3 Step System to Confidently Expose Your Bully

Everyday a story emerges alleging sexual harassment perpetrated by powerful individuals over many YEARS. This wave of naming predators has continued to inspire me. It has also brought to the forefront, the unique and complex feelings of shame. When a victim comes forward to tell their story, it is a difficult decision, one that usually was years in the making.

What I continue to find empowering, and cling to tightly, is the simple idea that victims won’t feel broken when they band together. Harassment of any kind and unwanted sexual advances are disgusting actions. Trust in knowing, we have the ability to act together. As a bystander, you have the ability to advocate. You have the option to be on the side of continuing the vicious predatory circle of harassment or you can support and advocate for the victim.

If you have been harassed (mentally or physically) you have the strength to take action.

Don’t be afraid.

The Workplace Bullying Center has wonderful resources. Below is a three step system implemented to give all victims a plan to expose your predator, create a safe space and advocate for the victim.

XOXO,

Jess



Step One – Name it! Legitimize Yourself!


Choose a name — bullying, psychological harassment, psychological violence, emotional abuse — to offset the effect of being told that because your problem is not illegal, you cannot possibly have a problem. This makes people feel illegitimate. The cycle of self-blame and anxiety begins.
The source of the problem is external. The bully decides how to target and how, when, and where to harm people. You did not invite, nor want, the systematic campaign of psychological assaults and interference with your work. Think about it. No sane person wakes up each day hoping to be humiliated or berated at work.


There is tremendous healing power in naming. Hard to believe at first, but very true.

 

Step Two – Take Time Off to Heal & Launch a Counterattack

 

Accomplish five (5) important tasks while on sick leave or short-term disability (granted by your physician).

 

Check your mental health with a professional (not the employer’s EAP). Get emotionally stable enough to make a clear-headed decision to stay and fight, or to leave for your health’s sake. Your humanity makes you vulnerable; it is not a weakness, but a sign of superiority. Work Trauma, by definition, is an overwhelming, extraordinary experience.

 

Check your physical health. Stress-related diseases rarely carry obvious warning signals (e.g., hypertension – the silent killer). Read the current research on work stress and heart disease.
Research state and federal legal options (in a quarter of bullying cases, discrimination plays a role). Talk to an attorney. Maybe a demand letter can be written. Look for internal policies (harassment, violence, respect) for violations to report (fully expecting retaliation).

 

Step Three – Expose the Bully

 

The real risk was sustained when you were first targeted (Targets lose their job – involuntarily or by choice for their health’s sake – in 77.7% of cases). It is no riskier to attempt to dislodge the bully. Retaliation is a certainty. Have your escape route planned in advance. Remember, good employers purge bullies, most promote them.

 

Make the business case that the bully is “too expensive to keep.” Present the data gathered (in Step 2) to let the highest level person you can reach (not HR) know about the bully’s impact on the organization. Obviously in family-owned, or small businesses, this is impossible (so leave once targeted).

 

Stick to the bottom line. If you drift into tales about the emotional impact of the bully’s harassment, you will be discounted and discredited.

 

Give the employer one chance. If they side with the bully because of personal friendship (“he’s a great conversationalist and a lunch buddy”) or rationalize the mistreatment (“you have to understand that that is just how she is”), you will have to leave the job for your health’s sake.

 

However, some employers are looking for reasons to purge their very difficult bully. You are the internal consultant with the necessary information. Help good employers purge.

 

The nature of your departure — either bringing sunshine to the dark side or leaving shrouded in silent shame — determines how long it takes you to rebound and get that next job, to function fully and to restore compromised health. Tell everyone about the petty tyrant for your health’s sake. You have nothing to be ashamed about. You were only doing the job you once loved.

 

Answering critics of this approach …..

 

Pragmatists argue that our 3-Step Method will only get you fired. They are right in most cases. So, it is important for you to know why it is suggested.This  method accomplishes four goals:

Goal 1: Your personal health must be the priority or you will not live long enough to take another job. You have to discover if stress-related health complications have begun and take steps to reverse them. Stress exacerbates diseases that can kill. Put your health, not your job, first. See a physician, ask for blood tests related to stress-induced harm. See a good therapist to restore your faith in your own worthiness.

Goal 2: Too many wounded targets crawl between the bed sheets and can’t get out. You need something to do to continue to function, to bounce back. This task of estimating the fiscal impact of bullying is not only factual and informative for the organization (which it promptly chooses to ignore), but the employer’s response to the facts will help convince you about the irrationality of the entire bullying process. You didn’t cause it and they don’t seem to care if it ever stops. They are too afraid to do the right thing.

Goal 3: Compel employer responsibility for putting you in harm’s way. No one is responsible for being bullied, for inviting the misery upon themselves. The employer has known about the bully before and chosen to retain him or her (attorneys call it negligent retention). Employers want a catfight between employees so that they can blame it on “personality conflict.” The reality is that employers establish all conditions of work. If there are poorly skilled managers or executives, it is because of a dereliction of duty. Employers are lazy and trust on-the-job experiences to teach people to be good and humane managers. This is wrong. The leadership team is responsible for all bullying! It would not happen without executives’ explicit or tacit approval. So, hold their feet to the fire. Expose the bully. Demand changes (for the sake of the organization).

Goal 4: Take control of your departure from the place. WBI research found that you have a 66% chance of losing your job once targeted. Exposing the bully is more about your mental health than being an effective way to get the bully fired. Trauma is intensified if you leave the job (voluntarily or after being terminated) if you do not leave holding your head high and pointing accusatory fingers at the wrongdoers. In other words, since you are most likely to leave, once targeted, leave by telling everyone what happened to you and by whose hands. Targets who skulk away in silence, shrouded in personal shame, suffer the most. It can take a year or more to rebound to the point of being able to seek work. Those who leave proudly, bounce back the fastest.

 

Contrast this 3 Step approach with traditional advice from HR types, coaches, & “career experts”…..


Things NOT to do after discovering you are the target of workplace bullying:
-Do not feel guilty for not confronting your bully in response to the aggression. If you could have, you would have. You are not made that way.
-Do not limit your decisions to act in ways that sacrifice personal integrity and health just to survive to keep a paycheck. Survival strategies alone create even more serious long-term health and career problems. If the place will not change, plan your escape.
-Do not wait for the impact of bullying to fade with time. It must be stopped for the effects on you to stop.
-Do hold the employer accountable for putting you in harm’s way. It is not your personal responsibility as the victim to fix the mess you did not start. Employers control the work environment. When you are injured as a result of exposure to that environment, make the employer own the responsibility to fix it.
-Do not try to reinvent yourself as a political animal. If you would have been able to be cutthroat, you would have acted accordingly. You do not have to mimic the unethical bully to counter her or his misconduct.
-Do not trust HR to give you advice that serves your own best interests — they work for management and are management. Simple facts.
-Be wary of EAP counselors until they have proven to you that your confidential case details will not be reported to management and that they understand how work environments affect individuals’ health.
-Do not ask for relief from the bully’s boss. That is the person who loves her or him most. (And if there is no love there, there is fear. The boss fears the bully and cannot stop him or her.)
-Do not tell your story from a purely emotional injury angle. It scares away potential supporters.
-Do not share your voluminous documentation with anyone at work. No one cares as much as you do. In the wrong hands, it can be used against you.
-Do not ask others (HR, union reps, management) to make the bully stop for your sake. They will disappoint you. Rather, you will make the business case and ask them to stop bullying for their own self-interests.
-Do not agree to be treated by any mental health professionals who cannot believe your experience and want simply to change you so that you will not trigger similar reactions from future bullies.
-Do not pay a retainer to an attorney until you’ve exhausted cheaper alternatives to get your employer to take your complaint seriously.
-Do not confide in anyone at work until they have demonstrated (and not just talked about) loyalty to you.

 

For more information we recommend reading The Bully At Work by Dr. Gary Namie and Dr. Ruth Namie (Sourcebooks)

 

Retreived from http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/solutions/wbi-action-plan/

The Practical Guide to Working with Other Personalities

Working with people we don’t necessarily get along with is a normal part of life in an office.  I once had a coworker tell me, “I don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, I am at work.” another individual at the same company was afraid to voice their opinions for fear of offending anyone.

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Why it’s Absolutely Okay to Cry at Work

I am giving you permission to be yourself at work.

For some, this might be displaying family photos at your desk as a reminder of your personal priorities or going out to lunch every day to decompress from the day.

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Confessions of a Confident Introvert

It can be personally freeing to discover you are an introvert. Sometimes when we think of people who are introverted, we wrongly stereotype them as people who don’t like other people. This stereotype is further from the truth. Most introverts are warm, interested in others, and powerful in their own right.

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[FREE WEBINAR] Discover Your ‘Why’

When we are unsure of our path, there are always those who there to tell us exactly what we should do. When I would find myself unsure of my next step and in conversations about my future plans, each person had a different plan for me–different advice.

Why? In their plans for me, they didn’t take into account my interests, strengths, or life goals. I took their advice each time, but each time I was more un-happy than the last decision.

Why? I was doing the right stuff and doing what others wanted of me.

Needing a ‘Why’ Statement

This lack of my ‘why’ lead to a deep frustration with work and life. All of my frustrations would lead back to what I thought I ‘should’ be doing. I ‘should’ be working at my job 80 hours each week, I ‘should’ like my career choice, I ‘should’ be happy with my benefits and 401k. So many ‘shoulds’, I couldn’t enjoy my life in the moment or in the future. I was too caught up in what should be happening, that when my expectations weren’t met—my frustration would take over.

Don’t run from the unknown or resign in the comfortable, let this webinar guide you and get you to finding your ‘why’.

 

How this webinar will help you:

  • Increase honest communication with others (Promise it’s not scary!)  
  • Break repetitive/stale behaviors (This will do wonders for your self-esteem!)
  • Actionable Takeaways to Increase your success (You can implement tomorrow!) 
  • Put you on the path to trusting yourself (It feels SOOO Good!) 

 

The ability to be your true self and be successful lies within you.

AND it gets better….

Not only will you enjoy the amazing feeling of being able yourself, you also get to grow as a human being, make a significant impact… AND create success and positive abundance for yourself.

Join The Workshop! Free Gift – Free Workshop

About Your Host –  Over the years, Jess has seen too many women leave the workforce completely due to inflexible work environments and strained work relationships.  She is truly living her best self by helping others overcome workplace challenges to become confident and authentic. Currently, she is enrolled in a Masters of Business program and opened Career Love Collective. She holds a Communications Degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Life Coach Certificate. Jess is on a mission to inspire women to be their most confident self.

Career Love Collective is on a mission to mentor women to overcome workplace challenges to they can be authentic and confident in all stages of life. 

Early Signs of Office Bullying

I was bullied by my boss.

After nearly 6 years, I still feel guilt, shame and anger creeping up while writing to you. I am bringing workplace bullying to light in this post as my way to bring attention to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Bringing workplace bullying to the forefront and telling my story is a temporary discomfort but what is more important is to let you know that you are not alone. If you, or someone you know, are facing a deep depression, hopelessness or anger due to a workplace situation, I am here to let you know you can come out stronger on the other side.  

My bully was a person I was excited to work with.

My bully was a women only a few years my senior.

This topic of bullying defined and dominated most of my twenties as a young professional. I was an adult women in the workplace ready to give up. My bully attacked, watched, targeted, tricked, pushed out, worn down and torn down.  I wasn’t personally equipped to handle the constant emotional toll of bullying.  I was on an isolated island needing help. No one had the proper safety raft for me. It was an emotional exhausting island and I was stranded.

Adults are bullied at work and in personal relationships everyday.  I ultimately left the organization I loved. My bully was not held accountable, which allowed the same actions to continue.

While I continued to work at different organizations, it was difficult for me to adjust to a non-bully boss. In meetings with new coworkers, I had internal emotional wounds of bullying. Even though I was in a new environment, I would adjust my reaction as if I was still managed by a bully boss. Bad advice from friends and family was to never disclose the bullying to my new workplace. It took me months of re-training my emotions to react appropriately.  

Early Signs of Office Bullying

Experiences Outside Work

  • You feel like throwing up the night before the start of your work week
  • Frustrated family demands that you to stop obsessing about work at home
  • Your doctor asks what could be causing your skyrocketing blood pressure and recent health problems, and tells you to change jobs
  • You feel too ashamed of being controlled by another person at work to tell your spouse or partner
  • All your paid time off is used for “mental health breaks” from the misery
  • Days off are spent exhausted and lifeless, your desire to do anything is gone
  • Your favorite activities and fun with family are no longer appealing or enjoyable
  • You begin to believe that you provoked the workplace cruelty

Experiences At Work

  • You attempt the obviously impossible task of doing a new job without training or time to learn new skills, but that work is never good enough for the boss
  • Surprise meetings are called by your boss with no results other than further humiliation
  • Everything your tormenter does to you is arbitrary and capricious, working a personal agenda that undermines the employer’s legitimate business interests
  • Others at work have been told to stop working, talking, or socializing with you
  • You are constantly feeling agitated and anxious, experiencing a sense of doom, waiting for bad things to happen
  • No matter what you do, you are never left alone to do your job without interference
  • People feel justified screaming or yelling at you in front of others, but you are punished if you scream back
  • HR tells you that your harassment isn’t illegal, that you have to “work it out between yourselves”
  • You finally, firmly confront your tormentor to stop the abusive conduct and you are accused of harassment
  • You are shocked when accused of incompetence, despite a history of objective excellence, typically by someone who cannot do your job
  • Everyone — co-workers, senior bosses, HR — agrees (in person and orally) that your tormentor is a jerk, but there is nothing they will do about it (and later, when you ask for their support, they deny having agreed with you)
  • Your request to transfer to an open position under another boss is mysteriously denied

Retrieved from http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/problem/early-signs/

Now I see I gave too much power to my bully. My sense of self was wrapped up in my work, pleasing others. My bully took advantage of those two situations.

If you are being bullied, it’s not okay. Bullying is not normal office behavior. A boss is not allowed to be your bully. Find your voice. Stand up for yourself. Career Love Collective is here to help you find your purpose. We empower you to do amazing things by being you. You don’t have to change who you are, you need to BE who you are to make an impact. 

XOXO,

Jess

 

Additional information can be found with these organizations

Workplace Bullying: www.workplacebullying.org

Suicide Prevention Awareness https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month

FREEBIE: How I Reached My goals In 6 months  {Planner Giveaway}    

I place a fun event on the calendar to help me to stay motivated. Sometimes we go to baseball games in the summer or we plan a trip in the winter to go to a warmer climate and beat the winter blues.

Having goals in place keeps me motivated and planning allows for future flexibility. Putting the two together is a hyper-machine for making things happen. If you are reading this article, you are ready to take the next step in your goal setting methods and take your planning into hyper drive.

I created an exclusive personal planner for you from my failures and successes at goal setting by combining SMART goals and weekly planning.  ‘SMART goals’ are goals that are measurable and attainable in a predetermined amount of time. In the planner, you as the goal creator, have the opportunity to create a goal for the week that is achievable, the calendar breaks down the goal into smaller daily actions making the goal achievable.

>>>>HECK YES, I WANT A FREE GOAL SETTING PLANNER!<<<<<

Goals are always a daunting task, best saved for after breakfast. Okay, now that I had breakfast–onto the goal planning….right after lunch….catching my drift? Goal planning is easy to put off because it is so massive.

The weekly planner system allows you to breakdown your goals into micro-tasks, in small easy to accomplish tasks that add up to large goals. With this system I accomplished my BIGGEST goals in 6 months.

 

Jess’ No No’s of Goal Setting     

 

Write down your Goals

  • I know, this sounds so basic. But hear me out….writing down a goal gives life to your dream, making it real. Once you write down your goal you don’t have to remember your goal. Not a pen and paper type of person? Get creative and creative a vision board. My vision board was as easy as cutting out pictures from a magazine on a cork board. I placed it above my desk and looked at it everyday. My goals gave me a reason to keep going and not stop on the mundane ‘day to day’.  I busted each goal in 6 months with a vision board to keep me on task.

 

Setting Unrealistic Goals  

  • You might have heard this saying, ‘you can’t fit 10 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket’. Unrealistic goals are like the 10 gallons of water–you can’t achieve the goal within an unattainable amount of time (the 5 gallon bucket). When we set unrealistic goals and get to the end of our pre-determined time, if we haven’t accomplished the goal we become upset at ourselves and those around us.  That’s not fair to us or people around us. Setting goals that are honest is the best to keep you on track so you don’t stall.

 

No Follow Through

  • We always have best of intentions. No one wakes up in the morning trying to sabotage themselves. It’s through our actions or inaction that sabotages our follow through. For example, behavior such as not following through on an assignment at work can become an accepted habit. Holding ourselves accountable is tricky stuff and can become habit if not addressed quickly.

Career Love Collective is on a mission to empower all women to be their best self and reach their fullest potential. Wanna chat over a latte or skype? I wanna get to know you, and what makes you…well YOU. Sign up for a free 30 minute assessment and let’s reach your goals together!

Don’t forget, click here for your FREE goal busting planner.

XOXO,

Jess   

Reframing is at the Heart of Resilience

Once a week I volunteer with a local women’s advocacy organization. I mainly help in the childcare center. This usually consists of reading books, coloring or playing pretend cooking with toddlers for a few hours.

Lately, the amount of babies we have to watch is more than usual, so I have been helping where I can in the nursery area.

Some babies are just learning to walk. It’s so special to have the opportunity to watch their progress. Most days they are very unsteady on their feet, trying to grasp onto any object around them for steady footing. Sometimes they bump their arm or their face. Other times they land hard on their backside.

What matters most is how the child gets up to the next move. When their face bumps a chair, do they start crying immediately with a gut wrenching cry, or do they get jolted a bit, looking perplexed with the chair and crawl away to climb another chair.

Resiliency is all about the bounce-back and finding the strength within yourself to overcome. As Hara Estroff Marano notes in “The Art of Resilience”, resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs.

Marano goes on to say resilience can also be cultivated. It’s possible to strengthen your inner self and your belief in yourself, to define yourself as capable and competent. It’s possible to fortify your psyche. It’s possible to develop a sense of mastery.

It is also possible to be hurt and to rebound at the same time. We human beings are complex enough psychologically to accommodate the two. What the resilient do is refrain from blaming themselves for what has gone wrong. In the language of psychology, they externalize blame. And they internalize success; they take responsibility for what goes right in their lives.

Psychologist Edith Grotberg, Ph.D., believes that everyone needs reminders of the strengths they have.

She urges people to cultivate resilience by thinking along three lines:

I Have: strong relationships, structure, rules at home, role models; these are external supports that are provided;

I Am: a person who has hope and faith, cares about others, is proud of myself; these are inner strengths that can be developed;

I Can: communicate, solve problems, gauge the temperament of others, seek good relationships—all interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are acquired.  

Just as a little one is faced with the challenge of learning to walk without ever done it before, adults are faced with unanticipated road blocks each day. I am here to be your reminder that you can overcome any road block. Adults have the option to choose their state of mind in any situation at work or home.

The time is now for you to be your best self. In all of our services Career Love Collective provides unbiased communication to get you back on track. We practice reframing, it is at the heart of resilience. It is a way of shifting focus from the cup half empty to the cup half full. Take steps to ensure your future by investing in your future career development.   

Take time each morning to remind yourself “I Have…I Am… I Can”.

XOXO,

Jess

Think Confident, Be Confident #confidencemindset

Many people in their career are pressured to believe they need to reach monetary milestones in order to achieve success. Perhaps it is making a certain amount of money each year, owning a specific car, or achieving a title at work. However, would you guess true confidence and positive self-esteem do not automatically come with the pay increase and title at work?

As Amy Cuddy points out in her book “Presense”, true confidence stems from real love and leads to long term commitment to growth. False confidence on the other hand, comes from desperate passion and leads to dysfunctional relationships, disappointment and frustration.Having true confidence and positive self-esteem are both highly positive traits but not all individuals are truly confident.

So, that job promotion and the title bump–you might be radiating confidence for a hot second, but then reality sets in quick. Lady, your CONFIDENCE is showing. BUT Is it true confidence?

Cuddy goes on to say that true belief in oneself, in ones ideas is grounding, it defuses threat.

How do we know if we have true confidence? Below is a list of core values a truly confident person would possess.

  1. Commitment to Growth
  2. Create Value for Others
  3. Be Present— Put Assumptions Aside
  4. Acknowledge Your Strengths and Weaknesses
  5. Accept Others and Welcome Feedback

I challenge you to take time today and jot down numbers 1-5 on a sheet of paper. After each number, write the core value and how you are working toward building your truly confident self. If it is blank, that is okay! Write down how you would approach a situation in the future with a true confidence mindset.

Growth is a journey—Career Love Collective can help you take this moment to see your progress and evaluate your next step. In the “Confident You” program, we tailor a plan that works best for you. No guessing, no cookie cutter plan. It is specific to your goal in mind. Schedule a one-on-one appointment today to start your journey with Career Love.

XOXO,

Jess