The culture of an organisation consist of 90% human interactions and relationships, and 10% business. You cannot gauge human interactions and relations with a barometer as it is dependent on nuanced elements of the human self. When you hire someone into your company, you are hiring someones ideologies, set ways, perception of their worldly views or limited views, and their ability to build trust with others.
For change to trigger within the human self, we have to look into how we interact and process as humans. We inherit qualities that have been socialized throughout our life time. When we have a high percentage of set ways and low percentage to accept capabilities of others’, change becomes difficult for us to digest. This is where people struggle in the work force — not being able to accept someone else’s success or become a catalyst to be the resource for someone else to gain success. This is when we see a shift in a culture. Individuals often become a bully when their ability to accept someone else’s capabilities remain in the low numbers. This becomes detrimental to an organisation especially when we have managers or leadership who embody that character. When an individual is in a position of power and leverages their position to bully team mates, direct reports, and other counterparts, it creates a volatile and viscous situation. It affects the mental state, emotional state, and professional state of the bullied. Bullying oppresses creative thinking, entrepreneurship, ownership, communication skills, and growth. Even a highly capable individual’s ability to perform can be compromised in a toxic environment. Ultimately leading for these individuals to leave the organization. Great talents often quit their managers and leadership when they amplify their bullying tendencies.
Enabling change in an environment of bullies is a process that involves humanization.
Those oppressed by bullies need to be empowered and enabled. Most organisations focus on training managers and leadership first. But we have to shift the first stage of focus on the oppressed. Identify how you can empower and enable them to gain their confidence back. Provide a conducive space for the oppressed to take ownership of their projects and provide the necessary tools to set them up for success.
Most of the time we forget in implementing and maintaining a safe space in an organisation with bullies. A safe space promotes freedom of speech of those who are bullied without getting penalized. No one should be penalized for speaking up. If there are managers or leadership who intimidate or oppress others from speaking their mind, then it’s time to revisit the “why” of them being in a leadership position. A stable climate promotes transparent dialogue, sharing of information, creation of new concepts, and execution of these concepts.
Re-purposing does not mean providing them more training. Sometimes training does not help humans to adapt or adopt. There are different ways to approach people to enable change. We have to develop their mindset and introduce them to new concepts. In order to maintain a safe environment, restructuring them from a management position to an individual contributor role might be an option to consider. This allows the individual to dig deep into what their strengths are and hone in on how they can shine. This allows individuals who have bullying tendency to build their own confidence without being a tyrant to others.
Humanize | Implement | Re-purpose — Mila DeChant
Originally published at medium.com