Bullying and Brain damage

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in bullying

Did you know that being stressed out could cause brain damage? These are the findings from Dr. Klaus Miczek, a Tufts University psychologist. He found a way to replicate bullying for rodents. By placing a larger and aggressive rat in a cage with younger rats, Miczek observed how the more aggressive rat pushed and abused the younger rats. Those younger rats produced more stress hormones called corticosterone. He also found that his hormone could stay in the brain long after the incident. For young and developing brains of children, such stress creates a higher propensity for drug abuse, alcoholism, anxiety and depression. Dr. Miczek found that four different incidents, of only five minutes each, had a lasting effect on the rats. In children with higher stress hormones, the immune system is weaker and memory is challenged. Bullying in humans kills nerve cells. Therefore, those who face bullying for years are not only enduring the abuse at the time, the targets are compromising healthy brain activity to stay in an abusive situation. For more information on this neuroscience research, please visit Brainfacts.org http://www.brainfacts.org/in-society/in-society/articles/2015/bullying-and-the-brain Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger...

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Inclusion v. Tolerance: More than food for thought

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in bullying, inclusion

Over the past year, higher education has had an intense national conversation about the need to diversify its faculty, staff and executive administration. This time has long been coming, as a majority of the young people born are black, brown and beige. The United States is evolving into a “minority-majority” country. When I started my career in the early 1990s, often the word “tolerance” was used. TOLERANCE… and all I could think of is tolerating the taste of bad medicine, tolerating the cold. TOLERANCE. The word doesn’t mean you want me there… just that you tolerate me, put up with me. In 2016, this newer wave of activism by our young people has challenged tolerance and transcended to INCLUSION. The cultures from our community mosaic should be included, and not just in a culinary way. So often inclusion is dealt with by serving different foods from around the world… there is much more to it than that. Inclusion means tempering those micro aggressions, comments that show one’s bias about race, gender, or sexual orientation. Inclusion means allowing and truly inviting other voices to the table, without reprisal. Inclusion means equal pay for equal work, while differential pay shows whom you truly value. Inclusion means striving to understand people who grew up in different communities, backgrounds, and social economic status, and avoid jumping to conclusions about what they/we should or should not study, read, or write. We have an awesome time here; sure change is contentious, but we have a change to truly create that new nation. What we need to realize, is that the change is now, upon us know at work, in school, in our communities. Much more than food for thought. Originally posted on Annie Jennings...

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I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in bullying

I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be   Steve was hired as the new associate vice president of the mid west region. The last four quarters, his division faced declining production and slipping revenue. Investors were concerned; the board was ready to take prisoners. Steve was the solution. He inherited a beleaguered staff. The morale was low, and turnover increasing. Several reports had errors and projections were not accurate. The remaining staff operated in fear. Steve figured he had to “lower the boom” to straighten out the division. He held early meetings, insisted on weekly accounts of departmental time, and shaved 15 minutes off the lunch period. The staff responded. Some quit while others spiraled further into a mild depression. After his first month he abruptly leaves a staff meeting barking, “nothing had changed!” There were still errors, still problems, and still low productivity. His assistant was on his heels as he marched into the office. He slammed the door as the assistant entered. Steve punctuated his small tantrum with the comment “I’m not here to make friends!” The assistant quietly looked up from her note pad and simply stated, “Maybe you should be…” Often new executives take on a job that requires restructuring, reorganization or some other tough decisions. A common mantra is “I’m not here to make friends.” However, while staff may not be invited for Thanksgiving dinner or birthday parties, they are people who consume most of our waking time. We should strive to be friendly. Whether someone is the boss, or a middle manager, everyone has a responsibility to be civil and courteous. Developing a rapport with staff in which office friendships can flourish can go a long way to developing internal motivation and productivity. People who MUST work will work the terms of the contract and leave when the listen blows. People who TRUST are motivated by an affinity for the job and people around them will go the extra mile to meet objectives and maintain a positive environment. Maybe the problem with office morale is someone needs to be there to form office...

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Five Star Work place

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in bullying

Five Star Workplace Five Star Workplace Five Star Workplace Ever wonder why it is tough to return to work after a five star vacation? Think of the courtesy and service anyone receives when visiting a classy hotel.  Visitors are greeted kindly “How was your flight…” or “May I help you with your bags?”  The concierge will look for places to visit and offer directions.  Housekeeping will turn down the pillow and leave a chocolate.  Everyone typically has a smile on his or her faces, and visitors leave considering a return stay. The entire experience is MORE than civil. What would a five star workplace look like?  Colleagues and customers would smile as you enter the door.  Workers say please and thank you.  All people in the workplace have a smile on their faces and seem genuine about everyone being engaged in the experience. The summer months bring a time for many people to get away from the daily grind.  However whether one visits around the corner or around the world, the courtesy and kindness people experience on vacation play a large part in the relaxation and relief when they unwind.  Some readers may chime in and state that tips and fees bring that smile and courtesy on vacation; however in the workplace, everyone is being paid too.  So think again… the workplace also should be a place, which engages people. Here is a tip for anyone, despite the extravagance of their respective vacations. As we all go back to work, consider taking a five star attitude back to the office.  Please and thank you are more than courtesy. The smile opens doors, forms collaborations and motivates people to engage in the task.  A little five star civilities can help people reengage in the upcoming year.   Originally posted on Annie...

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Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in bullying

Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Layla was working on a project that required the input of two other offices. She needed data from the research office, and also promotional materials from the institution’s marketing division. She was on a deadline, but still needed to move forward and show progress. Layla was referred to Vivien in research. Vivien had come highly recommended and apparently a very competent colleague. During Layla’s initial contact with Vivien, they made a series of agreements about time line, gathering data, and how it should be conveyed for Layla’s project. Layla even developed a grid to confirm data in an effort to make Vivien’s job easier. But something went wrong. After the initial contact, Vivien didn’t welcome direct phone calls. Though through email, Vivien insisted she could deliver the data within the time limits and insisted with Layla “…and don’t call me.” Layla knew this was awkward. How could any two professionals work without communication? When the deadline finally came, Vivien had not followed through with what was promised. Layla could work with the delay but needed more information to manage other parts of the project. Apparently, Layla made a big mistake in picking up the phone for clarity. Not only did Vivien refuse to answer, Vivien immediately fired back with a very nasty email…”I told you not to call me… you are disturbing me…!” When Layla mentioned this email to her office mate the answer back was, “Oh yeah, Vivien is just like that…” This excuse is often given when someone acts unprofessional in the office. When incivility and a nasty attitude goes unchecked, the aggressor becomes emboldened and holds the office hostage with his or her nasty behavior. But what can Layla do? She needs the data. How to handle bad behavior: Trading self-respect for a project is never a good idea. Ignoring bad behavior only reinforces it and makes the aggressor more aggressive. Layla should speak up. No one should put up with a nasty attitude just to collaborate on a project. One of the reasons targets are bullied or picked on is because the aggressor perceives that the target will endure the abuse. Layla can find another way to work around Vivien. Are there other sources of data? Is there another way to present the report without Vivien’s information? Layla shouldn’t take it personally. The aggression apparently has personal issues. Layla never met Vivien before, and doesn’t have a history to make her that upset. Layla should check the behavior, then move onward and upward. Remember, we train people on how to treat us. If we say nothing about the abuse, we are indeed accepting unacceptable behavior.  Bullies and aggressive people act this way because they are “ALLOWED” to act...

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Plenty of Bull to go around

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in bullying, Cultural Diversity Training Workshops

Plenty Of Bull To Go Around: Reflection On The Miami Dolphins Bullying Incident Plenty Of Bull To Go Around: Reflection On The Miami Dolphins Bullying Incident Plenty Of Bull To Go Around: Reflection On The Miami Dolphins Bullying Incident In late October 2013, Jonathan Martin, second year starting tackle for the Miami Dolphins, abruptly left the team checking himself into a hospital because of relentlessly aggressive treatment he received from teammates. Despite his physical size at 6’5” and 315 pounds, Martin was the target of workplace place bullying; a recent report written by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LPP confirms team misconduct from Ritchie Incognito contributed to the emotional stress and departure from the team. What is compelling about the report is the characterization of both men fit the classic bully/target relationship. Martin was mild mannered; unfortunately he had endured a history of bullying during high school. He had been chided to “man up, “or “not punk out,” when faced with aggressive behavior. By his own admission, he “played it off,” when met with a barrage of nasty, humiliating and sexually explicit and racially charged remarks about his mother and sister. Reports reveal that Martin had discussed depression and suicidal thoughts with a psychiatrist and prescribed medication to mitigate the issue. Despite the stress, Martin never reported the abuse to the Miami Dolphin organization for fear of being labeled a snitch or “Judas.” In contrast, Ritchie Incognito had a history of aggressive behavior prior to bullying Martin. In college, he had suspensions and ejections from games. He was accused for spitting on a player and arrested for alcohol in several other incidents. He was suspended indefinitely from Nebraska’s team, then enrolled at Oregon, only to be released a week later (Paul, p. 60, 2014). Despite his athletic talent, the Colts, the Ravens, and the Patriots passed on Incognito. In 2005, he wasSporting News “Dirtiest Player in the NFL.” Looking at the past behavior of both players, they are the classic target and bully pair. An overly aggressive and troubled young person evolves to terrorize a particularly passive colleague and peer. The unique facts of this case include a “fine book” where Incognito memorialized fines coerced through intimidation, sometimes up to $10,000 of Martin and other players. The press releases in October characterized a type of friendship between Martin and Incognito; however the independent report states Martin’s “effort to befriend Incognito also is consistent with the reaction of a person who is trapped in an abusive situation… it is a common coping mechanism exhibited by victim of abusive relationships” (p. 18). The report also confirms that Incognito joined with two other players, Jerry and Pouncey who bullied another teammate “Player A” and an “Assistant Trainer.” Anecdotal conversations over the past months have laid blame on leadership, on Martin for being “too soft,” or on team captains for not reporting the...

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