Don't walk past bad behaviour

We own the bad behaviour we walk past.

Have you ever witnessed bullying, exclusive, unfair or simply unkind behaviour at work?

Have you squirmed when this has happened, but felt unable to jump in?

Has fear of reprisal silenced your voice when you desperately wanted to speak up?

This has happened to me a couple of times and I've always regretted not 'taking the bull by the horns'. On one particular occasion, I was part of an Executive Team reviewing annual plans with the leaders of the business.  The CEO's behaviour with one of the presenters was, in my view, not only unprofessional, definitely unkind but also borderline bullying.  We all shuffled uncomfortably in our seats as he tore into her but no one said anything.  As it progressed I simply could not sit there and witness this awful behaviour and I certainly did not want to be associated with the culture he had instantly created.  I got up and left the meeting and did not return until it was over, at which point I spoke to the CEO privately and expressed my concerns, which he instantly dismissed. 

I was frustrated and upset and I couldn't help but feel that if I had spoken up at the meeting I would have got support from around the room.  I resolved to never allow my voice to be silenced in this way again.  I felt culpable, almost as an accomplice, because I had not acted in the moment to try and stop the bullying behaviour.  And this guilt provided me with the gift of courage.

I realised I have to own the behaviour I walk past, as if it's my own.  By owning it I have to act and this mindset has served me very well and enabled me to find my voice, even when I fear reprisals.

I'm sure like me, you find the idea of condoning bullying in any form, abhorrent, so I thought this might also give you the courage to speak up too.

Consider the behaviour your own and don't let it pass by.

Nevermind what values are written in gold font on the beautiful corporate website or over the door, we all create our company culture and values through our behaviour everyday.

Be kind and courageous! 🙏🙏🙏💪💪💪

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