Once upon a time, I worked with someone that had some great skills even though they made a lot of choices that I didn’t like, respect or trust. (This person was smart, witty, and could be really fun, but repeatedly lied and manipulated and bullied others to get what they wanted.)
Years after we worked together, that person sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
- If some time had not passed, I would have declined it instantly and been filled with tons of negative emotions as I did it.
Last week’s post: Together You Stand, Divided You Fall is the first part of this “mini series.” If you missed it, click here.
When I was a teenager I watched daytime soap operas. In each of them there was always a manipulative character that consistently pressed invisible buttons, somehow always getting what they wanted.
I remember wondering if anyone could actually be that conniving.
This weekend a news article and a video that covered different stories, were shared on social media.
Both were shared to stir hate and both effectively stirred up some of their intended audience.
- The article made me angry
- The video shocked me
My friend, Kate Nasser is doing a beautiful job of leveraging her #PeopleSkills platform to shine a light on workplace bullying.
She recently challenged my friend and co-author Susan Mazza to share her Letter To A Bully on her blog.
In Susan’s post she asked,
It did not take me long to craft my response to Susan because I’ve spent so much time pondering this issue – long before I called it what it is. (Anyone that tears down others so that they will feel better about themselves is a bully.) Below are links to three of my previous posts.
1. I was a bully, and it changed my life.
2. Like you, I’ve seen great leaders and I’ve seen workplace bullying that reminds me of the playground. It makes my stomach churn and my heart ache.
3. Bullies on the playground and in the workplace reflect the hearts and minds of racists, drug lords, human traffickers and unfortunately many world leaders.
This was my answer to Susan…
October 16th is Boss’s Day.
When I think of Boss’s Day I think of the bosses I’ve had, the bosses I’ve seen and the boss I’ve been. I think of the skills I admired and echoed. I think of the skills I could see that were buried under layers of self-discipline issues and integrity challenges. I think of the good, the bad and the ugly:
- The boss that was in his late 40’s, that would have temper tantrums like a two-year old when things did not go well. (Stomping feet, throwing things, and completely consumed with blaming someone instead of problem solving.)
- The boss that was kind, fun, supportive, and late for everything!
- A different boss that realized in a training that her constant tardiness felt like a slap in the face to many of her employees and they were questioning her integrity. (Her discovery was profound and behavior-altering!)
- The boss that listened first to understand, then evaluated if the team had the tools,training and support to do their job before determining how to handle poor performance. (Building trust and a strong organization!)
Last week my husband and I vacationed in Amsterdam. During our visit there we had the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House. I’ve seen the movie, read books about this horrible time in history and visited Holocaust Museums, but I’d never actually read her diary.
‘En route to Amsterdam I opened her diary and read details that I’ve missed before…
- “Jews must wear a yellow star.
- Jews must hand in their bicycles.
- Jews are banned from trains and are forbidden to drive.
- Jews are only allowed to do their shopping between three and five o’clock and then only in shops which bear the placard “Jewish shop.”
- Jews must be indoors by eight o’clock
- and cannot even sit in their own gardens after that hour.
- Jews are forbidden to visit theaters, cinemas, and other places of entertainment.
- Jews may not take part in public sports.
- Swimming baths, tennis courts, hockey fields and other sports grounds are all prohibited to them.
- Jews may not visit Christians.
- Jews must go to Jewish schools, and many more restrictions of a similar kind.”
As I tried to imagine Anne’s life at age 13, I immediately thought of my 13-year-old niece and my 13-year-old neighbor. And I felt my throat tighten, my eyes mist and my mind quickly trying to seal off those thoughts.