Working Notes: Latest from the Workplace Bullying Institute

Many readers know that I’ve been working with the Workplace Bullying Institute (and its predecessor, the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying) on a pro bono basis for over a decade. Through the work of its founders, Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, WBI is the signature public education, research, and advocacy group concerning workplace bullying in North America.

Here’s a sampling of WBI’s latest:

1. Workplace Bullying University 2013 schedule — For professionals in fields such as human resources, labor relations, employment law, and mental health, there is no better training program on understanding, preventing, and responding to workplace bullying than Workplace Bullying University.

During 2013, sessions at WBI’s Bellingham, Washington headquarters are scheduled for February 22-24, May 10-12, August 16-18, and November 15-17.

It’s not easy or passive. Rather, it’s three days of intensive study and discussion that can be applied to one’s professional practice.

2. Seattle-area support groups — Over the years I’ve recommended Jessi Brown, a licensed therapist and WBI’s professional coach, to bullying targets who are seeking assistance. Now Jessi is starting support groups for targets in the Seattle area:

WBI’s Professional Coach & Licensed Psychotherapist, Jessi Eden Brown, will be offering support groups starting in February. This resource is designed for current and former targets of workplace bullying. Participants receive support and ideas from fellow group members, as well as expert advice from Jessi on how to address specific bullying situations and cope with the aftermath of being targeted.

I hope that these groups are a tremendous success, thereby creating possible models for therapists and counselors in other parts of the country.

3. Online survey results on how bullies select targets — WBI has just released results of a 2012 online survey asking bullying targets why they were singled out for mistreatment. Here are the leading reasons (percentages rounded off; up to two reasons may be checked):

  • 21% checked “Bully threatened by target’s technical skills”
  • 18% checked “Bully’s abusive personality”
  • 14% checked “Target not a political game player”
  • 14% checked “Target too popular with others”
  • 10% checked “Target perceived as weak”

4. Gary Namie on Lance Armstrong — In the aftermath of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s confessions to using performance enhancing drugs after years of vehement denial, Gary Namie examines how he savagely bullied and intimidated those who accused him of cheating:

Emma O’Reilly, a cycling team assistant, a soigneur — part masseuse, part go-fer — saw and knew everything. She knew Armstrong and two other team officials planned to backdate a prescription for corticosteroids for a saddle sore to explain a positive steroid test result during the 1999 Tour de France. Armstrong branded O’Reilly a “whore” and a “prostitute liar.”

For O’Reilly, the financial devastation and threats to her livelihood and safety were perpetrated by her employer’s nearly 3 year campaign against her. For her, the bullying was workplace bullying.

2 responses

  1. Regarding Lance … what happened? Samples were drawn years ago and frozen. Modern testing reveals that the specimens were unequivocally positive. Oops, now there’s proof he lied.

    So, what does he do? He goes on Oprah and tries to manipulate viewers into thinking he’s a changed man – that he’s a victim of his own lies. Typical bully pity-plea nonsense. Meanwhile the real victims are still recovering.

    Since Lance got booted from his own organization, how about using his image for an anti-bullying campaign?

    The US should apologize to France. The French were right all along.

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