Bullying is all around us. It not only exists in the school or playgrounds, it has also become quite prevalent in the workplace. Whenever someone becomes a victim of bullying, the affected individual’s life changes. He or she can become subdued, afraid and highly stressed out.
Many companies and organizations have launched various programs to help address and prevent bullying. Part of the program may include conducting anti bullying sessions, establishing policies that would cover such behaviors and scenarios, as well as a setting up avenues and opportunities to encourage victims in speaking up. A few institutions would also create communication programs or campaigns aimed to increase awareness about bullying issues.
One such example was a poster making contest conducted by four institutions that was launched earlier this year. These institutions are the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA), East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU), National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA), and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. The four asked everyone, from aspiring teen artists to victims of bullying, to create a poster that would best display their experience and understanding of bullying and its prevention.
The contest ran until May this year and a winner was already identified by the four institutions. Aside from winning a gift card reward and a free trip to Washington, D.C. to attend an event, the winner’s original artwork also became the face of the 2015 “Friends Do Make A Difference” campaign.
The contest was an admirable way to invite teens and bullying victims to share their experience, as well as express their pain and hopes in an artistic way. To learn more about the contest’s details and a short description about the campaign, click here. To check out the contest winners’ artwork, click here.
I often tell clients that they need a compelling vision in order to create a positive workplace where workplace bullying cannot survive. In one example, a client of mine manufactured aluminum spheres (apparently aerospace and automotive industries use them) and the CEO’s vision was to, “rule the world when it comes to aluminum spheres.” When I interviewed everyone in the organization during a prevalence audit for workplace bullying, I discovered that every single employee truly believed in this vision. It was very real for them.
But, if everyone in the organization wants to “rule the world of aluminum spheres” then everyone in the organization has to act accordingly. Bullies will hinder any potential ruling of the world with their behavior and the damage it causes. Now the organization can hold everyone – bullies included – to engaging in behavior that will reach the vision.
A vision most inspires when it:
- captures the people’s imagination on what the organization can achieve and what each employee can accomplish
- connects with the people on an emotional and visceral level that engages their passion
- inspires people to excel and work together to achieve a common goal, as well as aiming for higher expectations for themselves and the organization
- provides a clear and compelling image of what the future will look like
- taps into people’s desire to aspire for bigger and better things, wherein the vision would resonate with and call on the individual’s spirt, passion and dreams
- provides people with a clear set of standards or a benchmark in identifying and evaluating the quality of their actions, which also serves as a gauge for assessing their behaviors and results
- challenges people to focus their energies and unite together in attaining a common goal, which is most important so that people would realize that they can’t achieve it on their own and would need to work with each other to achieve a common good
The presence of bullies can be seen and felt almost everywhere. Children and adolescents may find a bully in their neighborhood or school, while employees experience bullying at work. Bullies in the workplace also cuts across various industries and scenarios. Interestingly, football bullies were also featured in the new Nivea for Men advert.
The less than one minute commercial stars professional football player Adam Lallana and other Liverpool teammates. The commercial starts with Lallana staring into the camera, before he is subjected to various “tortures” such as a dog licking his face, a child smearing him with paint and a grandmother kissing him. Aside from those incidents, the British athlete also had to face football bullies who threw two buckets full of ice water at him. The cold water splash was courtesy of Liverpool teammates Philippe Coutinho and Martin Skrtel. Another quick scene showed abuse at work when goal keeper Simon Mignolet threw a football directly at his face. Ouch!
And while the abuse that Lallana endured in the commercial may have been fictional and the workplace bullying scene was part of a script, it still showed how anyone can be targets of workplace bullying. The act need not be as extreme as the physical tortures that the commercial’s star was subjected to. Bullying can also be through simple acts or verbal abuse. In sports, some of these antics may seem like fun and games to other people, but for victims of bullying, it is a painful and stressful experience.
Still, the skin moisturizer advert presented a quick peek of football bullies, and how men can fortify their skin by using the product.
Click here to learn more about the advert.