is nothing that separates you from the workplace bully; thus, the bully rules with overdemanding boundaries. What about your boundaries? It starts with asking yourself what you really want. Do you want to continue to react to the bully and second-guess yourself, causing you emotional stress? Picture yourself receiving strength by deciding to separate yourself from the bully. Here's How Decide and recognize what you do not want, for example, the bully putting you down in a meeting. Decide to distance yourself emotionally as the bully is talking by: Not making eye contact Reminding yourself that the behaviour says more about the bully than you Giving short, clear, non-relational answers to the bully's questions. Honest and Strong - YES! Yes - you are honest with yourself in how you feel, and you are not second-guessing yourself while the bully is ranting. Rather, you are keeping on your agenda, and you are distancing yourself - friendly, firm, but not familiar! A Few Bonus Notes: Try changing one behaviour first: Walk away first Say goodbye Do not stay longer than you are comfortable with. Reply with short and direct emails, voice mails, and general conversation Notice that the sun still comes up the next day, and try it again!

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Matters - Spring 2014

HRMAM Chair’s Message
Upcoming HRMAM Events
HR Special Event: Excellence in Leadership Awards Recipients
Learnings from Our Governance Review Retreat
Building an Effective Safety Culture
HR & Business: Hiring Foreign Workers? Take the Right Steps
HR & Business: Finance-led Capitalism, Pensions, and Financial Crisis
HR Review: The Respect Effect
Workplace Bullying: Do You Have Honest and Strong Boundaries?
HR & Law: Just Cause Under The Employment Standards Code: Have You Got What It Takes?
The Pursuit of Employee Engagement
HR Movers and Shakers

HR Matters - Spring 2014