Wednesday, October 20, 2021

When Bystanders are Quiet



 When bystanders are quiet, there are usually underlying threats that keep individuals and groups from stepping up to help or report bullying and abuse. In the case of children who cannot speak for themselves, some bystanders may feel threatened or even benefit by not intervening and will only do so if there is a chance that others will report the abuse.

When bystanders are quiet and not involved in the abuse or bullying of adults or children, fear or uncertainty may be why. However, in the presence of a bully, the behavior exhibited by the victim and the bystander goes beyond apathy to fear-based. According to Dr. Albrecht, there are five fears common to humans.

 Fear Types:

 (1) fear of extinction,

 (2) fear of body mutilation or invasion,

 (3) loss of autonomy,

 (4) fear of separation, abandonment or rejection,

 (5) ego-death or fear of humiliation, shame, or worthlessness.

 Since bullying is a system problem, the diffusion of responsibility to not intervene or report bully behavior becomes rationalized because of the fears embedded in the culture. 

Debra Stewart Psy.D. Organizational Psychologist Specializing in Health and Wellness






Bully Management and Prevention Certification


Monday, September 6, 2021

What is Your Organizational Definition of Bullying?


The workplace bully can easily be identified when there are escalations in chaos and workplace tension because bullies are often central figures who receive credit for all infamous deeds and sometimes heroics. Bullies harbor resources, information, and knowledge and undermine every operational process. However, workplace bullies do not suddenly emerge but are fueled by imbalances in the organizational culture and slowly nurtured to take their unfair share of the workplace power. What is the definition of a workplace bully? It depends on the organizational structure, mission and values, and how acts of aggression and misuse of power are named. Some organizations would not recognize a bully rising to power because bullies exude magnificence while riding on coworkers' skills and competencies, and talents to save the day.  Other organizations would sense that something was wrong because of the shift from the workplace mission and vision and decreased employee satisfaction and loyalty.  

Debra Stewart Psy.D MBA



Bully Management and Prevention Certification

Friday, August 27, 2021

How Organizations Create Bullies


Adams' Equity Theory of Job Motivation may help to explain how some workplace policies and procedures, noninclusive reward and recognition programs, and unfair growth and development practices may help create bullies in the workplace. Based on needs and expectations, employee satisfaction depends on fair inputs and outputs. When an imbalance occurs, and unfairness is perceived, employee retention drops, accident and injury increases, and employee competition for limited resources increase.

Debra Stewart PsyD. MBA


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

COVID Vaccination and the Pressure to Conform


 The growing pressure to become fully vaccinated leaves some individuals feeling bullied and without reasonable choices and personal freedoms. For example, employers may mandate vaccination, or employees may face mandatory testing or other penalties if they are not vaccinated. During these difficult times of feeling pressured to conform, how do we make good decisions based on the greater good? Psychology informs us that conformity is neither good nor bad until we assign a social reward, threat level, or fear type. As we calculate losses and gains in a decision driven by self-regard and the regard for others, polar conflicts between reason and emotion happen that may challenge personal identity and purpose. Feeling bullied is a reasonable emotion from such conflict unless you genuinely examine the meaning you assign to conformity and why it matters in self-regard and the regard of others.

-Dr. Stewart