Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Workplace Bullies Get Away With It

Seth Godin has an excellent piece about workplace bullying.  Not the physical kind of bullying but the severe conformity placed on many to adapt and adhere to the underlying culture.   While many organizations have lofty statements about 'diversity', only infrequently do they embrace a contrarian, a rabble rouser, a truly different person.  The message is "We have a nice mix of skin colors, genitalia, and  surnames but in your brain you better think like us."

Godin has special contempt for bureaucracies, which by their vary nature enforce a strict control over the actions. thoughts and behaviors of employees. He says

It's easier to keep order in an environment where bullying can thrive (and vice versa), because the very things that permit a few to control the rest also permit bullies to do their work. The bully uses the organization's desire for conformity to his own ends.
Ask anyone inside a government bureau, a large university or a gigantic corporation.  These entities were made for bullies for it's a rich environment to exert control.  In essence, bullies get away with it because the system has rigid demands for conformity.  As long as those demands are met, the verbal or psychological abuse is overlooked or de-emphasized.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So true