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Civility: On bullying: Decision-making and workplace

May 27, 2010

Part 4 Making poor decisions, accepting responsibility and the consequences is an essential part of maturity. Finding solutions to problems, learning from failures, and handling disappointments are essential tools enabling a child to protect himself against bullies.

Allowing children to have choices, with parental guidance, can help them through the decision-making process. Consequences for poor decisions are the foundation for handling all moral dilemmas. Teach a child that failure is a gift, and learning from that failure is a greater gift. It helps to ensure there will not likely be a repetition of the same mistake.

Mastery of decision-making is a skill that builds self-esteem. This includes the confidence to handle a bully who uses intimidation.

A parent who helps a child develop empathy for others is one of the greatest gifts. In a situation where two friends are hurting each other using their fists and mean words can be a teaching lesson in empathy. Situations in which a parent says, "How do you think she feels when he says those mean words with those hurting fists?"

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Working through this and other similar situations will help the child create empathy and sensitivity toward others, which is an important tool to avoid being a bully or a victim. Bullies, as children, often become bullies as an adult. These bullies can be bosses or co-workers. How does one work with a bully in the workplace?

Workplace bullies: Bullying exists not only with children, but with adults in the workplace and in cyberspace. On the playground, children use their fists. In the workplace and cyberspace, it is often verbal abuse or physical abuse in person. A workplace bully wants you to fail. Because of the superiority position of a boss, they may tend to spread the word that the job is not being done well.

Humiliation, intimidation, micromanaging, fault finding, amplification of mistakes, or destructive criticism are traits of bullying conduct. This also includes name calling, exclusion from group situations, physical aggression and taking credit for another's work.

Undue pressures and demands, physical, mental or psychological health may be affected. Make sure that superiors and co-workers know the work that is being done well. If physical threats are involved, contact the superiors or police. Document the treatment, with dates, for possible lawsuits against bullying or the legal term, harassment.

Creating a more civilized world is a goal for which we all need to strive.

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