As we recognize Pink Shirt Day today we asked our Director of Human Resources, Dr. Michael Doody Ed.D, to speak about bullying and respect.
Today we collectively wear our pink apparel to speak out against bullying behaviour. Let’s take some time to reflect and ask ourselves these questions? What is our role when addressing this toxic behaviour? What can we do to not only be conscious of our actions and words today but each and every day?
Despite decades of research, policies, regulations, and facilitated workshops on respectful behaviour, bullying continues to be a toxic element in too many organizational and academic cultures. The success and survival of any community regardless of culture or demographic location is dependent on the delivery and interpretation of communication. Littlejohn & Foss (2011) stated, “Communication is the vehicle by which meaning is assigned to experience; when you communicate, you work out new ways of seeing the world–your speech affects your thoughts and your thoughts, in turn, create new meanings”.
Elements of communication play a significant role in counteracting bullying and disrespectful behaviors. The creation of communication through shared meaning and managing expectations builds solid engaging relationships. Breakdown in communication in relationships is rarely from a place of ill-intent but rather occurs due to the misinterpretation of messages being exchanged.
Regardless of position or socio-economic status, it is in the best interest of all to manage expectations by being self-aware and effectively addressing in what manner we choose to speak to one another. Whether it be a senior executive or the person at the front desk, a clear respectful message is a prerequisite to any action being communicated A common language needs to be shared and understood by all. There are blurred lines of interpretation between rude, mean and bullying behaviors. None are acceptable and every person in every interaction should be spoken to and treated with respect.
It requires self-learning to be aware of how we show up in our encounters with others. The further we seek to see ourselves as others see us and to understand each other, we can then cultivate and nurture effective and productive communication. Awareness of self and others via education creates understanding, which in turn promotes empathy, compassion and ultimately kindness… STRIVE TO BE KIND.