We all wonder about whether we have done the right thing or not. It’s a very healthy part of our nature and it ensures that we act with humility to learn new things, listen to others and keep moving forward.
Any resource about bullying would be incomplete without some steps to take if you are wondering about your own actions.
Remember, there are many grey areas with bullying, in which we might not be sure how our actions have come across, or been interpreted by another. Similarly the other way around.
It’s a great policy in any workplace to have a handy way to apologise for times like these, in which our actions might be misinterpreted:
If you have suffered bullying yourself, you will be at increased risk of reliving this in your own actions. It’s a great idea to chat things over with a trusted friend to see what they think of your thoughts and actions. This is so very much more preferable than waiting for a person to complain.
If you move to a new geographic area, such a strategy can be very helpful too. I shared an office with someone of a very different ethnic background, and we made an agreement to let each other know if our jokes and sense of humour were acceptable. This agreement saved a lot of angst and was even quiet funny – ‘please raise your hand if you are making a joke’ was a very useful expression at that time!
If you have been accused of bullying, this can be a very stressful time. Seek support where you can. Check your organisation's policy and ensure that it is being followed correctly – e.g. to make sure that your side of the story is taken into account. Keep seeking support, and especially if you become anxious. A good additional option is to seek professional mentorship, which can be helpful in creating mental strategies with which to move forward.
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For comments or suggestions on the material presented here, please contact DrAlfie@word.net.nz