Civility

June 24, 2019

Death is Unfixable

There is a stigma associated with suffering. People don’t want to show it and onlookers don’t want to see it. Grieving the loss of a loved one is a private sadness.  Caring communities come together to support those in grief. Workplaces promise a sense of community yet have much to learn to better support an employee’s grief. A recent article in Harvard Business Review When a Colleague is Grieving shares research and insight of how workplaces and managers can support employees in grief. Many people are familiar with the five stages of grief described as a steady process from denial, […]
April 22, 2019

Stalk Happens

Stalking is a crime of power and control. The National Institute of Justice defines stalking as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear.”  Cyberstalking involves the use of electronic communication to create a criminal level of intimidation, harassment, and fear in one or more victims. Cyberstalkers may flood a target’s inbox with threatening or obscene messages; or assume the victim’s identity and post and solicit responses to intimidate, […]
January 26, 2019

The Bystander Effect

It is time for business to take a wide look at anti-harassment training.  There is evidence to support that training raises awareness of what harassment is and that it is prohibited.  One problem is most employees will not be self-aware enough to acknowledge they may be the harasser.  Helping employees become aware of the level of civility in their workplace and the harm of micro-aggressions may be time well spent. But getting employees to report an incident of harassment is the big job. Creating a safe and respectful workplace may open the path to reporting harassment. Research and popular culture […]
October 21, 2018

Workplace Silence

Alyssa Milano requested her followers use #metoo just over a year ago. Since then, we have all become extremely aware of the scope of unreported sexual harassment incidents. Employers’ standards for preventing harassment have been raised.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s most recent guidance includes “create and maintain an environment in which employees feel comfortable reporting harassment to management.” The fact is people who are not in power are not comfortable reporting much of anything to management. Organizational psychology has demonstrated that people impose censorship on themselves when communicating upward even when their intent is constructive.  People impose this self-censorship […]