Federal inquiry into bullying

The federal inquiry into bullying found that workplace bullying has profound effects on peoples’ health and their work and personal lives. Bullying costs the country dearly, too. According to the productivity commission, we lose between $6 billion and $36 billion annually (a pretty wide gap!)

In late November, the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Education and Employment released its report into bullying, Workplace Bullying: We just want it to stop. The report makes 23 recommendations, including setting up a national service to advise on what constitutes bullying and how to deal with it. This service should also include a hotline for both employees and employers to find out how to prevent and resolve bullying, provide online training packages for employers, and provide on-site help for workplaces where bullying is known to be rife. The report also recommended stronger legislation and regulatory frameworks, including making serious bullying a criminal offence.

Recommended actions for business include improving workplace cultures and following the draft Code of Practice: Managing the Risk of Workplace Bullying.

Discussion questions

What is your organisation’s policy on bullying? Do you know what to do if someone complains they’re being bullied? Can you recognise the signs of bullying?

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How to inspire action

In a very interesting 18-minute Ted Talk, Simon Senek explains that there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, while those who lead inspire people. People follow these leaders not because they have to but because they want to. (And customers buy from the people and companies that begin their messages with the ‘Why’ of what they do.)

True leaders think, act and communicate in the same way, which Senek explains with a ‘golden circle’ of ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘What’. Most people know the ‘Whats’, some know the ‘Hows’, but only inspirational leaders know and communicate the ‘Whys’. (The ‘Why’ is the purpose, as explained in Chapter 11 under the ‘What To’ key.)

To be an inspirational leader, you need to begin with the Whys so that people understand and believe in your message. For example, begin with the ‘why’, the purpose, of what you do, of what your organisation does or of task your are delegating to a team member.

Discussion questions

Which are you—a leader or someone who leads? When you’re at your best, how do you lead?

The journey beyond success

I’ve just watched a refreshingly short (under 4 minutes!) Ted talk by Richard St John called Success is a Continuous Journey. In it, he reminds us that once you’ve reached your goals, it’s all too easy to sit back in your comfort zone and coast.

He also lists the eight ingredients for success:

  1. Passion
  2. Work
  3. Focus
  4. Push
  5. Ideas
  6. Improve
  7. Serve
  8. Persist

Discussion questions

Maybe you know a few people who sit back and coast. What happens when a manager does this? How can you guard against that happening to you? How can you make St John’s eight ingredients for success part of your lifelong journey of learning?

Staying on top of your game

 Rosabeth Moss Kanter recently wrote a great blog on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. It’s about five self-defeating behaviours that ruin companies and careers, and how to avoid them:

  • Demanding a bigger share of a shrinking pie
  • Getting angry
  • Giving in to mission creep
  • Adding without subtracting
  • Thinking you’ll get away with it.

As usual, her thoughts are insightful, practical and worth reading.

Discussion questions

What lessons does this blog hold for you on managing your career and your work team?