Moisturizer Ad for Men Takes on Football Bullies

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.

Workplace Bullies Prevalent Among Medical Practitioners

A report from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) revealed that the country’s medical industry has a “toxic culture” particularly among Australia’s surgery departments.  Said departments are reportedly filled with sexual harassment and workplace bullying.

Professor David Watters, President of RACS, said that the victims of workplace bullies and sexual harassers shared their stories and described the devastating impact it had on their personal and professional lives.  According to the report, nearly half of Australian surgeons experienced discrimination, bullying and harassment at work.

What’s alarming is that 40 percent of surgical fellows, trainees and international medical graduates reported they were victims of work bullies.  Meanwhile, nearly 20 percent of surgeons admitted to having experienced discrimination and workplace harassment.  Sexual harassment incidents also measured 7 percent, mostly against women.

The numbers are quite daunting and it doesn’t paint a good picture of Australia’s medical industry.  It seems that speaking up also isn’t working since most of the reported sexual harassment cases reportedly continued on even after the complaint was raised.  It raises the question of whether medical institutions in the country have the proper procedures, policies and correct focus to solve or help with workplace bullying and harassment.

It also is sad that the “toxic culture” is preventing victims from making a formal complaint.  The affected workers and professionals are worried that it may have a negative impact on their career.  Some have even termed speaking up as “career suicide.”  A respondent reportedly said, “I still fear that he could ruin my reputation and destroy my life.”  What a scary working environment to be in.

Meanwhile, the RACS promised to come up with an action plan by November, to address workplace bullying and harassment.


Click here to read the full article.

Workplace Bullying: A Big Issue But Not Taken Seriously

Bullying in the workplace has become a big issue in today’s organization, although many business owners are not taking it seriously.  Such is the case in Brisbane’s workplaces, according to Jonathan Mamaril, principal and director of NB Lawyers, a Brisbane based employment law firm.

Although cases of workers being victims of work place bullies has reached the attention of the Fair Case Commission, legislations covering workplace bullying in the country still doesn’t hold compensatory benefits.  Apart from that, Mamaril also mentioned concerns over companies that considers anti-bullying policies as only a guideline list rather than a regulation that needs to be followed.  This is rather alarming as it gives the impression that workers are more liable to be victims of workplace bullying.  This also indicates that organizations are either not aware or afraid of the consequences of employees being bullied at the workplace.

Currently, the Commission requires business owners found to have breached anti-workplace bullying regulations to develop internal policies to address the issue.  These internal mandates and procedures are meant to either solve workplace bullying or avoid such instances to happen again.  Aside from internal policies, another typical add-on to an anti-bullying program is to set up workplace bullying prevention training.

However, these steps and programs are not sure fire ways to lessen instances of being a victim of bullying at work.  Although, a recent case of work related bullying and the Commission’s judgement for the company to reform its workplace, should serve as a good example to other businesses to keep a healthy organization and work environment for its workers.

Click here to read more about Jonathan Mamaril’s insights on workplace bullying published at Brisbane Legal.

Workplace Bullying a Symptom of Dysfunction and a ‘Cancer’ in the Organization

Michelle Tuckey, a senior lecturer from the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy at the University of South Australia has spent several years researching the effect of workplace bullying in organizations.  One of the countless research articles that have caught her eye described bullying as the “cancer” of the workplace.  The term cancer may seem like a heavy word to call workplace bullying, but it does bear some similarities especially on how devastating an effect bullying could have on a worker’s life.

Both cancer and workplace bullying are very hard to cure and can sometimes lead to death.  Although, suicide related deaths due to bullying have been very rare, as compared to cancer cases.  Still one of the focal points which Tuckey found as a main differentiator between the two indicates that workplace bullying is not a disease.  Unlike cancer, it is a symptom of a dysfunction in organizations.

Usually organizations would hold awareness sessions on workplace bullying for its employees, along with having specific company policies that emphasizes zero tolerance in the workplace.  However, such measures would only won’t be sufficient to really address workplace bullying.  These approaches typically treats bullying as a behavior that needs to be fixed.  One way on attacking the problem would be to remove situations where workplace bullying can happen.

Tuckey has listed several suggestions that can help solve workplace bullying.  One calls for clearly defined roles and duties for each and that “red tape” in the organization should be removed.   Supervisors and managers should also be coached, not only on their leadership skills, but on handling people and improving communication.

These are just some of the examples that Tuckey has identified in her article.  To learn more, click here to read the full article.

Finally a workplace bullying law… but it’s no good

Tennessee passed the Healthy Workplace Act on May 22, 2014. It’s a victory for anti-workplace bullying advocates because after a decade of the Healthy Workplace Bill being shot down over and over again, something regarding workplace bullying was finally passed. But unfortunately the law isn’t that great - it applies only to public-sector employers and no one is required to follow the guidelines of the law. Administrators are incentivized to follow the law in exchange for immunity from lawsuits. Neat trick - having an anti-bullying policy in place is a get out of jail free card.

Check out the Wall Street Journal law about this here:

Cyberbullying Can Lead to Real Life Bullying

It probably confuses some people when they hear about adult bullying. Often time’s people believe that bullying only exists in junior high hallways. Bullying can happen between people of any age and in any situation. Bullying occurs anytime someone tries to intimidate, altercate or belittle. Physical violence is not necessarily the only kind of bullying. Have you ever been in a room and said something you believed only to have someone else in the room chastise you and make a mockery of you? That is bullying.

We’ve all been a part of bullying in one form or another and we can all work to make it end. One of the first steps we can take to end bullying is to end faceless hate speech. By that I mean we must better handle ourselves online, rather it be in an email or in a comments section. Some of the nastiest forms bullying can be found in the comments section on any given Internet article. Reading through these comments might lead some people to conclude that these cyber bullies are all just teenagers or people with no lives, but often the people writing these comments are actually adults who have hatred toward people who’s beliefs are different than their own. They can even be the people we work around.

How do we stop this? The best we have to offer is our own examples. We have to show discretion in what we choose to say and what opinions we express online as much as in our actual lives. Just because we are behind the screen of a computer or mobile device doesn’t take away our responsibility to ensure that we all have a safe place in which to work. Next time you see a comment section that has turned to hate speech just take a step back and remember that commenting back will not help the matter. Instead use it as a chance to enhance your own life by treating others with as much respect as you would expect in return. The best way to stop bullying is to reduce the number of them, and you can do that by making sure you always treat your co-workers with respect.

The Top Three Myths Of Workplace Bullying

bullying myths

There are many myths and misconceptions about workplace bullying floating around out there. Excerpted from our book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, below are the top three myths debunked.

#1: There is no such thing as “workplace bullying”

When we think about “bullying,” most of us think about the schoolyard and not about the workplace. However, workplace bullying is very real, and its destructive effects are also very real.

Heinz Leymann, a social scientist from Sweden, was the first to document abusive behaviors in adults at work. He and a colleague, Bo-Göran Gustavsson, published the first ever article on psychological violence at work in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 1984. Since then, Leymann has published several research articles on the topic, the most popular of which was his first paper in English, published in another scientific journal called Violence and Victims in 1990. Leymann is credited as the forefather of research on workplace bullying, and was the first to notice that it can result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and even in suicide. Since the publication of his articles, thousands of research studies on aggressive and bullying behaviors at work have been conducted around the world—documenting how widespread, common, and damaging they are.

Should anyone try to tell you that you are not being bullied because, in their mind, that’s not something that happens to adults at work, tell them that 20+ years of research on workplace bullying says otherwise. Some research has indicated that 50% of the population is bullied, and in some cases even as much as 75%!

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), found in their study that almost 25% of American businesses have some level of bullying happening in their workplace. This study also found that 11% of the bullying incidents were committed against customers., a major job search engine, found in their recent survey of over 5,600 people that one in four people is bullied at work.

The Workplace Bullying Institute, who conducted a study with Zogby International in 2007 and again in 2010, found that 35% of the American workforce is bullied, and an additional 15% have witnessed bullying against a co-worker in the past. That means, according to their studies, 50% of the workforce has been exposed to workplace bullying. Their studies also found that bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal forms of discrimination or harassment (bullying is not illegal, by the way).

The Employment Law Alliance, a group of 3,000 attorneys from around the world, found in their survey that nearly 45% of American workers have been bullied during their careers.

Finally, in the Corporate Leavers Survey, a survey conducted by an organization called the Level Playing Field Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on fairness in the workplace, 74% of respondents indicated they had been bullied at a former employer’s, and 71% indicated they had also been publicly humiliated.
All of these numbers point to one thing: bullying at work is real and widespread.

#2: Bullying is no big deal

Independent research in the United States and from around the world has associated bullying with many psychological health problems, including feeling helpless, decreased self-esteem, poor morale, feelings of inadequacy, depression, and development of conflict with co-workers and family members as a result of what’s happening at work.
In Leymann’s 1990 article, for example, he identified several effects of bullying, including feelings of isolation, desperation, helplessness, rage, anxiety, despair, hyperactivity, and immune system deficiencies. He also estimated in the article that between 100 and 300 people commit suicide each year (in Sweden) as a result of the abuse they experience at work.

Suicides related to bullying at work do not seem to be very prevalent in the media in the United States, but documentarian Beverly Peterson has looked into this issue through the lens of her camera.

US researchers Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts found targets likened bullying to being beaten, physically abused, “assassinated,” “maimed,” “killed,” “annihilated,” and “raped.”

The long-term impact of bullying has also been studied by researchers Matthiesen and Einarsen, who found Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in nearly 77% of their research participants who were bullied (2004). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is commonly known as PTSD and is a psychological trauma resulting in sleepless nights and severe anxiety, to name only a few of the symptoms. PTSD is also commonly associated with soldiers who return from war.

All of this points to one thing: bullying is a big deal, and it hurts.

If you are thinking about suicide, help is available to you. Work is not worth your life. National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, 24-hour hotline available no matter where you live in the United States. See their website at

#3: Bullying is just a personality conflict between two people

A personality conflict occurs when two people disagree on how to handle an unhappy client or what new office furniture to buy; it affects primarily—and at times exclusively—those two individuals. Bullying, on the other hand, affects the employees, co-workers, the workplace, and its leaders.

Bullying is a systemic problem that the entire organization is responsible for allowing to develop, and thus responsible for eliminating. For one, when bystanders witness an incident of workplace bullying, the chances of them standing up for the target are slim. They might also experience psychological fear themselves, asking, “Will I be next?!”

Managers are the ones whose primary responsibility should be to help targets, and for creating an environment where disrespect is not allowed. Unfortunately, most of the time managers do nothing to help—or they are the ones bullying employees—hence targets and bystanders lose respect for them and this drives down quality of work. To create a healthy work environment, managers need the direction and support of the organization’s top leaders.

In one author’s case, despite the crying, begging, and pleading of employees to the company president that he address bullying behaviors in one particular individual—who was causing major turnover, bottlenecking of information, and upset employees and even customers—the president would not lift a finger. The answer was always, “That’s just how he is,” “Just let Nick be Nick,” or “Why can’t you be the bigger person and just let it go?” The company president never spoke to, Nick, the manager who mistreated everyone else in the office.

By failing to respond to a workplace bullying situation, the company president condoned bullying behavior and created a reputation for being tolerant of bullying. Many employees left the organization as a result of the challenging workplace relationships. Other employees chose a different route and became abusive themselves because they’d learned it was okay, and perhaps even expected to behave like a jerk. Hey, if this guy did it and got away with it why shouldn’t they?

An In Depth Look At Workplace Bullying


If you’re being bullied, you know it is complicated. It’s hard to understand why you’re being bullied, why managers won’t help, and what to do about it. And it’s hard for others to understand what you’re really going through unless they’ve been bullied themselves.

Excerpted from our book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Bullying at Work, here are the six concepts central to the workplace bullying phenomenon. Use them to describe bullying to your support system and your managers.

#1: Bullying is recurring, perpetual, and ongoing

If a person yells at you once or twice, this is impolite or perhaps uncivil, but it’s probably not going to affect you very much over the long run. Bullying occurs when aggressive behaviors occur regularly and consistently, with no signs of improvement. Many researchers hesitate to call something bullying unless the behaviors are happening several times a week for a period of six months. We think, however, that if the behavior is consistent and your co-worker or boss shows no sign of relenting, then bullying is happening. You don’t have to wait six months before you can officially say, “I’m being bullied.”

#2: Bullying escalates in frequency and level of aggression over time

Sometimes co-workers can be a little mean, but if the rudeness never escalates beyond that, or doesn’t get worse or more frequent as time goes on, then that person is just ill-mannered. And while annoying, perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that they are simply socially inept, and not out to make your life miserable. Bullying, on the other hand, becomes more frequent and more aggressive as time goes on.

#3: Bullying causes psychological harm to targets and witnesses

Bullying can be really hurtful. But you already know this.

We want to highlight, however, that witnesses are also affected by the workplace bullying. Even if someone doesn’t feel like they are targeted, observing bullying behaviors is harmful to their mental psyche. In addition, witnesses live in a state of fear that they will be targeted next.

#4: Bullying is about power

The first time a person becomes aggressive with you, if you do not immediately become assertive and stand up for your rights, that person will continue to bully you because you have, in essence, given the green light that you will “take it.” From the start of this first incident, the aggressor has power. Over time, as the bullying continues, the relationship between the bully and target becomes one of an unfair and unhealthy power imbalance. The perpetrator understands that he or she has power over the target, and the target believes the perpetrator indeed has that power and is unable to stand up against it.

Incidentally, the power imbalance between bully and target need not be formal. Approximately 70% of bullies bully subordinates, but that means 30% of bullies are bullying their peers or superiors. Interestingly, when people do bully “up,” or bully their managers or superiors, the bullying behavior seems to be more aggressive than when bullying “down” or bullying a subordinate.

#5: Bullying causes communication breakdown among employees and managers

When bullying is allowed to happen at work, both targets and witnesses are afraid. Everyone, whether bullied or not, fears the next outburst or act of aggression, and this creates a chain of undesired effects. Targets and witnesses will try to stay out of the way of the bully and might be afraid to ask for the information necessary to properly complete their job tasks. For example, if a target needs an answer to a question, and the bullying manager has the answer, the target will dread approaching that manager and will likely never obtain the answer to his or her question. This means that any employee fearing that manager is not getting the information he or she needs to do the job right.

In addition, as we describe below in our list of bullying behaviors, bullies often use communication as a way to gain power over an individual, or purposefully sabotage work. The bully might, for example, purposefully omit the target from staff meetings in order to keep the target out of the loop. If the target is not at the meeting, but holds information that can further the group’s goals, the entire group suffers as a result of this bullying tactic.

When these elements are present, this results in hindering the organizations’ ability to provide excellent products and services to their customers, follow safety protocols, maximize performance, and maintain competitiveness, to name a few of the problems bullying creates.

#6: Organizational goals cannot be met when there’s a bully, and the bottom line suffers

Communication among employees and their managers is paramount to an organization’s success. If team members can’t communicate, they can’t meet their individual goals, and the organization can’t meet its goals either. It’s simple: anytime an organization allows suppression of communication, abusive behaviors, and unhealthy relationships to foster, it sets itself up for failure. Goals are not met in a timely manner and the bottom line suffers.

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent


Faith, Courage, and Persistence Will Beat a Bully Every Time

Day in and day out, the bully Kate worked with attempted to micromanage her and turn the boss against her. He picked fights with her, harassed her, and showed up in her office once in awhile to yell at her.

Over the course of Kate’s employment in that position, her mental health declined under stress and anxiety increased almost daily. After five years of abuse, Kate placed a tattered piece of paper above her alarm clock with the words “Get up! Get up! Get up!” written in blue highlighter. It was her only source of inspiration; an ever failing attempt at motivating herself to actually get out of bed when the alarm went off. Depression increasing, so was the number of times she hit the snooze button each morning.

Life is too short to live in fear of a co-worker, manager, or peer, yet several research studies have found that over half of the workforce has felt bullied at some point during their careers, and that they often feel anxiety, depression, burn out, humiliation, and a multitude of other bad feelings as a result.

Bullies bully everyone. Kate’s bullied the company President! Yet some people are able to “fight” them off while others, like Kate, find it more difficult. People consent to bullying by not defending themselves – an act which takes courage, faith, self belief, and knowledge of how to communicate with the enemy.

On the drive home the day Kate finally quit, she swore she would never be that unhappy again. She learned later that the desire to follow through with that promise to herself was immensely powerful. One day in her next position, where work days were normally happy and even fun, her boss sent her a scathing email in response to a mistake she’d made, an email he’d copied to half the company and all of the management team. He also heckled Kate a few times as he walked by her desk. In an office with no cubicle walls or privacy, everyone could hear. Now, upon receipt of the email, Kate had to make a choice.

She could ignore the email, or write a timid apology claiming she would never let it happen again. But that would have led her down the path of becoming yet another victim of yet another office jerk. The other option was to stand up for herself and compose a polite and firm response.

She clicked Reply to All, acknowledged (but did not apologize for) her mistake, provided several options for solution, and advised she was free to discuss them further in private. Within seconds of hitting Send, her boss’ office door flew open; he marched straight over to her, and said, “Fantastic email Kate! Way to put the hammer down!”

The moral: He respected Kate’s ability to stand up for herself. He knew he’d bullied her, and he also knew now that she would not allow it. In that instance, she demonstrated courage and leadership. It earned her his respect.

So how do you overcome a bully? Steven R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says we should “Begin with the end in mind,” and we can do that by following former Congressman Ed Forman’s advice and saying out loud and in the mirror every morning before work, “I am happy, I am healthy, I am terrific!” Heck, even while you’re at work, close your office door or step outside a few times and say it. With a little faith those words can turn your life around.

Faith develops and increases through repetitive affirmation. If you attend church, for example, there’s a good chance your faith is nurtured each time you go. The more information you receive, the more your certainty is confirmed. If you stop going to church loss in faith may result. The same happens when we stop believing in ourselves.

So head to the Church of You each morning and stand in front of the mirror to shout your personal affirmations (“I am terrific! I am great at my job! I will overcome the bully! I am not a helpless victim!”). The more you say it, the more you feel it; the more you feel it, the more you believe it; the more you believe it, the greater your courage becomes; the greater your courage becomes, the closer you are to reaching your goal of overcoming a bully.

It’s not easy to overcome challenges and obstacles, but there would be nothing to celebrate if overcoming them was easy. They would not create a stronger you. Challenges take courage; you find that courage through persistence in your positive thinking. You have the determination and doggedness to fight the bully; you find it within yourself by consistently reaffirming it in your head.

Now “fight” does not mean a punch in the nose, but as you become more confident, the ability to effectively communicate with others naturally follows (as will your ability to “fend” bullies off). Your inner strength will actually become apparent to others as you walk through a room or have conversations with peers, because your body language will demonstrate it. As you ask a question during staff meetings, for example, your speech rate will speed up and your posture will improve (standing straight, not slouching) – two signals you are a confident person.

Effective communicators are articulate, communicate vision, share opinions, adjust communication style to the audience, openly address conflict, take accountability, and champion the success of others. Simply put, confident speakers are well liked because they are no-holds-barred kind of people. They take risks and they do it with grace, passion and fervor that are reflected in their communication style. The power exuded then becomes a shield against people who may initially attempt to target them (and you) with childish behaviors.

Granville Toogood, author of The Articulate Executive in Action, encourages the use of words such as “cut” instead of “reduce,” and “strike” instead of “delete,” for example, because they are short, sharp, and unambiguous. In another example, think about the boldness you project when standing with your arms on your hips or down at the side, rather than folded across your chest (a signal of fear or shyness). These slick moves come with courage and belief in yourself!

As for Kate, on “game days” as she calls them (those days she knows extra bravery is required), she pulls her hair straight back, pins down the thick bangs that often cover her eyes, puts on one of her brightly colored shirts and slides into her favorite pair of power pumps. With nowhere to hide she has no choice but to be confident, bold and daring all day - and sometimes for weeks at a time.

You are not a helpless victim, and you are not an inactive passerby in your own life. Make an investment in yourself and follow your dreams, hopes, desires and goals, including overcoming the bully at work. You have the ability to change your negative situation. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.