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National Bullying Prevention Month: The End of Bullying Begins with Me!

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Join me in Celebrating  a Decade of Partnership Against Bullying!

National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. This initiative used to be just the 1st week in October but due to an increase in prevalence, has expanded to include the entire month.

Over the past 10 years, this campaign grew from a small week-long event to a worldwide effort with multiple activities throughout October. National Bullying Prevention Month constitutes a national effort to unite communities together to educate, raise awareness, and join forces to prevent and address bullying.

Bullying:  It doesn’t always stop in the schoolyard!

We probably all have memories of the schoolyard bully who either picked on us or picked on others. I can remember one girl in middle school who, for whatever reason, hated me. She picked on me relentlessly and would actually growl at me when I walked past. Now it seems comical but back then, I was petrified of her! This lasted until the end of 7th grade. But when we started 8th grade, it was as if she became a different person. She was nice to me. We become semi-friends throughout high school but never talked about why for one year, she was so mean to me. Who knows? Maybe she matured and realized that bullying and being mean to others was not right.

We all do stupid and sometimes hurtful things when we are kids (my sister and I used to put a blanket over our little brother’s head and sit on him!!! I feel so bad now but as a kid, it was “fun”) but when we get to adulthood, we adopt better behaviors.

Or do we?

[Tweet “#WorkplaceBullying: The playground is different, but the behaviors are the same. @RTConnections”]

As you know, adult workplace bullying is an unfortunate reality. It’s as if these schoolyard bullies just grow up to become workplace bullies. Although the “playground” is different, the behaviors are the same:

  • Verbal assaults
  • Exclusion
  • Sabotage
  • Setting others up for failure

And more.

We know that if you don’t address bullying during childhood, they may grow up to become adult bullies in the workplace.

Although traditionally focused on children, adult bullying is now getting a lot of attention. Efforts to create awareness regarding bullying in the workplace are now increasing because leaders are recognizing the negative impact bullying has on their outcomes

United to #StopBullying!

Here is just a sample of the people/organizations doing their part to prevent and eliminate workplace bullying:

Workplace Bullying Institute

The American Nurses Association – Position Statement on Bullying, Incivility, and Workplace Violence.

And most importantly, through  RT Connections,  I am doing my part to address and eliminate bullying in healthcare through my anti-bullying programs, videos, articles, keynotes, workshops, and consulting.

What can we all do? The End of Bullying Begins With Me!

Let’s adopt some of the same recommendations by the experts who strive to eliminate schoolyard bullying:

  1. Make friends with others

The more you see others as friends, the more likely you will treat them well. Start by building relationships with people you don’t know and then strengthen relationships with the coworkers you know.

  1. Stand up for others

More people WITNESS bullying behavior than experience it. However, the majority of bystanders say nothing – do nothing. The next time you witness bullying behavior, speak up and then support the target.

  1. Spread positivity

A powerful way to counter the negativity surrounding bullying and incivility is to start saying GOOD things about each other. Celebrate, recognize, nurture and respect each other. If you do this consistently, you will influence others to do the same.

Although we focus on bullying prevention during the month of October, why not focus on bullying prevention EVERY month, EVERY day, and EVERY minute.

If each one of us did our part to stop the cycle of bullying, we could spend the month of October doing other things: Baking pumpkin pies, playing in the leaves, or making a big pot of soup (I’m about to do that right now!).

However, until we eradicate childhood and adult bullying, let’s use the month of October to make a better world for us, for our children, and for each other.

Renee ThompsonTake care and stay connected —  Renee

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Dr. Renee Thompson works with healthcare organizations that want to overcome the leadership and clinical challenges their people face every day. If you’d like to find out more about her programs, please visit her website www.reneethompsonspeaks.com.

Contact Renee today at renee@healthyworkforceinstitute.com to bring her to your organization to talk about ending the cycle of nurse bullying.

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