Why it's so important to spread the word about the term "workplace abuse"

Uncategorized Sep 10, 2020

There's usually a window of time between a targets' initial shock from workplace abuse and their discovery of the term "workplace abuse." Once they discover the term, they can usually start to detach from the problem or externalize a problem they'd been internalizing and begin to heal. Realizing they're not the problem is a pivotal discovery in beginning the road to recovery.

Often finding the term online and reading more about it can be sufficient for healing, but connecting and validating with others face-to-face also helps significantly. Shame can prevent that connection, but targets are not the problem and are not alone.

With more awareness of the issue, the gap between getting abused and learning the concept will be reduced or eliminated, cutting down on stress and improving target well-being.

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Why employees sue (hint: it's not about the money)

Uncategorized Sep 08, 2020

Just as doctors without good bedside manners are more likely to get sued, so are employers. In his article "The Top 5 Reasons Why Employees Sue Their Boss," Plaintiff Employment Lawyer Branigan Robertson reveals that mistreatment — not money — is the number one motivator for employees suing their employers. It's mounting evidence that not caring about employees as human beings costs employers.

Here are the top five reasons why employees sue their employers according to Robertson:

1.  They feel they were treated like garbage.

To have dignity, people need to believe they're more than a disposable company resource. "Fired employees don’t call employment lawyers like me because the law was broken. Regular folks have no clue whether the law was broken. They call me because they feel dehumanized," explains Robertson. "This is by far the No. 1 reason people get on Google and search for a lawyer. They are emotionally upset about how their boss treated, demoted,...

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Coping with workplace abuse by challenging thought patterns

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2020

Thoughts lead to emotions, and emotions can spiral out of control, leaving you feeling helpless, depressed, and anxious. That's one of the lessons from a 5-week class I took called "Secrets to a Satisfied Life," a course about taking control of your life path and inner peace.

The teacher introduced a "challenging beliefs worksheet" used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disorder common with veterans and targets of workplace abuse, which can cause shock to a positive, trusting worldview. Though some say human connection and validation are most effective for coping with workplace abuse, these ideas can still be helpful.

The idea with the worksheet is to change a pattern of problematic thinking and reframe it. Do you have evidence? Are you confusing the possible with the likely? Are you jumping to conclusions? Are you oversimplifying a problem? (This coping technique by no means excuses workplace abuse. It is simply a...

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How other countries affirm human dignity

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2020

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KeAZho8TKo]

Michael Moore's 2015 documentary Where to Invade Next isn't about America's war history. It's about how other countries affirm human dignity through policy. It's a look at how policy shapes culture and creates cultures of "we," where people look out for their neighbors, instead of cultures of "me." For example:

  • In Germany, it's illegal for a boss to contact his or her subordinates while they're on vacation.
  • In Slovenia, it's normal for students to protest when administrators threaten their tuition-free higher education.
  • In Norway, prison guards use conversation instead of violence and humiliation. The maximum sentence is 21 years, and Norway has one of the lowest murder rates in the world.

Explains Wikipedia:

The countries and topics in order of appearance:

  • Italy: labor rights and workers' well-being: paid holiday, paid honeymoon, thirteenth salary, two-hour lunch breaks, paid parental leave
  • France: school meals and...
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Workplace abuse is theft

Uncategorized Aug 31, 2020

"Someone in your office walks out every day with a laptop under his coat. He fences them down the street and keeps the money. After he's discovered, how long should he keep his job? What if he's a really hard worker? Perhaps you give him a warning, but when he's discovered stealing again a week from now, then what? Bullying costs far more than laptop theft does," says Marketing Guru Seth Godin in his blog post "Bullying is theft."

Bullying is "intentionally using power to cause physical or emotional distress with the purpose of dominating the other person," says Godin. "The bully works to marginalize people. In an organizational setting, the bully chooses not to engage in conversation or discussion or to use legitimate authority or suasion and depends instead on pressure in the moment to demean and disrespect someone else — by undermining not just their ideas but their very presence and legitimacy."

Most bullies aren't sociopaths, immune to correction. They are...

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How to find your purpose

Uncategorized Aug 27, 2020

"I would rather flirt with failure than never dance with my joy," says author Wes Moore, who appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network talking about his book The Work, about finding your path to purpose. In the interview, Moore says that what you would do regardless of work is what your purpose is and what should be your life's work.

Oprah is joined by decorated veteran, entrepreneur, Rhodes scholar, and New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore for an inspirational conversation about discovering and pursuing your life’s purpose. Wes shares the lessons he learned as a combat officer in Afghanistan, a White House Fellow, and a Wall Street banker during the financial crisis. He opens up about his journey of self-discovery, service, and risk-taking that led him to walk away from financial success to create a more meaningful life for him and his family. Wes and Oprah also discuss his new book, The Work, which calls on readers to find their own paths to purpose.

Watch the...

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How to know if you might have PTSD after workplace abuse

Uncategorized Aug 27, 2020

Workplace abuse can often lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Mayo Clinic, "symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships."

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types:

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities, or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may...

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Why going to HR generally doesn't help targets of workplace abuse

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2020

Targets of workplace abuse have told me that when they reported their experiences to Human Resources, the workplace abuse generally got worse. Advocates said:

HR is there to protect a company's legal interests, not the worker. As soon as a you go to HR [about workplace abuse], you can expect things to get worse because you have just given them notice they need to get their ducks in a row and get rid of you so you can't document anymore. It's better to quietly go to an employment lawyer who will tell you if you have a case, tell you how to document, and act as your advocate when you have a viable case.

HR gets their paycheck from the company, not you. They are not your advocate.

Going to Human Resources can be as effective as doing nothing, if not worse.

It is important to note that many HR professionals are targets of workplace abuse themselves.

What do you do instead? Advocates most commonly reported that leaving the organization was the most effective (and often the...

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Signs your toxic boss is subtly destroying your life

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2020

Work culture is top-down. So if those at the top believe passive-aggressive behaviors will help weed out bad employees, then you're at the mercy of abusive bosses who master the art of subtle abuse. And subtle abuse gets rewarded. "Research by the University of Buffalo School of Management finds that ... those who engage in harassment typically receive excellent reviews from their own supervisors and are exceptional at climbing the corporate ladder," says Glynis Sweeny in her Alternet article "8 traits of toxic managers."

The problem is that at best, you're left feeling shamed, isolated, drained, and fearful of losing your job. At worst, your abusive boss ruins your career, makes you question your value at work, and takes a toll on your personal life and health, leaving you with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Sweeny points to these eight cues that you have an abusive boss:

1. They don’t give constructive feedback. Good managers want you to...

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What to do - and not do - if you're abused at work

Uncategorized Aug 18, 2020
What do those who've experienced workplace abuse recommend to those still in it? Get out. Nothing you can do will stop the abuse.
 
What to avoid
Targets who stood up to workplace abuse, even with plenty of documentation, reported outcomes they said "weren't worth it":
  • Thousands of dollars in legal fees
  • Mental and emotional exhaustion
  • Health problems: sleeplessness, anxiety, and chest pains
  • Bad effects on family and other personal relationships
What to do
Former targets recommended making your well-being the number one priority:
  • Take medical leave
  • See a therapist
Ultimately, remember it's not you who is in the wrong.
 
 
 
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