Crisis Prevention 101: The Workplace Bully

I’m sitting in my family room this morning sipping my coffee and watching NFL AM (yes, I’m a football geek), and watching a bully do his thing.Captain Jack

Bella (the Diva) has made herself a very comfortable place to sleep on the couch. She has managed to choose her favorite blanket and completely encircle herself within the blanket for her post-breakfast nap. Captain Jack, (the precocious one aka The Bully) has decided to pull the blanket off of her. I’ve watched this routine before. He doesn’t really want the blanket as there are others around for him to use. He solely wants to be a bully. He wants to irritate, anger, and put himself in the spotlight.Even as I (the boss) cajole him to stop being a bully, he persists when I’m “not watching.” Captain Jack probably can’t be reformed, as he knows he will not be dismissed from the family. He ha the upper hand.

In your organization, you just might have your own bully that operates outside your vision. Workplace bullying has exploded on the national scene thanks to the Miami Dolphins saga with Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. At some level, regardless of the number of employees you have, there is some level of “bullying” going on. If you allow it to persist (like I do with Captain Jack) then you risk a number of bad things happening – losing a good employee, loss of reputation, poor morale, loss of productivity, and maybe even a lawsuit.

What does bullying in the workplace look like? Here re some examples that I’ve seen in my life of working in multiple organizations:

  • Passive-aggressive behavior and language
  • Nastiness and rudeness
  • Crude and inappropriate personal jokes
  • Refusal to work with others
  • Bad language
  • Intimidation

Don’t think your employee family is exempt from this behavior. In smaller organizations, it might even be worse and you might be more reticent to take action for fear of losing employees. You need to keep your eyes open and be alert for this type of behavior. You need to create written policies and communicate them to your employees. You need to be swift to reach and tough with your discipline. The consequences today are serious. With a raised awareness (just as with Employment Practices Liability) you must be more vigilant.

Otherwise, your bullying dog may just bite you in the butt.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Thankful #4

Thankful 4 of 4: Trust

Captain Jack
Captain Jack

I know many of my friends are doing a daily memo of thanks, usually on Facebook. That’s way too much work for me, so I will do it four times during the month on Extra Points. And, my family, friends, health, etc. are all givens. I want to look a bit deeper by peeling the onion.

Dogs have complete trust in their humans. This confidence comes without humans having to provide any real reason to justify it. Some humans don’t deserve it; most do. Regardless of that very real fact, dogs don’t care. They trust. Captain Jack and Bella may be the most spoiled dogs in the world, yet that was their expectation coming in and consider it a given. They get return on their investment.

While I am thankful for my canine companions, the purpose of this missive is to be thankful for all the people that have placed their trust in me. Over the past quarter of a century (and most especially this past 8 1/2 years), individuals and business leaders have trusted me to advise them well in areas of the utmost importance. Humans don’t have the same unwavering certitude that dogs do. For all of you who fall into this category reading this…thank you. For all of you have given me the benefit of the doubt…thank you. For all of you reading this memo week in and week out…thank you. There is a great deal of satisfaction and reward knowing that other humans know that their investment will be amply returned to them with me. I am grateful.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.”
~ Eric Hoffer

50 years later…

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination. I was 13 months away from being born so obviously have no recollection. 50 years is significant. As I was growing up, the event was not that far away in the memories of all the adults I knew. Now you must be at least about 56 years of she or so to remember it all, and into your 70s to have been a young adult.

Regardless of your affinity for President Kennedy as a leader, the assassination of our most recognized; most powerful; and most charismatic leader was shocking. I don’t know that feeling in my lifetime. President Ronald Reagan was shot but not killed. I don’t think there has been another “close call.”

The reason I bring this up is because in a time of “just in time” and “virtual,” we as people need to occasionally slow down and remember out history. We need to honor the memories of those that lived through life altering events and gain a greater perspective on out life and our community. I’m sure 40 years from now, the same will be said of September 11.

In just a couple of weeks, the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will happen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it a “day that will live in infamy.” I fear that this isn’t as true as time goes by. I hope we will all continue to recall and honor our past. That us what today is about…

Copyright 2013 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Going 1-0 Every Day

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll
Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll

One of the mantras that Seattle Seahawks head coach Peter Carroll enjoins to his team is that they must have the mindset every week of going 1-0. In the National Football League, you can get beat “on any given Sunday” because the competition is so good. Even the bad teams have enough talent to upset a favorite if they don’t play with a razor sharp focus. Coach Carroll has so drilled this into his players, that I’ve heard many of them express this concept when being interviewed throughout the season. That’s become their culture.

I had a recent conversation with a consultant that I coach. We discussed at length this same concept because she was finding that outside forces were distracting her. These forces (some of which she had no control over) would frustrate her and cause anxiety. The results are the same as losing a football game in the NFL. Anxiety and frustration mask talent, and when that happens you begin to press, put too much pressure on yourself, and ultimately never reach your potential.

You need to create your own culture for yourself of 1-0. This means that each day deserves your complete focus and attention. Planning ans scheduling is fine; but undue focus isn’t. This is a challenge for me. I tend to get distracted from things both in the past and future; work related or not. I recently have found that even my volunteer work has caused distractions that I have to work hard to shake. This requires focus and discipline.

Go 1-0 every day. Set your daily goals and priorities and compete with yourself to achieve them. If things happen that are unplanned for, don’t freak out. Just do what Russell Wilson does and call an audible. Stuff happens, you know? But your end goal is to always end the day with a win and then start over the next day. My coaching client emailed me today saying this concept worked for her and she was adapting the 1-0 mindset. You can, to..

Regardless of your vocation – solo practitioner to CEO to stay at home parent. Each day affords you the chance to go 1-0. Take that challenge and win.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Parenting Your Parents Teleconference Tomorrow

In September of 2010, life was the epitome of “normal” for me. My parents were 85 years old and living all of 7 minutes away from my house. They had been there 7 years and it Mom and Mehad been a great opportunity for them to spend time with my kids during their teenage years. In fact, my father (a WWII veteran) who had left school early to join the war effort was able to get his high school diploma with my oldest daughter in 2007.

My parents were starting to slow down a little, but based on their age, I thought they were doing really well. My biggest concerns at the time were getting my dad to drive less often as I was getting concerned about his driving; and also setting up a scenario that in the case of an emergency, I would be able to access their bank and help them out. The former wasn’t happening, but fortunately the latter did.

Then came October.

If you want to hear what happens next, you will need to join us tomorrow for my FREE teleconference. It will be recorded so you don’t even need to be there live. Crisis comes in many forms, and it comes both professionally and personally. This is a personal one that has huge emotional and financial implications. If you’re between 40 and 70 years old, you need to hear this. It might be your parents, your spouses parents, or any family or friend in your life. Knowledge is power and my personal experience will provide you guidance and clarity.

The teleconference is free. I hope you will join us.

Register for FREE

Extra Points – Thankful #3

Thankful 3 of 4: FriendsJack and Bella

I know many of my friends are doing a daily memo of thanks, usually on Facebook. That’s way too much work for me, so I will do it four times during the month on Extra Points. And, my family, friends, health, etc. are all givens. I want to look a bit deeper by peeling the onion.

One of my clients once told me that everything you need to know in life can be learned from The Eagles, The Godfather, and the Bible. He might very well be right. One of my favorite lyrics from The Eagles hit song Take it Easy, is “If it all fell to pieces tomorrow, would you still be mine?” I am taking a little creative license and expanding that to imply, “would you still be there for me?”

We all go through personal and professional crisis in our lives. Sometimes they come in waves, and other times few and far between. I’m thankful for the times in my life where when I was in need of support, friendship, help, caring, a compassionate word, or a pat on the back; that I had friends who were there for me. I am also thankful that when I needed a little slap on the head or a kick in the butt, they were there, too!

I was reminded of this often forgotten reason for thanks as I watched a friend deal with the uncertainty of a family member’s safety in the Philippines subsequent to the horrific storm that killed so many. Her sister was unaccounted for and she was frantic and a continent away. Her friends both in person and through social media gave her great support. The good news was that her sister was found safe and all’s well that ends well for them. It was the outpouring of love and support that touched me, and reminded me of times I needed that. For this, I am thankful because I know at some point, we will all continue to require that.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“The constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

Crisis Leadership: Bullying in the Workplace

The ongoing saga of the Miami Dolphins and their workplace bullying situation has exploded into the board room and water cooler conversations. A new level of consciousness is now being raised because of what happened between two very large guys in a locker room. The Richie Incognito (alleged bully) and Jonathan Martin (alleged victim) is a microcosm of hat can happen in your world. Here are some thoughts from me from 25,000 feet, which may apply to your professional life…

  • The NFL locker room is a way different culture that whatever organization you are in. One of my high school friends quipped that “America isn’t ready to hear what happens in a high school locker room, much less an NFL locker room.” He is right. We can all debate as to whether any of it is ethical or morale or sensitive; but we can’t draw direct correlations because it’s so different.
  • What you can do is be better tuned in to what happens in your business. “Bullying” is defined in many ways when it comes to occupational hazards. In the end, if it’s your business that is on the line, you’d better have your own definition. And, just like art, the real definition is in the eye of the “beholder.”
  • The worst forms you are most likely to see are dealing with passive-aggressive behavior; discrimination (age, gender); sexual harassment (including jokes that someone doesn’t find amusing); inappropriate language; and retaliation.

Donald Ross, the owner of the Dolphins, just appeared on national television on Monday Night Football. He did and said the obvious. He was appalled. He wanted to reach out to the victim. He’s holding an all out investigation with several former players and coaches leading the charge. On the surface, it’s all admirable. Bottom line – it’s too late. The Dolphins season is now in shambles and that affects all the players. Some of them may even get pained with the same brush as Incognito before it’s all over. Coaches and executives are likely to be fired. And in three months, nobody will be talking about it anymore.

In your business, you may not get away as “lucky.” In the business world, people get sued. Business owners lose repute and money. Insurance companies do investigations. Business close down and employees have to find new jobs. Think I’m overstating things? Talk to someone that has been through an employee lawsuit and then talk to me. You probably aren’t as able to financially rebound and recover as Donald Ross is.

You need to be a good communicator and observer. How your culture is created is up to you and the leaders in your “locker room.” The last thing you want to be is surprised. There are tactics and strategies that you can take to reduce your risk (can’t be eliminated unless you don’t need employees). Maybe that’s a realistic and better 2o14 resolution than going to the gym more often…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Thankful #2

Thankful 2 of 4: Personal History & Culture

I know many of my friends are doing a daily memo of thanks, usually on Facebook. That’s way too much work for me, so I will do it four times during the month on Extra Points. And, my family, friends, health, etc. are all givens. I want to loo a bit deeper by peeling the onion.

I’m thankful for a history and a culture outside of my own as United States citizen. The fact that I have a deep and rich heritage in Colombia with my mother’s side of the family has become very meaningful to me. As I get older, that sense of family and culture has engendered new friendships, language, memories, and opportunity. On my visit in 2011 to Bogota (a whopping 40 years after my last one), I was able to make connections that I had never dreamed of. Now, I’m heading back again next year with new adventures to experience, and most importantly relationships to continue to cultivate.

We all have somewhere other than our own backyard to cull experiences and memories from. What an opportunity to maximize your own personal heritage and culture. You never know what you’ll uncover and learn about yourself!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard

This Just In…

Two new “reviews” from coaching clients that I am working with and have renewed for more “torture” from me. See why they gain value for themselves and their careers. How can I help you?

“I benefit from working with Dan because of his extreme intensity and focus on the direction we are headed. He keeps me focused, accountable, and on task. Dan also looks ahead with optimism. His vision is large, which makes my vision expand. Limits are not in his vocabulary. He emphasizes the fact that the discipline has to come from me and it requires daily commitment to achieve defined goals. Not all coaches are created equal…Dan Weedin is exceptional.”~ Heidi Jack, Seattle, WA

“Dan is an amazing coach. He not only guides to me a level of clarity that has been instrumental in achieving my goals, but also provided a role model for what I hope to achieve in my own business. He is charming and funny but also fearless and sharp. I recommend Dan with the utmost confidence.”~ Stacie Curtis, President CW Solutions (Millstone Township, NJ)

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved