Roy's Blog

February 8, 2019

6 practical things to do if you’re bullied at work — guest post

Examples of bullying you’re more likely to find in the playground at a school rather than in a workplace, but it may surprise you to know that it can be just as common in a place of work.
It perhaps isn’t as evident when you compare it to times when name-calling in the classroom was visible for all to see, but it can still occur within a business.

However, the issue that many individuals find is that they feel the issues aren’t taken as seriously within a workplace environment, or at least not enough to come to a satisfying resolution.

Workplace bully

What is classed as workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying tends to be around being singled or having the feeling of being mistreated, but bullying can take up several forms and it can come from anyone. There are traits that are obvious when it comes to bullying but this list may not necessarily cover all the possible actions.

Behaviour that institutes bullying can include:

- Regular shouting directed at staff
- Unjustified criticism
- Promotion being blocked
- Casting particular individuals from discussion or activities
- Name-calling
- Starting rumours
- Setting up people with unrealistic deadlines and workload

Effects of bullying

Constant bullying can have extreme health issues both physically and mentally to a person and this can occur daily. Symptoms of bullying can include the following:

- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of sleep
- Suicidal thoughts
- Nausea
- High blood pressure
- Loss of confidence
- Forced to change jobs

How it affects your employer

As mentioned above, the effects of bullying can relate to causing major stress and by law, stress levels in the workplace should be taken just as seriously as health and safety hazards. It can have a major impact on employers in the following ways if employers don’t tackle it immediately:

- Low morale in the office
- Lose staff due to the time taken off
- Resources are lost from experienced members of staff
- Financial loss if matters are taken into the legal system

What you should do

So, what is it that you can do differently than normal methods to make sure the matter comes to the correct conclusion?

Here are a few tips to consider.

Deal with it yourself

Deal with it yourself

I always find that the best way to deal with any situation that’s a problem is to deal with it yourself. The famous quote of “if you want something done, do it yourself” couldn’t be truer.

In bullying, the first step to get it resolved is to discuss the matter in person with the bully. Gain the courage to approach them and have a civilized conversation about it. It might seem far-fetched, but some bullies don’t even realise they’re doing it until they’re actually confronted about it.

Go to their friend

If you don’t have the courage to speak to the bully directly, an alternative is to approach a work colleague close to them. Normally, the people that someone has in their friendship group tends to be a close reflection of the type of person they are but it’s also someone that they’re most likely to listen to.

Explain the situation to their close colleague and see if they can reach out to them. The friend may also see it as a sign of respect that you see them of high regard because you’ve approached them and trusted them with this information.

Talk to a bully specialist

An alternative to internal human resource departments is to speak to a bully organisation. Many people aren’t aware but there are several organisations that are set up specifically to tackle the issue of bullying in any environment.

They can provide all the support that you need including contact centre helplines, advice, private sessions and more. The fact you know their prime focus is dealing with the issue of bullying means your problem is likely to get rectified sooner.

Carry on

This tip can be dependent on the type of character that you are, but sometimes, the reason colleagues tend to bully is that they’ve realised you’re an easy target.

Ignore the bully

So, show that the bullying isn’t getting to you and carry on with how you work. If you show no reaction to what they’re doing, they can become easily bored and are more likely to tone it down — if the bullying revolves around physical, abusive or discriminate violence, however, you should alert a senior manager immediately.

It’s also a sign of great character building and creating a strong backbone for the future.

Do the opposite

A ‘twist’ that you could put to the bully to prevent them from doing it further is to act completely opposite to them. So, by acting nice or civilised to them and remaining completely calm throughout what they’re doing can make them out to look like a bad person to others.

Bullying is normally a form of showmanship where the person requires a crowd. By playing them at their own game, it provides them with less of an excuse to do it.

Go official

If all else fails and you feel as though the issue hasn’t been resolved, your last resort could be to file an official complaint.

Taking matters to legal action will be the option you can take if you have no further choice. Professionals such as dispute resolution lawyers are specialists in dealing with workplace bullying or similar matters. They’ll be able to take up a serious legal stance to stop the issue.

A workplace is somewhere we spend the majority of our time so we should learn to embrace and enjoy it. If you find you’re being bullied, take these steps in order to tackle it head-on rather than keeping in the background and dwelling on it.

Support is always there if you require it, it’s just about discussing it with the right people.

Jamie Costello is an aspiring writer who currently works freelance. During his time as a freelancer he’s worked alongside many businesses including those in Business Law. He feels it’s beneficial in broadening his writing skills. In his spare time he likes to play console games, read and swim.

Costello

  • Posted 2.8.19 at 04:36 am by Roy Osing
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February 4, 2019

Successful cultures react to the unexpected

A highly successful culture doesn’t rely on text book principles and academic methods to shape the future of their organization. Rather it relies on creating an environment that can adapt to the realities of unpredictability and chaotic change.

So when it comes to issues like setting strategic direction, they are more likely to shy away from traditional business planning methods and adopt a different approach — the ability to successfully react to unexpected events that shock them.

Chaotic change

Traditional business planning methods offer structure in the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — the SWOT process.
They provide demand and forecasting models to assess propensity to buy. And they provide many decision-making tools to assess the merits of various alternatives.

And although business planning is a mature discipline, it has two significant drawbacks in my view.

Complicated, expensive and time consuming

It requires an inappropriately high level of investment in relation to the benefits realized. It raises the false expectaion that the strategy will actually work as planned which is not the case in a world of rapid change and unpleasant surprises.

Reaction cultures buy into the notion that if, in the face of unpredictable change, the essence of the strategy can’t be counted on to succeed, the planning process should be simplified so that it is not overly onerous and complicated — it should be simple, expedient and cost effective.

Reaction is missing

Traditional planning says virtually nothing about the principle of response and most leadership teams spent ZERO time dealing with tactics to deal with the unexpected.

I have sat through executive planning workshops where 3 days have been spent trying to perfect the plan, leaving zero time to discuss execution and contingencies.
It’s almost like people don’t like to admit that Plan A has a possibility of not succeeding; a ridiculous notion to say the least.

Sustaining cultures are brilliant at reacting to surprise events they did not anticipate; those that are unable to adapt struggle and die.
How many strategies have you seen unfold the way you originally planned? I have seen none; it is the impossible dream!

The principle of reacting is the essence of what I call planning on the run: set the (imperfect) plan — start executing — learn what is working and not working (because of the unexpected) — RESPOND and adjust the plan accordingly — then continue executing. And on it goes…

Reaction cultures take the following steps to take their performance to astronomical heights and to separate themselves from their competition.

They ignore precision

Ignore

Keep the strategy building process simple. Cut the time to develop the strategy in half to make room for more attention to implementation.
Get your general direction right. Be ok with “heading west”.
My rule of thumb: spend 20% if the time available on the plan and 80% on implementation — who does what by when to make the plan come to life.

My success as an executive leader has been to minimize the traditional planning approach. I built an alternative approach — the strategic game plan — that I road tested in the real world for many years.
The essence of it is: dumb down the strategy building process, get the plan “just about right” and focus on execution in a world where the unexpected rules.

They focus on the few

My experience has shown that the fewer the number of things focused on the better the results. We are simply disastrous at trying to do too many things simultaneously.

Reaction cultures are great at getting to the real GUT issues they are facing; they don’t try and boil the ocean.
They declare three critical issues that must be addressed to survive and they focus on them to the exclusion of other things that could be done.
They understand that trying to accomplish 10 or 20 objectives well is impossible and that all energy must be concentrated on the critical few priorities.

They plan to execute

To react, you must be focussed on HOW the strategy is to be achieved — execution is real time, which is where you have to be in order to respond to unforeseen events.

Reaction leaders drill down on how their strategic game plan is to be implemented. The implementation plan is developed in minute detail; action plan accountabilities and specific timeframes to deliver results are delighted to members of the planning team.
Reaction cultures shift the emphasis from planning direction to planning execution activity with excruciating precision.

They pour their hearts into Execute!

Execute

Bear down on getting results however you can. It doesn’t have to be elegant as long as you’re getting stuff done.
Reaction cultures concentrate on making sure everyone in the organization clearly understands what they have to do to support the execution plan; people doing their own thing is a nonstarter.

And they measure the hell out of the execution plan. Generally results are tracked monthly to ensure they have the capability to react in real time if results fall below what was expected.

They learn on the run

To successfully react to unforeseen external forces requires that organizations learn what works and what doesn’t.

Amazing cultures are hyper-fastidious over the results monitoring process that examines results vs expectations. They rely on actual performance to decide what action should be reinforced (because it’s working) and what should be stopped (because it’s not working).

Learning from doing is a critical attribute of cultures that can weave their way through storm force winds.

The learning-on-the-run process in a nutshell:
— define the top 3 - 5 critical performance indicators to measure.
— track results
— focus on performance that is under achieving
— learn what caused the shortfall in results
— develop an action plan to close the gap
— tweak the plan and move forward
— keep the feet moving!

Incomparable cultures have a “reasonable” plan based on traditional methodology, but their success is they react to unexpected change better than anyone else.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 2.4.19 at 03:07 am by Roy Osing
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January 28, 2019

5 myths of how to be an effective leader

I feel for those young people who are thirsting for advice on how improve their leadership skills. Where do you turn for trusted information? Who’s leadership narrative do you believe?

It’s overwhelming to say the least. Google “leadership” and you are presented with way too many sources that can reasonably be consumed — that is, if you can actually find a source that sounds good to you.

Myths

These are 5 myths about leadership that are promulgated by most pundits of the craft.

You don’t need charisma

There is a view that a good leader must possess the aura of charisma; that quality that they have to WOW! the person they are engaging with.
I would characterize the common view of charisma as “communications on steroids” and a classic case of style over substance.

If you’re wanting to build your leadership skills, DO NOT put “I need to be more charismatic” on your list of things to improve on.
What worked for me was honest emotion (to be genuinely passionate about what you are talking about), simplicity (to talk about things in simple terms that people can understand) and informality (to be real — NOT SLICK — in what you say and how you say it).
Charisma is for showmanship, it’s not for leadership. I didn’t think Steve Jobs was charismatic, did you?

You don’t need vision

Great leaders possess the almost indescribable talent of being able to “see” into the future and “know” what the success ingredient for their organization is. Right?
Well, there are perhaps a few individuals who (in retrospect) had this gift — Jobs is the only one that comes to mind — but for most of us common leaders the vision thing is a non-starter.

At the time Jobs was spouting off about carrying music around on a device, did anyone say “WOW! This guy has vision”? No! It only became apparent later (and after a series of other device innovations) that his view of what customers would desire was extraordinary — and I would suggest that if Apple hadn’t executed on his plan, his “vision” label might never have been gifted to him.

Having vision is NOT a leadership requisite because it is only realized in retrospect. You can’t learn this skill; other competencies provide the opportunity to earn the vision label after you have achieved amazing things.

Delegate

You don’t need to delegate

Leadership school teaches you that you must be good at delegating tasks to others. In my view I see leaders delegating too much.
Be careful, there is a significant difference between constructive delegation and abdication.

Appropriate delegation occurs when the leader hands off tasks that better fit the competencies of the people that report to them, but the outcomes are carefully monitored and managed by the leader.
Delegatory abdication, on the other hand, occurs when the leader hands something off and quickly dismisses any accountability for the results.

I have seen many leaders in my time abdicate their responsibility under the name of delegation.
Is delegation an appropriate skill of an effective leader? YES, but it comes with staying involved with what is handed off and holding the person accountable.

You don’t need to command

Maybe it’s a General Patton infatuation , but it’s common to portray an amazing leader as being a tough commander dude.

This is the person who takes charge almost with brute force and singlehandedly orchestrates the outcome everyone is delighted with; they are at the top of the pyramid and there’s no question about who’s in charge.
This is the leader who acts, disposes instructions and who spends little time asking for input and suggestions — one who stands alone and is almost divinity-possessed in the face of crisis.

The commander leader is old school; who rose to adulation in wartime not in the conduct of “normality”.

Today, the commander should be Number 2 in identity, with servant-ship in the light. You don’t have to be great commander to be a standout leader; focus on asking people “How can I help?” rather than commanding them to “Do this!”

Clarity

You don’t need clarity

This myth deals with the notion that a great leader needs to provide precise direction in terms of the organization’s future; they need to provide absolute focus on what the end of the journey looks like.

Well, it’s not required; in fact it’s a negative. Searching for clarity is a time consuming activity with a purpose that can never be achieved. In an environment of chaotic, rapid and unpredictable change, how can any future be perfectly clear?

The standout leader is ok with a fuzzy idea of where they should go. They understand the importance of executing on a chosen path and learning on the run whether it was the right choice; that making adjustments to a “just about right” plan is more important than wasting time searching for a clear path that doesn’t exist.

You DO need to micro-manage

Effective leaders are supposed to deal with the BIG issues in an organization. Building strategy, overseeing financing, negotiating mergers and acquisition and managing the board of directors would qualify as key roles in their job description.

But what about the so-called “little things” that require their personal fingerprint to get done the right way? Nope, they get delegated because the book on leaders says don’t micromanage.

Leaders are encouraged to not dabble in the details because they can be more effectively dealt with by the more junior crowd of manager.
That’s a myth. There are some (not all) matters that require the leader’s active involvement in order to produce the exact outcome needed. For example, articulating exactly what “the customer moment” looks like for employees is something great leaders do regularly.

They spend time with customer contact people on the frontline describing the behaviours necessary to WOW! a customer; they choose not to allow this very crucial element of their organization’s strategy to be handled by junior managers. They know that the right consistent outcome of a customer moment of truth needs the view from the top, and they dive in and provide the direction themselves.

If you want to step up your leadership game, be careful to avoid these 5 myths propagated by the pundit crowd; which can stultify your efforts to take your skills to the next level.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 1.28.19 at 03:11 am by Roy Osing
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January 25, 2019

The one thing you can do to get your dream job — guest post

Dream job

Do you find it suspicious that there’s one critical thing you can do to succeed in work and life?
Well, if so, you haven’t been taking your education seriously.

That’s correct – while things such as knowing the right people, or being in the right place at the right time can help you advance your career, there’s one factor that trumps them all and is the basis without which you can never get where you genuinely want to — education.

It can be underestimated these days, but the truth is, it’s an essential step you need to take to build a career, reach your career goals and develop as a person.

If you feel you lack education, please don’t! It’s never late to learn!

Nowadays, especially in countries such as Australia or the U.S., and not to mention the online world, we have the resources to never to stop learning and growing.

Develop your mind and devote the next year to education — here’s why.

To get knowledge

This one is fairly obvious. One of the main reasons why people get an education is the knowledge it offers them.
This knowledge can be both practical and factual – so not only will you know the why and the how, it will also enable you to work better in your current role and any roles you hope to get in the future.

This reason is strong enough to apply whether you are looking into a career change and starting in a new field from scratch, or just strengthening your skill set.

Always be aware of it, and never stop learning. The world is developing at such an intense pace today, and there’s always more to learn.

Keep up, and you’ll reach the top easier, and stay there as well.

Dream 1

To boost your confidence

Frankly, apart from the actual knowledge, a degree or certificate is another important tangible outcome we get when we enrol in any studies at any level.

And while the “piece of paper” is important evidence of completing your educational goals, the sense of accomplishment you get when you’re done is just as important.

Maybe you worked really hard to get it, or you never really thought you would succeed in getting one in this particular field, but seeing it with your name on it will prove you that all the work was worth it.

A degree is just a symbol of everything education will give you: knowledge, skills, experience, additional skills in communication.

No wonder getting a degree will work wonders for your confidence. Late nights of studying and doing poorly on a test will test it, but actually finishing what you started will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

To invest in yourself

There’s no better investment than an investment you make in yourself. What you will get in material terms is temporary – one day it can be there, the next it can disappear.

We’ve witnessed economic crises and natural disasters, so one can never be too sure about your belongings. But what you add to your mind stays with you forever, and yes, it can always be a tool to make something material.

Whatever stage you are at life, if you’re not too happy about where you’re heading professionally, make a turn. Enrol a master’s course in a field you’re passionate about, even part-time if it’s easier.

It can also be a great opportunity to travel and meet new people, so maybe think about taking a course at Perth College of Beauty Therapy, or any other institution that accepts international students. Or find a class online if no university near you offers one on a topic you’re interested in.

The world really is your oyster, and whatever you get in terms of knowledge, will stay with you forever.

Dream 2

To grow your social network

Remember how easy it was to make friends and have lots of acquaintances when we were in school? It’s only partially because we were young and didn’t have elaborate criteria for friends.

The major reason is simple: we were with people every day! They were all at our disposal every day for 5-6 hours.

So if you feel that you’ve ended up in a rut because you only see your 3 colleagues every day and the occasional person in the gym, furthering your education will also help you meet new people.

They don’t have to turn into best friends for life (though it’s possible), but you have at least one thing in common already: an interest in the topic you’re studying!

Growing your social network is never a bad thing – who knows who you might meet through your new colleagues and how that might shape your prospective career!

If you’re looking for a career change or want to push your existing career in the right direction, find a course that might help you. It may be hard at times, but overall, it can be the best decision you will make for yourself.

Good luck!

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, self-development ambassador and an avid dog lover. She believes all people are born equal but only those dedicated and brave enough to work on themselves reach their full potential.

Leila Dorari

  • Posted 1.25.19 at 04:42 am by Roy Osing
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