Category Archives: Bullying

Nip it in the bud

In our mediation practice, we have noticed an increase in the number of people who believe they have been bullied. Frequently, allegations of bullying or harassment will be met by a counterclaim of similar behavior. Both parties may genuinely believe that they are victims of each other, regardless of their relative status within the organisation. But maintaining a victim stance is hard work. People who see themselves as victims find it hard to listen to and acknowledge each other’s points of view. And the more they become entrenched in their positions, the harder mediation becomes.

Here is a simple rule of thumb: the earlier the mediation, the greater its chances of success. If a mediation is called as soon as the problems surface, the employees involved are more likely to display some residual goodwill towards each other. If a formal complaint has been lodged, then an investigation is the next logical step. During an investigation people are questioned, witnesses are interviewed, and all those involved tend to harden their positions. This creates further tensions that may impede mediation. If possible, seek assistance from a skilled mediator before the dispute escalates to the point where one party feels the need to lodge a written grievance.


Am I being bullied?

Sometimes, we can feel uncomfortable with the way other people treat us at work. But are we being bullied? Let’s take a moment to consider the legal definition of workplace bullying. It occurs when an individual or a group of people engages in bullying behavior in the workplace. Their target may be another individual, orContinue Reading


Five cognitive distortions: dichotomous thinking

This is the second in a series of blog posts looking at five cognitive distortions of high achievers. Today, we’re looking at dichotomous thinking—or, to put it more simply, black and white thinking. This distortion manifests in several different ways. Dichotomous thinkers are both judgemental and opinionated to a high degree. They see only blackContinue Reading


Five cognitive distortions of high achievers

In case you missed it, this presentation by Michael Dearing has been attracting a lot of comment on the net. After interviewing 4515 Silicon Valley executives, Dearing identified five distorted thinking habits of chronic overachievers: Personal exceptionalism Dichotomous thinking Correct overgeneralisation Blank canvas thinking Schumpeterianism Some big words there, but they look inoffensive enough. AndContinue Reading


Bullying: a gender-neutral pursuit

The Brisbane Times has posed a controversial question: are women worse bullies than men? A quick scan of the comments page shows that this article has stirred up a lot of negative feeling. Many readers have shared their own experiences in the hands of workplace bullies, both male and female. Unfortunately, workplace bullying is all tooContinue Reading