This past week I have been spending time with colleagues and friends and we got around to talking about our respective work histories. One of my colleagues shared that he only recently realized that he had never left an employment position with an alternative position lined up. We were pondering on this and the reason, and each of us came to the realization that we could easily recognize and recall a tipping point when we decided we did not want to remain in our position or with our employing organizations during our work lives so far.
Further conversation revealed that in many cases there was a single relationship at the root of our unhappiness or dissatisfaction at work and the tipping point was something that that person said, did or failed to do that represented a line crossed for each of us. Most commonly that line was verbal aggression, threats, attempts to intimidate or unethical practices. The irony was that those of us having this conversation all work and had been working in fields that promoted themselves as environments purporting to be exemplars of workplace civility and cultures where bullying was not tolerated.
In the Mandt System curriculum we talk about the importance of treating those we serve with ‘Dignity & Respect’ and not employing the use of coercion to elicit behavior change. However this presents a dichotomy for staff if and when their own employing organizations, managers or Executive Leadership are routinely employing coercion with them or their colleagues.
Maybe this is part of the reason that here at the Mandt System, we are getting more and more interest and enquiry into our leadership programs such as ‘Supporting Successful Leadership’ and ‘Corporate Culture Change’. Perhaps this long established practice of workplace bullying and incivility, as one of the final taboos of the employment relationship is being exposed and addressed, allowing us to heal and create more healthy workplace relationships in the years ahead of us?
Simon Kemp – SVP Business Development