Bullying at MY Age?

Bullying at MY Age
Originally published August 20, 2013

In July, I had the honor and the pleasure of teaching leadership classes at the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic / UIC Jazz Academy.  The student age range was 5th-12th grade.

It’s interesting how many main themes can be discussed with children and adults alike…choices, values, and how we lead ourselves and others.  Of course, bullying was part of the discussion.
What I find most fascinating is that even in the adult world, there are still forms of bullying going on in the workplace.  It might not be in the form of taking someones lunch money, but it can be in the form of ‘leading’ through fear and intimidation.

Now, I’m certainly not referring to your boss holding you accountable to do your job.  It’s more in the ‘how.’  How does your boss hold you accountable?  “If this doesn’t get done, you’ll be put on a performance plan!”  “I don’t care if you’re here all night for a month, finish the project!”   “There are hundreds of other people who would be grateful to have your job!”  I’ve also had clients where there is no bossing around, per se, but the manager has actually shut down communication (or is incapable of communicating effectively) with the team or an individual team member – a passive behavior, but a form of bullying none the less.  

On the flip-side, how do you speak to your team/employees?  Do you lead from a place of fear or are you able to inspire?
It can be a fine line.  Yes, if someone’s performance is lacking, a probational period might be in order.  And there are times when those extra hours are necessary to get a specific project completed.  But if it’s happening more often than not, consider the leadership.  Are you offering your employees professional development to grow their skills?  Do you know how to manage to someones strengths?  Are you inspiring your team to be more engaged? Are you leading by example?  What does any of this even mean?
And what about you?  Are you asking for the professional development support you need to succeed?  

How does your boss speak to you? Are you inspired and engaged? 

“Gallop research shows that managers from hell [bully’s] are creating active disengagement costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually.  If your company reflects the average in the U.S., just imagine what poor management and disengagement are costing your bottom line.
On the other hand, imagine if your company doubled the amount of great managers and engaged employees.  Gallop finds that the 30 million [only 30 percent] engaged employees in the U.S. come up with most of the innovative ideas, create most of a company’s new customers, and have the most entrepreneurial energy.” – Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallop  
So, what kind of leader are you?  Are you a bully who is disengaging your team – perhaps not even being aware of your bullying tendencies?  Are you just a manger by title, not leading yourself or others anywhere?  Or, are you inspiring and engaging yourself and your team to greatness? 
Let us help you create a more inspired and productive workplace environment.  Moving you, your team, and your organization from working functionally to optimally, is closer than you think.  And you get to keep your lunch money! 
Contact us to learn more!   
Here’s to discovering your bliss!
Lesley Picchietti, CPC, ELI-MP

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