Eliminating Bullying by Growing Heroes

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Last week I had the honor of speaking at the 2nd Annual Hero Round Table in Flint Michigan. The conference brought together a diverse group of speakers from across the globe – Magicians, “freaks”, world-renowned researchers, first responders during 9/11, the “most dangerous man in America”, an Auschwitz survivor and more. This was my first time speaking to a non-healthcare audience about being humans by birth and heroes by choice and I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, we were very different (the speakers and the audience) yet shared a common thread.

Each of us was trying to improve the world by inspiring a culture of heroism.
As a nurse speaker and consultant, I spend the majority of my time helping individuals and organizations eliminate bullying and disruptive behavior in the workplace. Although I talk a lot about addressing bad behavior (what we ignore we condone) in my seminars and presentations, this conference taught me that the solution to bullying can’t only focus on getting the bullies to stop bullying – it’s the exact opposite. 
To eliminate bullying we need to teach people how to be more heroic.
Teaching people to become more heroic was exactly what the Hero Round Table was all about. The following represents only 3 of the amazing humans involved in this conference:
Edith (Edie) Eger: She barely survived Auschwitz yet refused to let her experience define her. She was remarkable – never bitter, full of enthusiasm and energy (even at the age of 87), and very humble.
Eddie and Phil
“Contrary to popular belief, there are no victims in this world – only willing participants. You can’t always control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. And everyone has the power to change at any time.” ~Edith Eger
Philip Zimbardo: Who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment. This experiment asked the question, “What would happen if you put good people into evil situations – would they act in evil ways?” The answer is…YES. I wrote about his experiment in my book, “Do No Harm” Applies to Nurses Too! in Chapter 9 titled, “What to do if the bully is you?”
Dr. Zimbardo talked about heroism as a social habit – something that develops over time. As humans, we all need to develop situational awareness – analyze situations at work, at the grocery store, in our neighborhoods, etc. and be willing to take action. However, action takes practice. 
Matt Langdon
Matt Langdon: Owner of the Hero Construction Company and creator of the Hero Round Table, Matt spends his time helping schools combat bullying by creating heroes. Matt says that anti-bullying programs don’t work but hero programs do. He teaches people how to speak up and embrace their heroism.
“The opposite of a hero isn’t a villain, it’s a bystander.” ~Matt Langdon
The best way to eliminate bullying is to inspire others to become more heroic. Speak up – Support each other – Inspire others to do the same.
After all, we are all humans by birth – heroes by choice!
Thanks for reading. Take care and stay connected.

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