Don’t Let A Bully Rob You Of Good Health

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

  Julius knows he has been bullied since his arrival on the job. While Julius was a stand out during the interview and the search committee liked him, his boss is jealous that he earned his masters at Penn. Julius threw a wonderful party for his mother’s retirement. Julius was even quoted in the news. No matter how Julius succeeded, his boss turned up his nose. On most days, Julius was either strategizing on how to avoid the boss or working diligently to add to his resume and plot his departure At least once a week Julius was yelled at in open meetings. He found his office locked. No one would answer his questions and he soon found himself isolated on the job. He had a few buddies from his last job who were advising him to just get out. Nonetheless, the bullying at work was beyond a distraction. Julius returned to his old habit of smoking. He also realized that at least twice a week, he turned to over- the-counter sleep aids. Though he was once a healthy young man, while he toiled under the boss’s jealousy, Julius turned to comfort foods more often. Hamburgers and French fries with a nice beer was his favorite. He watched more television and fought off some depression. While his work didn’t suffer, Julius’ health did. Like most people who work in stressful situation, Julius found that his health was declining. What used to be a simple walk around the block, turned into a tortuous event. Julius’s comfort food choices led to cholesterol issues during his physical. He had even gained 25 pounds and had to buy new clothes. While his work didn’t suffer, his health did. In reflection, Julius realized he indulged in all his bad habits as stress relievers from work. He realized he needed to return to simple things to cut his health risk. 1. Walking – any walking whether around the gym or around the mall can help burn off the stress hormone cortisol that is released into your system during stressful situations 2. Have a support system who can listen to you ( hopefully while you are walking). Talking out the situation can help relieve stress. 3. Consider your options with the job. How long do you REALLY have to stay? Network with colleagues to find a healthier work environment. 4. Recognize that the bullying will not stop without an intervention. Unless leadership intervenes to deal with Julius’ boss, or the boss leaves, the boss will continue. 5. Sometimes the boss who is a bully is insecure. Instead of supporting or recognizing great talent, the boss abuses staff members like Julius. 6.  Dealing with stress is difficult. Forgive yourself for those questionable habits and try to return to healthy habits Though Julius recognized nothing could be done with the boss, his physical was a real eye opener. Julius realized that people were leaving every year; turnover was common. While...

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Did You Have A Bully-Free Holiday?

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

Matty was always the smaller kid. He was smart, gifted with science, but smaller than his older brother, Tim. For some reason, Tim enjoyed the blood sport of picking on his brother, especially in front of company.  Tim embarrassed Matty about a new girlfriend, about his fender bender, and the last botched haircut.  Matty often appealed to his mom who said, “go work it out with your brother…” Soon Matty stopped asking for help. He was quiet at holiday dinners and retreated into his work just after dessert. He stopped bringing friends home. Once he graduated from college, he avoided holiday get togethers, or only stopped in for a couple hours. He recognized the taunting and disrespect not only hurt, but also took him weeks to recover after visiting family. This all too familiar scenario plays out in the guise of innocence and coming of age.  However, the interaction between Matty and Tim are imprinting on them roles of bully and target.  Children learn early how to self- advocate, endure abuse, or self isolate to avoid the embarrassment when they are young.  The support they receive or are denied also shape their experience around bullying.  What seems like an innocent interaction leaves what Dr. deLara will call, “bullying scars.”  We learn how being bullied as kids, and carry that into adulthood.  Perhaps it is no wonder some of the most epic battles occur over holiday turkey or ham. Throughout the holidays consider: Have you learned to turn your head when friends or family tease you? How can you break that cycle? Have you been the one to pick on others? Consider ways to communicate without shaming. Do your kids come to you to intervene in a dispute? Turning them away sends a message that their self-advocacy is not a viable approach to resolution. The holidays can and should be a safe place to reflect on happy times and family traditions. We learn some of our most cherished values from family.  With this in mind, one such tradition should not include rehearsing power differentials and power struggles that we take into adulthood. Check out Dr. Ellen Walser deLara’s book Bullying Scars The Impact on Adult Life and Relationships from Oxford Press. Happy New Year and have a bully-free 2017. Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger...

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Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

      Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education   WILMINGTON, Del., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In this historic moment saturated with bullying, aggression, and incivility, what does bullying cost higher education?  Hollis, President of Patricia Berkly, LLC, and thought leader on workplace bullying in higher education, addresses this question at the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Forum at Clemson University. On average staff enduring bullying and aggression at work spend 3.9 hours a week ruminating, strategizing, and avoiding bullying; in turn, over five weeks annually is lost, per person in employee disengagement.  In addressing close to 50 emerging women leaders, Hollis, also offered her research findings that documented stress leave, resignation, and suicidal ideation for those enduring bullying. Echoing one of the participants in her study she remarked, “It is devastating to have a great career and end up dealing with a bully…” Hollis further commented, “No one is a winner when a bully is allowed to fester.”  In short, organizations that protect or ignore bullies are more likely to have costly turnover and low morale.  She asked the audience, “Think about it…who wants to report to a workplace that is a war zone?” Given the national attention on bullying, more colleges and universities are considering anti-workplace bullying policies. Despite the fact that workplace bullying is typically legal in the United States, many organizations are starting to recognize the debilitating impact on their employees and prohibiting the behavior as a matter of policy. One way to find bullies is to look at the foot traffic. People will leave a department to escape a bully, even take lower paying jobs or horizontal transfers just to escape. High turnover and absenteeism are costly to an organization, and some of the clear signs that something needs to change. Given the stressful times facing higher education, civility is needed more than ever. Dr. Leah P. Hollis will speak at ACE’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. in late November, 2016. She is the author of Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education (2012). Her recent book, The Coercive Community College: Bullying and Its Costly Impact on the Mission to Serve Underrepresented Populations was published by Emerald Publications (UK) (2016). She is an assistant professor at Morgan State University who can be reached through her website at www.diversitytrainingconsultants.com. CONTACT: Warren, 1-610-990-6588 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/leah-p-hollis-speaks-at-ace-addressing-costly-bullying-behaviors-in-higher-education-300361845.html ©2016 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved....

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Is your Brand Nice?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

For National Bullying Prevention Month- Is Your Brand NICE? By: Leah Hollis, Ed.D.   Yes, I realize I am tweaking a title from a recent Sandra Bullock movie… yet the phrase rings loud in my ears.  Is your brand nice? We all go through this world… a world full of political leaders who spend more time sniping than talking to the true issues.  We have service providers who cut corners, and people who do the bare minimum just to get by.  We live in a country where shootings are commonplace.  Scams and phishing schemes flood the Internet.  Nonetheless, we can still be NICE and sway the balance back to civility. A few weeks back I had to get some service done in my home.  When I called in a panic, the lady answering the phone was NICE.  She understood my panic and continued to gather information, with please and thank you strung along in the conversion. She assured me she understood my concerns and that the company would come out around my hectic schedule. When the service man arrived, he offered a comprehensive explanation of the malfunction.  He told us about upcoming regulations that will affect future service.  He took the time to nicely explain how to prevent the problem again.  Once the service visit was complete, we received a survey on how the service was conducted. While no one wants to face breaking appliances, all I could think when the experience was over… their brand is nice.  The appliance was fixed; we knew what to anticipate in the future and knew how to follow up if there were future problems. Please note I am not saying nice means vacating our responsibility for self- advocacy.   I am not saying we should let people walk over us and be so nice that we are taken advantage of.  I will say, especially in National Bullying Prevention Month, we should be nice to each other.  We should strive to continuously educate each other how to interact with civility. Collectively, our brand should be...

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Olympic State of mind

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

Olympic State of Mind This week the world descends on Rio De Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games.  The pageantry and excitement hold the attention of the world for the two weeks that world class athletes compete for some of the loftiest accolades in amateur sports.  While the Olympic games bring national pride to any country with participating Olympic athletes, it also is a world-class symbol of diversity. The  Olympic flag with a white background and rings blue, yellow, black, green and red represents the flags of the countries when the modern Olympic games started in 1912.   The Olympics is not only built on diversity, but requires diversity. Athletes from across the globe, regardless of race, gender, or national origin come together to create some of the best athletic competitions in the world, and typically in a sportsman like manner.  This Olympic state of mind that reflects diversity is something we all can continue to embrace in our schools and workplaces. A diverse state of mind from all those who come to the boardroom or homeroom can help us perform at our personal best. Just like the Olympics require a diversity of talents, our workplaces require such as well.  In a historical moment with a particularly contentious political process, with violence and aggression costing lives for citizens and law enforcement alike, we all can strive for an Olympic state of mind. I recognize that the troubles facing our society are not simply solved in reflecting on athletic competition; nonetheless, just as a cross section of global athletes and a fair playing field is needed for a successful Olympics, a cross section of diverse citizens and a fair playing field is also needed for us in our day to day walk of life.  Good luck to the United States Olympic...

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The Trayvon Martin Verdict… And The Healthy Workplace

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Trayvon Martin Verdict… And The Healthy Workplace The Trayvon Martin Verdict… And The Healthy Workplace The Trayvon Martin Verdict… And The Healthy Workplace (originally posted on JENNINGSWIRE) We have been here before. A country becomes divided over a controversial verdict with the Rodney King Trial, or the O.J. Simpson trial. There is nothing like race and presumed murder that divides a country. And when we return to our desks the day after the verdict, tempers can flare and teams can be divided. This article is not about choosing sides, or analyzing the merits of the Trayvon Martin case or the verdict. Of course prayers go out to Trayvon’s parents who lost their 17 year old son way too soon.  However, this article IS about office decorum in the face of media sensationalism. Here are a few strategies to keep the peace when you go to work. 1: Don’t assume everyone has the same views as you.  I was once told God and politics are tough workplace topics. Controversial court cases should go on that list as well.  The workplace is for work, to focus on objectives and do such productively. Bringing up divisive topics and insisting people agree only yields division. 2: Don’t view everyone else as racist, bigoted unsympathetic because they don’t want to discuss the matter.  Such verdicts can be polarizing, and leave viewers projecting their angst on people and clients on the job.  Such projections are emotional, and unfair to those around you. 3: Don’t engage if asked about the case.  Of course there are always first amendment rights to speak out and speak up if one chooses. However, chances are that engaging in a hot conversation about this verdict can be divisive as well. Will it really make for a healthier workplace to have an argument about a court case decided in another state? Again, this advice is not about right and wrong, justice for all, or just an angry response regardless of your opinion. This piece does reflect on the objectives when one returns to work, to remain focused, productive and collaborative.  If engaging in this, or any hot topic defeats those healthy workplace goals, think twice before engaging in verbal jousting to vent steam on your...

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