Empathy AND Resilience: Keys to combating workplace bullying

This doesn’t qualify as a monumental insight, but in weighing the key personal characteristics that are valuable toward combating workplace bullying and related behaviors, I keep coming back to empathy and resilience.

Empathy inhibits us from engaging in bullying and leads us to support someone who is being mistreated.

Resilience is part of our “institutional immunity system” so that we can deal with, respond to, and — if necessary –recover from a host of hostile and/or dysfunctional behaviors at work.

We have to nurture these qualities in kids and adults alike.  We’ll all be happier and healthier as a result.

3 responses

  1. David, you’re so right about empathy being crucial to civility. It’s interesting to note that some form of the “golden rule” (as it’s often called in the West) is a key principle of nearly all world religions. The thing is, empathy takes time — because it requires us to stop, think, feel, reflect. In environments that prize efficiency, it doesn’t come easy. My conclusion: We need to slow down a little and become more reflective.

  2. dear David, are there any instruments you know of that we can use to measure empathy and resilience especially in health workers?

    • I’ll have to defer to my colleagues in the I/O psychology and occupational health psychology fields for that question — Sorry I can’t give you a definitive recommendation!

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