About bullyinworkplace

I am currently working on two documentaries. One involves both a traditional documentary about the devastating impact of Workplace Bullying and a transmedia project that turns it into an interactive web-documentary . The other more traditional project is about Maria Martin's groundbreaking work to train indigenous Mayan journalists in Guatemala who risk their lives to link their remote communities to the global dialogue. My documentaries have been broadcast internationally, and screened at major festivals including; HBO, PBS The Sundance Channel,The Sundance Film Festival, Human Rights Watch, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art,The Walker Art Center, The Warhol Museum, The Kitchen. 71 West Broadway: Ground Zero, New York, NY was selected as part of the memorial presentation at the Library of Congress, which has included it in the national 9/11 film archive. Portions of Invisible Revolution, were featured on ABC’s 20/20, Dateline, and HBO specials on domestic terrorism.

Balancing Trump – Can Journalists Confront Bullies?


It was personal for me when Hillary Clinton calmly responded to the racist tone of the current presidential campaign: “Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election.” She sounded so different than she has in other speeches. With just the right tone, she went point by point backed up by fact after fact. And then everything turned upside down. Uncomfortable with gray areas, talk show hosts and pundits quickly reframed the dialog as a schoolyard scrap.

…the meme of both sides dragging the presidential campaign to new lows has taken hold across the media. This palpably absurd argument was being stated as the sad truth across the Sunday shows this morning. – Huffington Post 8/28/16

Lessons Learned Fighting Bullies

A newsroom that goes with “he said, she said” when a call can be made is engaged in reckless behavior that may easily blow up in its face. That wasn’t true ten years ago. But it is now. – Jay Rosen, Press Think,

I took a break from blogging about a year ago. Suddenly site visits on my website and Facebook page have taken an unexpected uptick. Given that the topic is workplace bullying, my guess is that watching journalists fail to rein in the damaging and often ludicrous misinformation that Donald Trump and his spox people hurl is triggering painful memories for victims/targets of toxic bosses. Those of us who’ve had our health, finances and careers turned upside down or destroyed by an abusive boss know all too well how difficult it is to have a meaningful conversation once the “he said, she said” door is opened.

That sense of helplessness this causes is, at least for me, one of the most devastating aspects of bullying. It’s that horrifying moment when people you’re confiding in and desperately relying on for help suddenly look uncomfortable as they recognize the reality of your situation. How much do sympathetic co-workers really want to risk their job by getting involved? How eager is the C-Suite to upset the status quo? Offering support makes witnesses as toxic and vulnerable as you. If you’ve never been bullied at work and can’t relate to any of this just look at the turmoil inside the Republican party and the telling silence of Paul Ryan and John McCain. Crickets.

Almost a year ago Dana Milbank wrote in the Washington Post: “Bystanders and other adults — in this case, let’s apply the term loosely to supporters, party officials and journalists — have a role, too: Because “those who bully are encouraged by the attention that they receive from bystanders,” those who witness bullying can “blatantly state that they don’t think bullying is entertaining or funny,” and perhaps even “create a distraction” to deny the bully attention. All of us can ‘commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied candidate.’ ”  Several months later Trump’s abusive behavior earned him the nomination. “I am who I am,” says Trump. By now we should take him at his word.

“There are two sides to every story…”  Not always

False balance is a real or perceived media bias in which journalists present an issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints than the evidence actually supports.. – Wikipedia

I think that False equivalence or balance, is a dangerous rabbit hole for journalists and mirrors the failure of traditional mediation strategies to effectively address the power imbalances in workplace bullying. Luckily not all journalists have lost their way in false balance land:

To sum up, Trump has been referring to the “bigotry” of Clinton for several weeks. And he outright called Clinton a “bigot” a day before she launched a full-scale attack on the racist overtones in the Trump campaign. (Though she stopped short of directly labeling Trump a “racist” or “bigot.) But even if Clinton’s “alt-right” speech had come before Trump directly called her a bigot, [NJ Governor] Christie’s “she-started-it” claim doesn’t hold water, because it doesn’t make sense to call Clinton a bigot in the first place. – Washington Post, The Fix

The objective is to create confusion. The bigger the mess, the better. This way, the focus of attention shifts away from the devastating criticism because everyone becomes caught up in the food-fight. This is Trump’s playbook. He is the circus ringmaster who creates all sorts of spectacles to divert attention away from his own disqualifying inadequacies. CNN

for realThe weekend that Trump decided to go after a Gold Star family I knew I was in trouble. How was I going to make it until election day with Trump’s bullying behavior on full display? To avoid having my family, friends and colleagues unfriend me on Facebook, I’ve taken to Twitter. Trump is driving the news cycles and that means Twitter is where news breaks. All of a sudden everything erupts – right there in your Twitter feed. @SopanDeb @KatieTurNBC @AliVitali all live tweet Trumps rallies. Journalists, pundits, researchers and the rest of us all get to respond as passionately and fervently and often as desired without losing followers. And, that’s where I’ve found the balance I need. Right there in the thick of it all. Tweets with links to great in-depth articles, satirical tweet accounts, bizarre defenses of the indefensible and others, like myself, just trying to fathom the unfathomable. You can heart them, retweet them or just let them fly by. It’s all there. It’s the “new objectivity.”

greatest movement

Report Connects Rise in Suicides at Work to Workplace Bullying

Suicides at work: The number of people taking their own lives at work is on the rise.In 2013, there were 282 workplace suicides. That’s up from about 250 in the previous two years.”Toxic work environments that include workplace bullying and increased work pressures are most likely to have contributed to this growing problem,” the report states. NY CNN Money 5/2/15

No Job Is Worth the loss of the precious gift of life. In the video below, Lisa struggles to understand why her sister’s supervisor “kept badgering her and backing her into a corner and my sister just felt helpless” The year that Jodie died marked the highest number of workplace suicides ever reported by the fatality census [USDOL] .


Workplace Bullying: Picture This!


Here’s a great infographic about #WorkplaceBullying all set for you to share with those people who just don’t seem to get the harm abusive workplaces create.
Workplace Bullies
Source: InternationalBusinessGuide.org

New Year’s Resolution: Stop Bullying Co-Workers

This year I was honored to be among the experts on the eBossWatch panel to determine the worst bosses of the year. The list included “three mayors, five judges, 19 law enforcement officers and officials, 12 restaurant bosses, and a venture capitalist…The states with the highest number of bad bosses on this year’s list are New York (13), Texas (11), California (11), New Mexico (5), Georgia (5), New Jersey (4), and Kentucky (4).” Many of these harassment cases had already been settled or won in court. But, at least for now, workplace bullying isn’t against the law in the U.S. While it’s often hard to detect, it’s no less devastating financially or emotionally and even the most well-meaning employees can suddenly find themselves at one end or the other of a pile on. Here are 10 simple ways you can stop making your co-worker or employee’s life hell in 2015:

definition-150x1501. Stop calling them “defensive.” In fact, having that label attached to the back of an employee should be a clue to any HR person that they are face-to-face with classic workplace bullying and the victim is getting smeared and blamed for the attacker’s behavior. One glance at a dictionary should tell you all you need to know about the situation: “de*fen*sive: adjective, serving to defend or protect <defensive fortifications>”,  “devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack<defensive behavior>”.  Continue reading

HBO’s “Getting On” and Workplace Bullying

409454_PA_Getting-On_27x40Given the epidemic of toxic workplaces in the healthcare industry it shouldn’t surprise viewers that the second season of HBO’s “Getting On” opened with the topic of workplace bullying front and center in a very sensitive way. As the title implies, the show takes place in a hospice center. Nurse Dawn is being pressured by her superior to help with a research project in addition to her already emotionally overwhelming job tasks.

Dawn’s immediate supervisor, Patsy De La Serda, tries to help her understand the situation she’s in:

“Dawn, I think we both know what it is. It’s Dr. James. You’re in an abusive and toxic relationship with a woman who hates women and she’s taking it out on you. I think you have difficulty maintaining firm boundaries and saying no.”

Dawn responds: “I say no to her all the time even though it’s very hard for me. It’s true that I am sensitive and it’s true that I let people take and take and take and take and I’m not very comfortable it doesn’t come natural for me to focus on me.”

Patsy counsels her: “Which is why we need to work on your mindfulness training. You can’t be solid in life unless you’re solid with yourself. I take care of me first and then you. I put my seatbelt on then yours. Mindfulness is mind fullness.” [more below] Continue reading

Tuscaloosa Takes on Workplace Bullying!

City of Tuscaloosa adopts policy against workplace bullying

Reprinted from FOX 6, Oct 15, 2014 3:34 PM EDT


Tuscaloosa city hall

The Tuscaloosa City Council has approved a new policy against workplace bullying which applies to all City of Tuscaloosa employees.

The City’s legal department says the policy covers things that were not already clearly covered by the city’s anti-harassment policy.

Senior Associate Attorney Jimbo Woodson says the policy identifies bullying as intentional, hostile, abusive behavior that makes an employee no longer want their job.

“It wasn’t that many years ago that employers were adopting for the first time sexual harassment policies, then that became anti-harassment policies, and I think this is a natural extension to bullying, to essentially catch all of the inappropriate workplace behavior,” Woodson said.

Woodson also says the policy applies to a number of different scenarios.

“Not only does it direct co-workers, a co-worker who is bullying another co-worker, or a supervisor who is bullying someone they supervise, but it actually could be a group of workers who bully their supervisor,” he said. [full article]