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When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

As America’s National Bullying Prevention Month comes to a close, I find myself wondering why a recent Forbes article reports that workplace bullying is on the rise. With all the knowledge we now have about the effects of bullying on people’s mental health, and all the resources at our disposal to effectively deal with it, how can this be? Perhaps, we have yet to clearly define one very important detail: when is it business and when is it bullying?

You might think bullying is something that only children have to worry about. And with all the media attention, you might even think it’s a behavior that has waned. But let’s look at the alarming statistics. An older 2008 poll on workplace bullying found that 75% of employees reported being affected as either a target or witness. And a new 2019 Monster.com survey out this month found that nearly 94% out of 2081 employees said they had been bullied in the workplace. That’s a huge increase (19%) in the last eleven years. (Forbes, Bryan Robinson, October 2019)

Robinson encourages people to speak up and act immediately. He even lists which actions to take to protect oneself and others. But what if a corporation’s success ideology inadvertently supports bullying behaviours? Then those actions will fall on deaf ears time and again, won’t they?

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

Interviews with Dr. Robert (Bob) Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak, who co-authored Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, provide some serious food for thought. These gentlemen estimate that from one to two percent of the general population is psychopathic in nature. Alarmingly, they find an even higher population of psychopathy within corporate environments:

“And what we find, surprisingly, was that there was a rate of 3.9% in that population of individuals that had scored high enough on the psychopathy checklist that they had hit the mark for being assessed as a psychopath.” (CBC Docs, Dr. Paul Babiak, September 2018)

What is this psychopathy checklist that he speaks of? It was created by his Canadian co-author, Bob Hare—a forensic psychologist touted as being “the godfather of psychopathy” by courts and law enforcement agencies the world over. Both Hare and Babiak consider psychopaths to be society’s most dangerous individuals. This is not only because they behave like predators at the top of the food chain. It is also because they are clever chameleons who can appear normal to the rest of us. With their severe emotional detachment to anything coupled with a lack of remorse, it is easy to see how these pathological liars can infect a workplace.

Did Bank Executives Use the Psychopathy Checklist to Recruit Employees?

Bullying is traumatic. When a trauma happens in your personal life, people rally around you to help you heal. Unfortunately, more often than not, when it happens in a corporate environment, you’re expected to just get over it and get on with it. You can clearly see this mentality in a 2018 CBC Go Public article about banking employees who complained to the media about chronic bullying in their workplaces. After completing an investigation of the bullying allegations, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) deputy commissioner, Brigitte Goulard, had this to say:

“The bank environment is a sales environment. … If you’re not a salesperson, perhaps working in a bank is not for you.” (CBC Go Public, Brigitte Goulard, April 2018)

According to Clive Boddy, a Professor of Leadership & Organizational Behaviour, this attitude is common within the financial sector. In fact, some bank executives took it a frightening step further a while back.

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

When is it Business and When is it Bullying? [Snakes in Suits]

“Modern business is a perfect environment for [psychopaths] because it enables them to achieve the desires that they want in terms of money, in terms of controlling other people, in terms of gaining power and prestige, of course.” British professor and author, Clive Boddy, believes psychopathic behaviour was largely responsible for the global financial crisis. … Boddy says investment deals were so complex, even the brokers didn’t understand them. “You ask yourself: what kind of people would sell a product that they don’t understand and can’t properly price? You’d have to be without conscience—wouldn’t you?—to sell that kind of thing.”

…And Clive Boddy saw it all coming. A few years before the financial collapse, he began hearing that some bank executives went so far as to use Bob Hare’s psychopath checklist to recruit employees. “Presumably, that was because they thought those new employees would be cutthroat and ruthless towards their competitors. The danger, of course, is that they are cutthroat and ruthless towards the bank that employs them, as well. It’s like saying criminals are good at guarding Fort Knox, guarding the gold, guarding the crown jewels. The outcome would be inevitable. The gold would go missing. The jewels would be stolen. … If the system has been corrupted by the presence of corporate psychopaths, then the best thing to do is to get those people out of there rather than hope that they—that the problem will go away on its own. Because it won’t.” (CBC Docs, Clive Boddy, September 2018)

Clearly, we all need to take a pause and rethink our society’s success ideology. When is it business and when is it bullying? And who exactly should be calling those shots in the workplace?

Workplace Bullying Can Affect the Bottom Line

For those who value money and power above all else—who are not swayed by the plight of others who are bullied in the workplace—I will appeal to your thinking from a different angle. When you place economy ahead of integrity, that economy will only sustain itself for so long. Employees and the public will begin to see through the deception. They’ll start complaining. First in small numbers. Then those numbers will grow larger and larger until a domino effect takes place that ultimately causes a recession … possibly even another stock market crash.

You need to care for the mental and physical health of your people first. Then they will take care of you.

You might consider syndicating this content on your own blog. If you do, make sure to attribute the original source so neither of us gets dinged on the SEO front. You can do that by including this line at the bottom of the article: This content first appeared on the PPG Publisher’s Blog and has been republished here with permission.
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Why is Sharing Failure More Powerful than Sharing Success?

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

One of my most cherished mentors from afar is a beautiful soul named Lisa Nichols. She is a captivating public speaker who openly shares her life story with others in all its darkness and light. Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because, in doing so, we can all reach a higher level of freedom and healing.

The benefit for the sharer is that you have “nothing left to protect, prove, hide, or defend” (as Lisa says) once it’s all out in the open; you’re free. The benefit for the receiver is being able to see another person’s humanity; seeing how that person gets back up after falling. We all need someone to show us how to get back up again, because we all fall from time to time.

Why is Sharing Failure More Powerful than Sharing Success?

I’m sure Lisa will be fine if I share this small portion of an inspirational speech she gave at a Mindvalley conference not long ago. Her presentation, titled “Step Into Your Life Purpose,” provides a glimpse of just how powerful it can be to share one’s humanity with others.

The first thing to know is when you’re out of congruency with who you’re designed to be. That’s the first thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t hide it. Don’t shy from it. Just step into that truth. That truth is sexy. Because it will make you do something you never thought you would do. It will make you get radical.
And I sat there with my son, not having food, eating beanies and weenies six days a week … I was so broke and broken. His father had just gone to prison. And, all of a sudden, my worst nightmare had come true.
I had made a commitment, being born and raised in South Central L.A., raised between the Harlem Crips 30s and the Rollin 60s—those are not cheerleading squads, y’all—that I wouldn’t engage on any level. I wasn’t available on any level for any gang activity, for anything criminal, because I would never be connected with jail. That’s just not my thing. I knew, early on, that’s just not my destiny. So, when my girl friends and my best friends started dating the neighbourhood thugs, “I’ll pass. I’m going to the library. I’m not participating. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I know I won’t stay here.”
And so, I planned all this. I got out. I was an athlete. I was an all-American athlete. I held the record for the 330 low hurdles for 18 years after I graduated. My head was down. I was MVP all three years of high school. I was focused. I got out. I got out.
And then, all of a sudden, the man that I met at 27—beautiful soul, brilliant soul—just still had that hustle in him. And I’m not mad about a little hustle, but it can’t manage your integrity. And, for him, it just got the best of him. And I got the call. I said, “Hello?”
He said, “Lisa.”
I said, “Yes?”
He said, “I’m in jail.”
And my heart dropped. I’m 28. I had just given birth to his child. And now I’m linked to the very thing I tried to avoid for so long.
I’m sharing with you my story so you can validate and level set your story. Because I look up, and I say, “Wow, I’m working on my seventh best seller, I’ve had great conversations with Oprah and Larry King and The Today Show, and I’ve built a multi-million-dollar business, and my company’s gone public.” And it doesn’t change my story.
And now I realize that I used my story as my fuel, not my fortress. My story wasn’t my, “I get to be successful in spite of.” My story was my “because of.” It’s because of.
And so, I remember sitting on my couch going, “Oh, my God. My very thing I tried to avoid—my nightmare—is my truth.” And for years, eight years, I never mentioned where my son’s father was. I denied that he even existed. I wouldn’t talk about him. You couldn’t talk about him. … I walked around with this baggage on me, this story that if I spoke too loudly and let my light shine too brightly, then the light’s going to shine on him, too. And everyone’s going to know my connection.
…Yours is going to be different. But we’ve all got this chatter. … That was just my chatter. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share my chatter with you before I share with you how to get to an abundant life. You’ve got to know the depth that I come from. (Mindvalley, 2016)
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.

Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.

That is so powerful. Don’t you feel that much more motivated after learning the depths Lisa rose from to reach her current level of success? Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because it touches our hearts and shows us just what the human spirit is capable of. That’s where true inspiration lives—in rising up from failure, especially when all the odds are stacked against you.

During this same speech, Lisa talks about how abundant thinkers still fail like everyone else does; they just fail forward. They take the lessons from their failures and continue onward with persistence. Abundant thinkers leave everything that no longer serves them behind. They leave it in the past where it belongs.

But they’re also unafraid to share it. They live to serve others. If it will help you, they’ll share it.

The Importance of Persistence in Overcoming Failures

Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale are two more of my mentors from afar. I highly recommend listening to “Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich Condensed and Narrated by Earl Nightingale” in which the 13 proven steps to riches are discussed—”riches” being defined as “whatever it is that you want.” Persistence is listed as the eighth proven success principle.

Why is persistence so important along the pathway to success? Because you’re guaranteed to fail along the way. Failure is not the opposite of success. In fact, it is a natural part of success. So, expect it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Grow from it.

Napoleon Hill defines persistence as the power of will. Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. Persistence, to an individual, is what carbon is to steel.
In uncounted thousands of cases, persistence has stood as the difference between success and failure. It is this quality, more than any other, that keeps the majority from great accomplishment. They’ll try a thing. But, as soon as the going gets tough, they fold. Experience with thousands of people has proved that lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority of men. It is a weakness which may be overcome by effort. If you are to accomplish the desire you set for yourself, you must form the habit of persistence.
Things will get dark. It will seem as though there is no longer any reason to continue. Everything in you will tell you to give up, to quit trying. And it’s right here that the men are separated from the boys. It’s right here that, if you’ll go that extra mile, and keep going, that the skies will clear. And you’ll begin to see the first signs of the abundance that is to be yours because you had the courage to persist. With persistence will come success. (Success Consciousness, 2017)

You may look at successful leaders in society and think they’ve had life easier than you. Or you may think they’re somehow different from you, smarter than you … better than you. That’s simply untrue. One need only read a recent article by Jeff Rose in Forbes magazine, titled “9 Famous People That Went Bankrupt Before They Were Rich,” to see that each of these leaders had to develop the habit of persistence to overcome some pretty major obstacles in their lives.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because knowing that it’s possible to become one of the most beloved Presidents of the United States, even after experiencing repeated failures, is impactful. Learning that some of the public figures you admire most came back even stronger—even better—after experiencing failure, is energizing. It makes you want to try even harder in your own life, doesn’t it? It gives you hope that you can succeed, too, no matter where you’re starting from now.

There is Never Any Shame in Sharing Your Failures with Others

Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.

Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.

Whatever your faith, this story will inspire (and challenge) you to look at failure in a new way. It may even empower you to take the reins in your own life and go public like others have before you.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because society can learn far more from your failures than they’ll ever learn from your successes. You may even help others to avoid some of the pitfalls you encountered along the way. And maybe you’ll change a small part of the world for the better in the process.

The corporate world seems to teach us that failure is something to be avoided. Sales managers implement performance improvement plans (PIPs) that are designed to shame those who fall behind. Investors will only look at startup founders who repeat the axiom, “Success is the only option!” and hastily discard the rest.

Maybe a more empowering alternative to this Darwinian “survival of the fittest” mentality is instead empowering and lifting each other up. Perhaps, we should invest our time and energies into those who share triumphant stories of how they climbed back up from the depths of despair. The truth is, there’s never any shame in sharing your failures with others. The only shame is in staying down after you’ve fallen.

You might consider syndicating this content on your own blog. If you do, make sure to attribute the original source so neither of us gets dinged on the SEO front. You can do that by including this line at the bottom of the article: This content first appeared on the PPG Publisher’s Blog and has been republished here with permission.
As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.