May 23, 2019

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can be quite harmful to the companies as well. That is why many Human Resources Departments across the country are making sure to establish appropriate processes and procedures to minimize incidents of maltreatment of employees.

These companies recognize the importance of developing and maintaining a professional environment that does not tolerate bullying and/or harassment. They also realize that appropriate training needs to be provided to supervisors and managers so they are able to perform their duties without relying on bullying or harassment of employees. If the company places a priority on this, then the HR Department can implement appropriate processes and procedures to make sure a professional bully-free environment is maintained.

There is also another reason why many companies direct their HR Departments to focus on this. That has to do with avoiding unnecessary lawsuits. If some employees are being bullied and harassed, and if some of them decide to maintain records as to how they had requested the company to do something about this and nothing had been done, then some of these employees might decide to bring a lawsuit. This can be financially damaging for the company.

But looking at this positively, why wouldn’t a company want all their employees to be happy at their workplace and enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. Happy employees typically perform better which in turn helps the companies achieve or exceed their goals.

 

May 16, 2019

Adults who take care of children must understand that prevention of child sexual abuse is an on-going activity – it does not end with taking care of one specific issue or another. One needs to have the mindset of keeping an eye open for red flags at all times.

It is not like inoculation or vaccination to prevent a medical illness – you take a shot and you are protected for a number of years. Unfortunately, prevention of child sexual abuse does not work that way. It is an on-going activity until the children are able to take care of themselves, which may not happen until they are adults.

Children come in contact with many adults during their developing years. One of the most important things a caregiver can do is to try and maintain a good communication pattern with the children. The more they talk, the greater is the possibility that they will talk about something that could be a red flag. And if a red flag is detected, then it is critical to follow through to make sure there are no risks to the children. Even if it seems to the caregiver that the children might be making things up, it is best to follow through and make sure. When it comes to prevention of child sexual abuse, we simply cannot leave any stones unturned.

 

May 10, 2019

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a devastating disease – based on my personal experience, it can take many years to recover. But it is important to remember that one can recover from this terrible disease and can take his or her life back, irrespective of whether it was triggered by bullying or by some other stressful events.

In my case, it was the sustained bullying during the school years that triggered OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) for me. For the first five years of my mental illness, my single greatest struggle and obstacle became simply telling someone what was going on. Before long, merely managing to function through an average day became the greatest challenge of all. At last, I was able to change my pessimistic perspective, willingly engage in cognitive behavioral therapy and begin to make significant progress with my illness. Eventually, I was able to derive a lasting positive impact after spending only 16 days in Rogers inpatient treatment facility – a positive impact that has lasted throughout the past several years of my life.

Today, I am thrilled to report that I have finally regained control over my once ever so incapacitating mental illness! Though my ordeal has now reached this much better point, there are millions of other people out there who continue to struggle hard with similar issues on a daily basis. I am here to tell those fellow sufferers that this does not have to be their long-term fate. Just as I took back control of my life, they too are capable of freeing themselves from the powerful clutches of this or similar mental health issues.

May 02, 2019

Some organizations promote workplace bullying by rewarding managers and supervisors who control their employees through continuous harassment. They incorrectly believe that those managers’ actions are working well in getting their employees to work harder. They don’t seem to care that many of their employees are seeking professional help to address mental health issues.

These organizations mistakenly believe that being tough (and somewhat abusive) to employees is the only way to manage the employees. They develop a culture where employees only have two options – either they put up with the harassment or just leave and go get a different job. And the management is okay with that culture – either you fit in or you go find another job. Sometimes it is not feasible for some employees to find another suitable job, and therefore, they decide to put up with the culture and in the process end up developing mental health issues.

One reason I wanted to write this book “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer” is to let everyone know that fighting back is an option. There are things an employee can do to fight back against an oppressive company culture. If more employees decide to fight back, these organizations will eventually learn that all employees deserve a non-threatening non-abusive environment for the hard work they put in for the organization.

 

Apr 26, 2019

In order to be able to prevent child sexual abuse it is critically important that family members as well as our systems are able to develop and maintain a preventive mindset. This means that both family members and systems such as child protective services are able to focus on preventive measures that would minimize risks for children.

Here are a few examples of what a preventive mindset means for family members:

  • Get to know the person well before allowing contact with the children
  • Perform a thorough background check before allowing interactions with the children
  • Supervise the interactions to make sure the children are not being exposed to inappropriate behavior
  • Time is of the essence
  • Keep in mind that service providers such as Child Protective Services are typically much more responsive if a concern is brought forward by a family member

In the true story I describe in my book “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse”, I felt that Child Protective Services did not react in a timely manner in a preventive situation likely because the concern was brought forward by me, a bystander family friend. I hope that CPS will try to make some changes so such concerns are acted upon with a greater sense of urgency.

Apr 19, 2019

Schools need to continue to focus on prevention of bullying, rather than just responding to incidents of bullying reported by the students or other bystanders. And to be able to prevent bullying, it is important to understand why bullies do the bullying, and then address those issues. Otherwise bullying will continue ruining lives of victims.

One of the most crucial things I wrote about in my book “A Life Interrupted – The Story of My Battle with Bullying and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” is what I learned about why bullies mistreat other children. I had a very interesting encounter, in adult years, with the worst bully from my school years. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to connect with him after so many years. This encounter told me a lot of about what all was going on in his life and I understood why he became a bully.

Basically he became a bully because of a lot of negative things were going on in his life that he had no control of. That prompted him to bully other kids and made him feel like he had some control. I honestly believe that if he had received appropriate support regarding the other negative things in his life, it is very likely that he would not have turned into a bully. This is why it is critical for school staff to keep a close eye on the bullies and work closely with their parents and provide the support they need so they won’t continue their mistreatment of other children.

 

 

 

Apr 11, 2019

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can have a significant impact on the victims in terms of emotional wellbeing. There are people who are having to seek treatment from licensed mental health professionals to be able to deal with their mental health issues cause by workplace bullying and harassment. This is something that needs to stop.

There are employees who are able to put up with the bullying and harassment and are able to not let it bother them significantly. They are able to ignore it and move on. They are able to stick it out during the work hours and then are able to enjoy the non-work hours without any issues. They are the lucky ones.

However, there are many other employees for whom it is not possible to ignore such irresponsible behavior at the workplace. It bothers them significantly and it eventually affects them during their non-work hours as well. When they go home, they are extremely stressed and are not able to enjoy any relaxing hours. They remain anxious for the next workday coming up within a few hours. This eventually can develop into significant mental health issues for them requiring professional help.

All of this can be avoided if the companies make sure that bullying and harassment at the workplace is simply not acceptable.

 

Apr 04, 2019

Adults around children must understand that there is no guideline as to how much preventive effort is enough to make sure that there will not be any child sexual abuse. That is exactly the reason why putting in continuous limitless efforts for prevention is the only way to maximize their chances of remaining safe.

The main idea is that we never stop looking for preventive measures to maximize safety for the children around us. There is no such thing as enough preventive measures. The point I try to make is that there are always new situations coming up in a child’s life that one needs to be aware of. Also, even old “trustworthy” relationships can sometimes turn into negative encounters. That is why it is always necessary to keep your guards up and keep an eye constantly open for red flags.

This can often be very difficult for family members. It can be very difficult for a family member to accept the fact that another family member might be causing some risk for one of the children, or another family member is not taking appropriate preventive measures to protect his or her children. That is why in my book “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse” I have tried to make it clear that family members have a significant responsibility in this regard.

 

Mar 29, 2019

A school should be a fun place to go to for all children. As a minimum the children should have the right to expect the school environment to be a safe one. Sometimes a child does not want to go to school because he or she had not done the home work that needed to get done. But they should never feel like not going to school because of the fear of bullies.

There are still many schools around the country where bullying continues to be active and the school environment is not safe for all children. To me this is absolutely unacceptable. Kids sometimes do not want to go to school because of some learning related issues such as home work and/or other work while at school – this is something the parents would have to deal with anyway. This is a normal situation for many children and is not a bad thing. The process of educational learning is an important activity for all children.

But on top of that some children are also having to deal with the fear of being bullied. Kids should not have to deal with that. It is the responsibility of the adults around the children to provide a safe learning environment for all kids. It is not necessary for children to learn how to deal with mistreatment from bullies. Some adults will say that life is tough and children must learn to deal with it. But I don’t agree – if they have to deal with this at such an early age, it can often create extremely difficult emotional and psychological issues for them. We simply cannot continue to allow such mistreatment.

 

Mar 22, 2019

In most workplace bullying situations, it’s typically an employee being harassed by a supervisor or a manager. In most of these situations the manager or the supervisor never had any training in managing employees. A person who has been a good employee can often get promoted to become a manager. But a good employee, without appropriate training, doesn’t always make a good manager.

All employees expect that when they work hard and do well, they will someday be considered for promotions. However, in many cases, there aren’t that many positions available that one can get promoted to. Most often, the only promotion track available to employees is the supervisory track – they can get promoted to become a Team Leader or a Supervisor or a Manager. This is where the problem lies. Many good employees do not have the right training or aptitude to become a good supervisor.

This is why many companies are working hard to create a non-management promotion track for employees. That means that good employees who might not have the aptitude to become managers or supervisors, can still be promoted to non-managerial positions with greater responsibilities. These companies are trying to make sure that getting promoted to managerial positions is not the only way an employee can get ahead in his or her career. I think it is important for companies to try to focus on this to make sure good employees who are not suitable for managerial roles can feel satisfied with greater and greater non-managerial responsibilities.

 

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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