Did you know that it's anti-bullying week this week? When I think of bullying I think of school kids and the rising role that technology plays. I don't think of architects.
If I asked you "Have you witnessed bullying in your workplace?" what would you say? If I asked you "Have you been a victim of bullying in your career?" and to reflect for 5 min before you answer, what would you say?
Perhaps we tend to think adults are above bullying. Even the stopbullying.gov website definition is linked to kids:
"Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance."
But, unfortunately, it's not just a problem for the kids. Workplace bullying tends to be less physical, more psychological and verbal in nature and is more subtle. The 2016 Women in Architecture Survey says:
"Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of women worldwide say they have experienced sexual discrimination, harassment or victimisation during their career in architecture." - AR 2016 Women in Architecture Survey
Here's the link with the stats: WHOM OF THE FOLLOWING, IF ANY, HAS BULLIED YOU?
Not only is bullying isolating, it increases stress, increases employee turnover and absences and lowers confidence and performance. An accusation of bullying can also come as a shock. Could the bully be so task-driven that they are unaware of their behaviour? Does workplace stress play a role or an aggressive management style? To be resolved, equal attention must be given to both the bullied and the bully.
Coaching can help by enhancing levels of self-awareness, uncovering underlying beliefs and constructs, and help create options for behavioural change.
It is not enough for companies to say "We don't tolerate bullying", even with the addition of workplace processes and procedures. A culture of trust and respect needs to be cultivated and endorsed by leaders who walk the talk. This is helped by talking about or training in stress reduction, conflict management, delegation skills, feedback and the promotion of positive leadership skills.
My questions to you are:
- What will help you become more aware of bullying in the workplace?
- What can you do when you see or experience bullying?
- What can you do to check your own behaviour?
Would you like to find out more about Coaching? Contact me today.