If you’re not already doing all the work or aren’t stressed out to the max, here are 10 tips to increase your load by creating a culture of entitlement among your employees.
I didn’t make them up. I’ve seen organizations using these strategies to keep employees happy.
Bonus tip: Offer guaranteed employment for life as if it’s employees’ right.
Some companies attempt to provide a better work environment by being sensitive to the needs and feelings of their employees. Of course, you pay attention to what your employees want and need. But don’t overdo it.
It’s not always easy. Some people won’t like your rules. But bending or abandoning reasonable rules and expectations in an effort to satisfy the malcontents and whiners doesn’t work. They’ll never be happy or productive. And trying to satisfy them will drive your good performers away.
When Benni Cinkle was 13, she appeared in a YouTube music video that went viral, receiving over 200 million views. At first, Benni was ridiculed by millions around the world for her awkward dancing, often referred to as “That girl in pink that can’t dance.” They called her names and told her she should kill herself.
A few of the printable names she was called were “lame, terrible, awkward, horrible, stupid, freak, loser, awful, worthless, annoying, fat and ugly, dumb.” Other comments included, “She should probably look into suicide,” “Please just die” and “I’ll bet she wants to kill herself now.”
Did she let the jerks drag her down? Did she lose her self-esteem and get depressed? Did she commit suicide?
Instead of reacting defensively, Benni didn’t take it personally. She kept her spirits up. She met their criticism with humor, honesty and understanding. She was open and didn’t hide. Soon, anonymous cyber bullies became fans and Benni's online reputation as an approachable, down-to-earth teen began to grow. In the months following her unexpected popularity, Benni received tens of thousands of requests for advice from teens around the world.
Realizing she had been gifted with a platform that offered international reach, Benni decided to use her 15 minutes of fame for something positive. So she:
Started “That Girl in Pink Foundation” as a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of teen suicide. TGIP focuses on any issue that may directly or indirectly lead to teen suicide, including: Teen Depression, Bullying, Cyber-Bullying, Teen Self-Mutilation, Teen Gay/Lesbian Support, Child Violence, Sexual Abuse, Teen Dating Violence, Eating Disorders and Teen Pregnancy.
Authored “That Girl in Pink’s Internet Survival Guide,” offering teens strategies for handling life online.
Organized a flashmob dance to raise donations for American Red Cross Japan Earthquake Relief.
Organized a walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that included hundreds of kids from 14 countries walking with her, virtually.
Recorded her single, “Can You See Me Now,” and donated profits to TWLOHA and GLSEN.
Visited schools across the U.S. delivering her “Don’t Just Stand There” anti-bullying presentation.
Turf wars are a well-known fact of life in many organizations. Lesser known, but far more destructive, are positioning wars – struggles by two or more opponents for the top spot in an organization.
Turf wars aren’t any fun. But they’re mostly defensive – people trying to protect their turf from encroachment by a real or imagined rival. Positioning wars are far more aggressive and destructive. They involve a fight to become No. 1 immediately or, at least, the heir-designate to whoever’s in charge now.
Turf battles often lead to bureaucratic slowdowns. Positioning wars can ruin the very kingdom being fought over.
The princes circle each other like birds of prey seeking to uncover hidden agendas. Unofficial power centers are established. The princes’ teams reflect their antagonism. They focus on the faults of the other team and the hidden meanings behind looks, words and deeds. They score trivia points by publicizing the other faction’s setbacks or their own minor victories.
Innocent bystanders aren’t safe. Neutral parties are inevitably drawn into choosing sides. Tension and terror activate childhood coping strategies. Everyone watches their words more carefully than their productivity.
Bad apples suck up to each prince looking for protection and power. Slackers try to turn their protector against managers who pressure them to be more productive.
Positioning wars are even more debilitating if the princes had previously been able to work together effectively. Most people don’t adapt effectively to the dramatic change in environment. They’re blindsided, feel victimized and waste time bemoaning their undeserved fate.
Being judgmental has gotten a bad name and for good reasons.
Our whole world has experienced the horror wrought by people who felt superior and righteous in destroying other people they thought were inferior or even non-human. Also, in our personal lives, we’ve experienced the damage done by arrogant, righteous spouses, parents, relatives and others who always knew best and felt entitled to taunt, tease, harass, bully and abuse us or to cast us out.
However, it’s a mistake to use these examples of righteous people with poor judgment as proof that:
The process of making judgments is bad. It’s not. It’s necessary.
We should accept all perspectives and ways of living in the world as equal or as equally valid. They’re not.
But that’s all abstract. The real questions are whether we need to be more or less judgmental and which of our judgments are worth keeping and how. Take the quick quiz.
Before you take the quick quiz, see “Being Judgmental” as having four parts:
Discerning; making judgments, estimating what the consequences of some action will be, deciding what we like and what we don’t like.
Deciding which ways of behaving are acceptable in our personal space.
Making these boundaries in our personal lives stick.
Do people ignore, laugh, argue or avoid what you want when you insist that they act in certain ways in your personal space? ?
Do people trample over your boundaries? Do they get away with not changing? Do you let them stay in your life? Do they wear you down? Is life an endless struggle?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions – if you feel bossed and controlled, if you get taken advantage of, if you’re the one who almost always gives in or tries to make peace, if you rarely get your way, if you have to justify everything you do or ask permission before you can do anything – then you’re not protecting yourself enough, you’re not being judgmental enough and you’re not acting based on what you know in your heart-of-hearts to be true.
That way of thinking leads us no where. That way of thinking puts us under the control of someone else who thinks they know better than we do. There’s no chance for happiness down that path – only submission.
The path that has a chance of yielding happiness and joy and fulfillment is the path of being discerning, of having more and better judgments, and of making our judgments stick in our lives.
Getting angry, righteous and indignant are motivation strategies. We typically generate those feelings to get ourselves angry enough to act. The problem with that method of motivation is contained in “The Emotional Motivation Cycle” (See “Bullies Below the Radar: How to Wise Up, Stand Up and Stay Up). This method usually isn’t effective long-term.
That doesn’t tell us how to accomplish what we need; that doesn’t tell us how to get free from oppression we’ve previously accepted, but that tells us that we must. All plans and tactics must be designed to fit us and our specific situation. That’s why we need expert coaching and, maybe, legal advice. But now we know the direction we must set in our lives.
When is guilt bad; when is guilt good? When is it a normal, healthy emotion and when is it harmful? Most people try to answer these questions the wrong way. And they forgot to consider how bullies try to use our guilt to harass and abuse us. Most people analyze whether the guilt we feel in a particular situation is right, is what we should feel because we’re behaving or behaved badly, is normal because the average person should or would feel guilty for acting the same way.
But let’s stand the approach on its head.
Let’s not judge the actions and situation by some external standards of right or wrong. Instead, let’s look at guilt as if it’s a force for motivation, as if the purpose of guilt is to get us to do differently or better, as if we keep replaying the guilty feelings until we act to make things better, until we live up to our own standards.
When I think this way, the picture is much clearer.
For most people, “bad, unhealthy, useless” guilt then becomes a major form of “self-bullying” that’s a waste of time. We’re not proud of ourselves. We run ourselves down, beat ourselves up, feel ashamed and harm ourselves. Or we cover up the guilt, declare ourselves innocent and blame the other person. We become righteous and indignant; it’s not our fault. Or we wallow publicly in guilt, looking for sympathy. But we don’t do better. We keep repeating the actions we feel guilty about. Wallowing in guilt, perfectionism and continued self-bullying increases stress and leads to loss of confidence, low self-esteem and depression. And, eventually, we may even get a thrill from self flagellation. We’ll resent people who take the fun out of our misery.
“Good, healthy, effective” guilt leads us to do something productive. We stop procrastinating, get over addictions, act better toward people, set boundaries we need, live up to our highest standards and make amends. Some examples: we apologize for being nasty to our kids, spouse or partner and don’t do it again; we do the difficult chores at home or work that we’ve been avoiding; we give more generously to those in need; we pay our share; we return the stuff we’ve borrowed; we stop making sarcastic and catty remarks about our friends’ clothes, habits children and struggles to lose weight. We know many specific situations in our own lives.
What if people don’t feel guilt when they should? Looking with this perspective, we can see them as not motivated to change and as being aboveboard at it. I can trust that they don’t have the standards I do. Good. Now I know that I have to protect myself against them. Many bullies act ashamed and contrite. They promise to change and they bring candy, flowers and sweet words. I look at the behavior. If they don’t change, I wish them well in their therapy and rehabilitation, but I won’t go on that roller coaster ride with them. The pain is too much. From them, I have to protect the island my kids and I live on. I vote them off our island, no matter what the relationship and their suffering, promises and claims that I owe them so much that I should allow them to abuse and brutalize me.
How do bullies use our guilt?Predators are always on the attack. They try to get us to question the purity of our motives and past behavior. Stealth bullies are especially effective at this. Once we start questioning ourselves, our imperfections, self-doubt, negative self-talk, self-hatred and self-loathing will keep us stuck; weak and easy prey. We won’t have the strength, courage and perseverance to stop them. Before bullies would admit they need to change, they want us to waste our time trying to be perfect according to their standards. For example, see the case studies of Carrie, Kathy and Ralph responding to guilt-tripping bullies in different situations in “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks.”
Guilt is over-rated as a motivating force. When we’re kids, we all try guilt to get us to do what we don’t want to. Then we become afraid that if we stop whipping ourselves, we’ll become lazy, immoral and unfeeling slugs and failures. But as adults, we can transition to motivation strategies that depend on the desire to do what’s good and right, and makes us joyful.
Joining our highest standards to our passion creates a different one of us, gives us a different motivating force and creates a different world for us. Yes, that’s a big change. But it’s a change we’ve hungered for.
How different our worlds would be if we stood up for ourselves, our families and what’s right because we are passionate in service to our best and strongest, not ashamed and guilty of what we did wrong?
Just as many girls as boys are bullies but girls more often target other girls.
Girls do bully other girls physically. One publicized example is the Florida girls who beat up a classmate and then posted the video on YouTube.
“Mean girls” are masters of catty remarks, put-downs, scorn, mockery, criticism, sarcasm, cyber bullying and forming cliques led by a Queen Bee. Mean girls are also masters of covert, “stealth bullying;” backstabbing, rumor-mongering, telling secrets, cutting out and spreading gossip and innuendo while pretending to be friends.
Girl bullies often are control-freaks and emotional blackmailers. Common bullying statements are, “If you don’t do what I want, you’re not my best friend, “ or “My best friend wouldn’t talk to that other girl,” or “You hurt my feelings, you’re a false friend.” They often set up boys to attack their targets.
Boys tend to use overt physical tactics more than girls.
Girls: it’s easy to tell if you’re being overtly bullied; it’s harder to tell if the bullying is stealthy. You’re probably being bullied if you’re feeling controlled, forced to do things you don’t want to do, scared of what another girl might do to you, afraid of getting ostracized or ganged up on, or not wanting to go to school at all. Trust your gut and talk to your parents no matter how reluctant you are.
Parents: the major signs that your daughter is being bullied are unexplained, 180 degree changes in behavior. For example, no longer talking about school or friends, not wanting to be with classmates, spending all her time in her room, avoiding checking text messages, social web sites or answering the phone, no longer doing homework, not eating lunch at school, stopping after-school activities, wanting to change or quit school, loss of weight, chewing fingernails, not caring about appearance, can’t sleep, nightmares, loss of confidence and self-esteem, emotionally labile (crying suddenly alternating with explosive anger and temper tantrums alternating with despondency and depression – “I’m helpless, it’s hopeless”). Be careful; teenagers typically go through periods of these behaviors. Parents must check out the causes. Be persistent. Don’t be stopped by initial resistance.
If your daughter is being bullied, parents must proceed down two paths simultaneously:
Teach your daughter how to protect herself.
Make teachers, principals and school district administrators protect targets.
Bullying at school is rarely an isolated event. Usually there is a pervasive pattern of overlooking, minimizing, denying, tolerating or even encouraging bullying. Strategies for how parents can proceed depend on the situations they’re dealing with; especially the people. The bottom line is that most, but not all, principals want to avoid the subject, do nothing, cover-up with platitudes, avoid law suits and won’t confront bullying parents who protect their darling little bullies.
Beware of principals who think that their primary task is to understand, rehabilitate or therapeutize bullies. You will have to get other parents involved and be very tactical in order to get principals to act firmly and effectively.
There is one absolute “Don’t.” Every female client and every woman who has interviewed me said that they were verbally bullied when they were young. Unfortunately, their mothers told them, “Rise above the bully. That bully is hurting so much inside that they’re taking their pain and inferiority out on you. Understand and forgive them. You’re better than they are. If you act nice enough, people will return your kindness with kindness.”
Every one of these bullied women bears deep wounds including stress, anxiety, negative self-talk, lack of confidence and self-esteem problems. They also bear an underlying hatred of their mothers for those messages. Those messages are absolutely wrong. Mothers must teach their daughters how to protect themselves, not how to act like willing victims.
Jane was stuck in an internal war. Every time she made some progress toward goals she’d been pursuing for years – cleaned her house, did things on her to-do list, met people she’d wanted to, signed up for classes toward a better job, courageously risked being honest – she’d start beating herself up in ways she was familiar with since childhood.
A part of her would say, in an old, familiar voice, “Who do you think you are, you’ll never succeed, you’ll fall back into being a failure, you’re fat and ugly, you’re not good enough to stay on track, you’re weak at your core, you’ll never do the right thing, you’ll fail like you always do, no one likes you, no one will love you, you’ll be alone all your life.”
Then she’d isolate herself and start picking on herself physically. That’d only make things worse. She’d feel ashamed and guilty. “Maybe they’re right,” she’d think. “I’m not good enough. I’ll always be a mess. I’ll never change. I’ll never succeed.”
She’d become angry at her parents and all the people who’d taken advantage of her, at all the people who weren’t supportive now and finally at herself. And the cycle would continue; a little success leading to self-loathing and predictions of failure, followed by anger at everyone in her past and present, followed by more anger and self-loathing. After several wasted days, she’d get herself together to try once more, but the emotional and spiritual cost of each cycle was huge.
Self-bullying– negative self-talk, an internal war between the side of you that fights to do better and the side that seems to despise you, that’s full of self-loathing and self-abuse – can go on a whole lifetime. Of course, the effects can be devastating – anxiety and stress, discouragement and depression, loss of confidence and self-esteem, huge emotional swings that drive good people away and attract bullies and predators.
Perhaps the worst effect is a sense of desperation and panic, isolation and loneliness – it feels like this has been going on forever and doesn’t look like it will ever end; every failure feels like the end of the world; like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You feel helpless and are sure that it’s hopeless.
This is not a war between the left and right sides of our brains. This is usually not our being taken over by an evil spirit that needs exorcised psychologically.
This is usually a battle between two sides of us that split apart because of terrible, overwhelming pressure when we were kids. Back then, we didn’t know how to cope with the horror so we split into two strategies that have been battling with childlike intensity and devotion ever since.
On the one hand, we fight to feel inspired and centered and to do our best; to be courageous and bold and fierce; to try hard, be joyous and hope for success. On the other hand, we fight to make us docile and not try to rise above our meager lot in life, to accept what they tell us and give up struggling against them so they’ll let us survive, to motivate ourselves by whipping ourselves so we’ll make enough effort and do the right things, and maybe then they’ll give us something in return and we’ll have those feelings of peace and joy.
Both voices want us to survive and to feel centered, peaceful and filled with joy. Each takes an opposite path to get there. Instead of a psychological exorcism, we need an internal reconciliation and a release from old battles with our external oppressors and between our internal, battling voices.
The inner goal is clear: We’ll be whole and unified, both sides will be working together toward the same end (http://www.bulliesbegoneblog.com/2008/04/25/getting-over-parents-who-wound-their-children-the-2nd-stage-of-growing-up-and-leaving-home/#more-35): the different possibilities for action will be presented to us in the encouraging voices of coaches; we’ll be inspired and motivated by encouragement, not whipping: we’ll have an adult sense of our strength and capability; we’ll feel like we can cope successfully without tight control over everything and we’ll act in a timely manner; situations won’t put us into a panic; mistakes won’t be a portent of doom.
For example, Jane finally made internal peace. Her warring sides accepted that they had the same outcome – making a good life for her, filling her with the joy she’d always wanted to feel. They realized that neither side could defeat the other; their only hope was to work together using adult strategies of motivating her to take actions that would help her succeed. They saw that her situation now, in middle age, was very different from when she was a helpless child and had to depend on parents who seemed to despise her character, personality and style.
Current statistics show that bullying is prevalent – over 50% of kids report being bullied or observing bullying. Bullying by girls is just as prevalent as by boys (although they often use different tactics) and bullying in “good” neighborhoods is just as prevalent as in “bad” ones.
Most parents want to understand why bullies bully, “Is it because bullies have low esteem, or they lust for power or that’s the only way they know how to get control and admiration?” Those parents usually tell their children never to use violence to stop bullies. “Violence never solved anything. Don’t stoop to the bullies’ level.”
Those parents hope that understanding bullies will help them create programs that will rehabilitate bullies. Then their kids will be safe when they’re away from home or when they’re online.
Parents who say those things are the number one risk factor in making their children targets of repeated bullying.
Their strategy is based on the false idea that if children love and forgive bullies enough, they’ll melt bullies’ hearts and bullies will stop bullying and become their friends. That strategy rarely stops bullies.
Similarly, bullied kids grow up with low self-esteem and low confidence; they expect to be beaten down – mentally, emotionally and physically – to be taken advantage of, to lose. They become repeat victims.
The number one risk factor in our children’s becoming targets of repeated bullying is not bullies or schools – the number one risk factor is us, the parents of the targets. Bullies have always existed and will always exist, most schools never protected kids and many still won’t.
Take your focus away from psychotherapy of bullies. Focus instead on stopping bullying right now. After you stop the bullying, then you can spend all the time you want rehabilitating individual bullies. As you well know, rehabilitating bullies can take a long time. I want to protect target children right now.
In the real world, bullies are predators, like hyenas, looking for the weak and isolated people who don’t know how to protect themselves. Real bullies have a language all their own – they take our children’s kindness, reasonableness or holding back as weakness and a sign of easy prey. Our kids’ weakness brings out the worst in bullies.
A real-world perspective is that it’s more important to stop bullies first; that counseling, therapy and rehabilitation efforts come second. In fact, stopping bullying behavior and having stiff consequences for kids who bully repeatedly is one of the best steps in changing their behavior.
New resources to help you eliminate bullies from both your work and personal life are ready to ship:* My new 10-CD set, “How to Stop Bullies in their Tracks,” complete with 20 case studies, plus a free bonus, unabridged reading of my book, “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids: Stop School Bullies in Their Tracks.”
* The Bullies Be Gone system — Personal Life Bundle
* The Bullies Be Gone system — Professional Life Bundle
The two new bundles bring together all of the elements and resources you need to create a bully-free environment in your professional and in your personal lives. Listen to the CDs in the car or airplane, and refer back to the sections in the books that you'll want to read over and over. When you purchase these bundles, you'll receive more that 20% off the price of each resource, if purchased separately.
They’re in plenty of time to help you handle the bullies you face during the holiday season and to give as presents to those in need. Please see the details, including the Table of Contents and questions for reading groups, on the products and resources page.
“How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks” will show you how to apply lessons from 20 case studies to end bullying in your personal life and at work:
* Early warning signs of overt and stealth bullies.
* Stop self-bullying before it destroys your life.
* The three strategies that will be successful.
* Nine ineffective approaches you should stop using.
* A five-step process to thwart the most determined bullies.
* How to protect your personal ecology.
“Parenting Bully-Proof Kids: Stop School Bullies in Their Tracks” is a companion to “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks.” It shows you how to guide your children and teenagers to live a bully-free life.
Good parenting requires you to teach them how to use other tactics and techniques to stop bullies in their tracks, as well as to maintain their independence, confidence and self-esteem, and to promote their emotional development. That's necessary preparation for them to succeed in the adult world at work and in personal relationships – e.g., with husbands, wives, partners, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and neighbors.
Six case studies will teach you how to help them deal with:
* Taunting, teasing and fighting.
* A venomous Queen Bee.
* Emotional blackmail.
* A manipulative control-freak who pretends to be a friend.
* School administrators.
* The most important decision for teenagers.
The Bullies Be Gone system — Personal Life Bundle
This collection of books and CDs brings together all the elements and resources you need to create a bully-free environment in your personal life:
* “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks” – soft cover.
* “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids: Stop School Bullies in Their Tracks” – soft cover.
* “Bullies Below the Radar” – soft cover.
* “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks” plus “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids” – 10-CDs.
The Bullies Be Gone system — Professional Life Bundle
This collection of books and CDs brings together all of the elements and resources you need to create a bully-free environment in your professional life:
* “Eliminate the High Cost of Low Attitudes” – 3-CDs + Workbook.
* “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks” – soft cover.
* “Bullies Below the Radar” – soft cover.
* 12 bonus articles on how to deal successfully with bullies in the workplace.
~~~ "Create an isle of song in a sea of shouts." Rabindranath Tagore ~~~
We'll make it easy for you to get copies for everyone on your gift list by shipping directly to them. Simply order the number of copies you want and immediately send me an e-mail with the addresses of each of your lucky friends. In addition, if you recently purchased one of the items in the system and want to get the rest now, e-mail me and I'll give you a special discount on “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids” and the 10-CD set.
Of course, you can also get the personal coaching you need for your specific situation.