The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.
I am incredibly passionate about anti-bullying and stopping poor leadership. Imagine if it was your son, daughter or someone you loved that was being bullied at work. It is unacceptable and it is up to us to combat it.
You’ve probably heard on the news that Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s ICU had their training accreditation revoked, once bullying allegations came to light. The culprits? Senior medical staff who should definitely know better! As Brad Hazzard, NSW’s Health Minister put it: “There is absolutely not one millimetre of room for a culture of bullying or failure to provide respect to every staff member.”
Then, after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia just a few days later, an independent review noted that employees were using bullying tactics and ostracising other team members in efforts to get their own way.
Safe Work Australia and the Fair Work Commission have been working hard for over 10 years to raise awareness of (and try to eliminate) workplace bullying, but it is still rife in workplaces all over the country – and the world! So why is bullying in the workplace still common?
Let’s take a step back and look at just what workplace bullying is defined as by Safe Work Australia:
● Victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening behaviour
● Repeated over time
● Excludes reasonable management action like speaking to someone about poor performance
● Can dovetail with sexual harassment or racism
The impact on the victims of this bullying (and any form of bullying) is huge. Victims can suffer often debilitating distress, take more days off ‘sick’, avoid the workplace as much as possible, and can’t complete their duties as effectively. In dollar form, lost productivity as a result of bullying costs up to $36 billion each year.
It also damages a business’s reputation, which can make or break an organisation. If the media gets wind of a bullying story that will sell, then the incident is broadcast to a large audience and makes it hard for the business to recover from – who would want to buy from or work for an organisation that is so publically plagued by accusations of bullying?
A study completed this year said that one in five workers have been bullied in the past twelve months, which is completely unacceptable.
There are some shocking statistics from a 2016 study of 34 European countries and their workplace environments, and Australia was found to have had the sixth highest rate of workplace bullying compared to the rest of the countries studied.
Within the previous six month period, 37% of respondents said they had been sworn or yelled at, 23% had been humiliated in front of others and 22% had been threatened or physically assaulted by clients/patients.
Workplace bullying is rife in health care, defence, electricity supply and government administration, but places that should be more progressive, like universities, are not exempt from bullying in the workplace.
Australian managers have unfortunately been taught that tough leadership is the best form of management and that the US culture of ‘management by fear’ is a legitimate way to motivate a team. It’s a quick slide from this type of management to straight up bullying behaviour.
It’s not just managers and bosses that are bullies, peers are also engaging in workplace bullying at an alarming rate. Whether they just don’t like a person or are acting out of jealousy when someone achieves more than they do, especially when managers use extremely competitive reward and incentive systems, bullying often becomes their way of expressing their jealousy and/or dislike.
You may be wondering what you can do to help stop this, and we have three suggestions for you and your company:
● Lead by example – have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying. Those at the top set the example for those below.
● Regularly communicate, review and enforce complaints procedures and anti-bullying policies.
● Empower your employees to speak out – let them know they shouldn’t fear retribution, and that all concerns will be taken seriously.
In turn, we have found that organisations and businesses who invest in leadership coaching and training with a focus on personal leadership and social intelligence have had great results and performance with an increase in retention, engagement and productivity. Also they have been able to overcome bullying and poor leadership within their cultures.
It’s not always easy, but change never is. We all need to be more active in stamping out bullying in the workplace, so we can turn around the startling statistics and make every workplace a welcoming and comfortable environment, increasing employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
If you are interested in finding out how we can partner with you and build great leaders, leadership and cultures where your leaders are leading by example; contact LeadershipHQ for our cutting edge and high impact programs and strategies.
To speak with someone about any workplace bullying you’ve seen or experienced, you can contact:
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36
Safe Work Australia – they’ll direct you to the relevant body in your state
The leaders who get the best results and achieve their goals are brave, even when times are tough. But bravery isn’t just about doing heroic things all the time; being vulnerable and other behaviours and attitudes are just as brave, so here are five signs that you’ve been a brave leader all along!
1. You take responsibility & don’t blame others
Brave leaders are those who put their hand up and take responsibility for things, good or bad. They don’t throw anyone under the bus or try to shift blame; that’s what cowards do! Upper management will also appreciate this quality, so you’re showing your bravery by doing this.
2. You always act with integrity – no matter what
Leaders who act with integrity are especially great leaders because they do the right thing even when there is no one watching. People will see your reliability and trustworthiness when they know you’ll do what you say you will, and when you said you’d do it. Holding yourself accountable and sticking to commitments is one of the marks of an effective and brave leader.
3. You recognise loyalty & are loyal yourself
Being loyal to your team and your organisation as a whole may seem like an obvious sign, but if you’re loyal even when times are tough, that’s when you’re the bravest.
Recognising and appreciating loyalty is also brave; it takes courage to stand up for those who have stood by you, and showing appreciation in this way makes your relationship stronger as well.
4. You lead by example
Following on from having integrity (like we mentioned in point two) is leading by example and taking charge. Of course, leaders should delegate and instruct their team, but unless you’re doing as you say, you’re being hypocritical and that can lose you a lot of respect. Leading by example might not be noticed as quickly as other traits or behaviours, but you’ll continue being a brave leader if you keep doing what you know needs to be done, and doing it the same way you asked your team to do it.
5. You never give up, thanks to your sense of duty
Taking the easy way out by giving up and quitting is a sign of weakness, especially in leaders, because brave leaders feel a sense of duty to get the task done no matter what. Even if the job has a big chance of not being successful, or not being up to a high standard, your sense of duty means you’ll still do your very best. Brave leaders must have this quality, and it motivates your team when they look to you for guidance and see that you’re still forging ahead, despite reservations.
Hopefully, you see a few, if not all, of these signs in yourself as a leader. Either way, it gives you something to strive for and reflect on, which great leaders are always doing. Bravery isn’t always heroics, sometimes just being loyal and working hard makes you brave. Brave leaders are the ones that go on to achieve great things, so start practising being brave now!
If you truly want to be brave in 2019 – join The Leadership Collective or brave Summit today
What’s the secret to improving your teams’ motivation and performance? You’ve probably asked yourself this plenty of times when measures that you’ve put in place haven’t been as effective as you’d hoped. You have great incentives in place for your team, you’ve streamlined your processes and procedures to make things as efficient as possible, but you’re still not getting their best.
Gallup conducted a 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace, and found the following shocking statistics:
- 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” – meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.
- 16% are “actively disengaged”, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.
- Only 24% are “engaged”.
So how do you get your employees engaged, motivated and working hard? Something that you have to earn – trust.
Without trust, your team won’t be working to the best of their ability. If they can’t trust in their leaders, why should they put in more than the minimum amount of effort?
Author and professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul J. Zak, measured oxytocin levels and brain activity as people worked, over eight years. Oxytocin is the hormone that affects parts of our interaction and behaviours including trust. His research showed that trust within an organisation is absolutely vital to performance, and also that there are eight ways to quantify and boost trust within a workplace. Luckily for us, Zak made these into an acronym – OXYTOCIN – so it’s easy to remember.
Let’s take a look at what OXYTOCIN stands for
Positive reinforcement (like rewards and recognition) has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is linked to motivation and effort, so it’s important to recognise and reward your team for great performance because then they’ll want to continue working to that high standard. Nobody likes working hard without that effort being acknowledged.
Expectations need to be set and made clear, so employees know what they’re working towards. Make sure that your team knows they’re part of the big picture, and explain just how they are. When you get your team involved in the mission, knowing that they are directly influencing the success of that mission and your organisation boosts their motivation and commitment to meeting and excelling at their goals and your expectations.
Micromanaging gets you nowhere; as a leader you must be able to effectively make decisions and delegate tasks. Foster a safe environment of learning – mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just make sure to learn from them – and your team members will thrive when given more responsibility, and work more autonomously knowing they won’t be punished for mistakes. They will feel motivated and empowered from being trusted to do important tasks.
Transfer refers to enabling your team to ‘job-craft’ – make their job their own, and make their own decisions about how they define success.
Research undertaken by the University of Michigan showed that allowing employees to job-craft resulted in higher levels of job fulfilment and engagement. This means less staff turnover as well.
Being transparent and open with information relating to your organisation builds trust with your team because it shows that you’re being honest with them. You’d be surprised how much time and effort is taken up when your team is wondering what’s going on, so be sure to practice openness when communicating with your team.
Team members appreciate being told what’s going on, even if it’s not always good news since it gives them a chance to voice their opinions and give their input. When employees feel heard, they also feel valued and so want to return the favour and work harder.
We have launched our NEW Performance Team Coaching Program – find out more HERE!
During his research, Zak saw a variety of studies that showed how important relationships (including friendships) are on retention, productivity, health and overall job satisfaction. Encourage relationship building amongst your team by providing plenty of team-building opportunities such as collaboration between departments, and making sure to reward great teamwork.
If your organisation isn’t getting across how important workplace relationships can be, then your team won’t be trying too hard to build their networks.
Invest in your team; provide them with training and opportunities for reward and advancement, and you’ll see a big improvement in their engagement. Your team will also trust you more, as they see how much you value them by choosing to invest in them. Feeling valued like this is a great motivator for employees to do their best.
The best leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable; being authentic and natural shows your employees that you’re human too and that they don’t have to be perfect because you aren’t either. When your team can relate to you, they’re inspired to be more open and honest as well. This allows them to ask for help sooner, instead of fearing being reprimanded, which means time isn’t wasted and work can be carried out more competently and efficiently.
Trust isn’t exactly something you can measure, but it’s a huge part of getting your team to consistently perform at their best. What Zak found from his research is that when you have people working for organisations that have an emphasis on trust, they are 76% more engaged, 50% more productive, and 50% more likely to stay in that organisation. You can’t argue with those results!
If you’re a leader who wants to step up your game and start encouraging a culture of trust in your workplace using resources backed by extensive research and with proven results, check out our Leadership Attitude Academy here, or book a coaching session here.
Anyone can ‘lead’ if their idea of being a leader is old-fashioned and involves them saying one thing and doing another, and bossing everyone around!
Authentic leaders are those who are trusted and keep an open and honest atmosphere while ROCKING IT. They inspire and motivate their team every day! Leaders don’t have titles or roles, they just take charge and get it done.
But just how do you become an awesome, authentic leader?
Here are 3 tips to start improving your leadership skills:
1. Be true to yourself
This is something we should all practice in every area of our lives, but it’s especially true for leaders.
You can often tell when someone is ‘faking it’ and doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. Is that someone you would look to for leadership? Of course not!
Be yourself and show people what you believe in – don’t just tell them! Genuine people make genuine connections.
Watch More Here by Bill George on Authentic Leadership
2. Serve others
You need to genuinely care about others on your leadership journey, and not just focus on yourself! Being all about others should be your primary focus as you write your leadership story. You will fall down and make mistakes, but failure is a part of any journey to great leadership – so don’t let it STOP you!
3. Empower others
We know nobody is perfect, so don’t pretend to be! People connect with those who admit their mistakes and are open about when they stuff up. Be honest, and you’ll empower your team to push through and learn from their own shortcomings and weaknesses.
If you want to kickstart your leadership journey, you need to join our Leadership Academy! We know this online program – starting from just $10 a week – will change your career or business in no time, and bring out your inner authentic leader!
You might think that sounds crazy (or that I’m crazy for saying it) but hear me out – I have a great example in mind that will really get my point across! Rocking it isn’t just about the money you make or the high position you work your way up to, and I’ll tell you why.
Let’s take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, for example. He’s considered a successful CEO by anyone’s definition and has reached goals that any leader worth their salt should be trying to achieve in their personal and professional lives. When you think of success, many people think of the 34-year-old owner of Facebook. After all, his net worth is in the billions and he’s supremely influential thanks to his company. Just about everyone is on Facebook; it’s had an amazing impact on the way we live our lives and the way we do business.
Zuckerberg seems to have it all: wealth, a business that’s taken over the world, and a high approval rating from his employees. He’s lead his team to incredible heights – but does that make him a good leader? Not necessarily!
First, the good aspects of his leadership. Zuckerberg is open to challenging the status quo, and due to being so focused on the future, has managed to create a powerful platform for business and personal connections that are backed by a team that has their ideas and opinions valued, no matter their ‘rank’ in the company. Happy employees that feel valued will stick by their leader.
Vision, vision, vision. Anyone who works for Mark Zuckerberg, and even those who use Facebook, knows that his ultimate vision is to create a world that is connected and open. He is open about this vision and backs up his words with actions. Employees are inspired by leaders that are passionate about their vision, and actually working towards it.
Zuckerberg is also known for surrounding himself with and forming, business relationships that are beneficial to the company. When a leader can admit their faults and weaknesses, and bring in others who can fill those areas, they are demonstrating humility and are putting the business’s needs ahead of their ego – a sign of a great leader.
That all sounds pretty good, so what’s the bad side of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership? Well, for one, he doesn’t always act in an entirely ethical way, as demonstrated by his responses to scandals about Facebook’s handling of user’s data. Recently, when news broke of user data being exploited by a firm, Zuckerberg was silent for five days before issuing an apology. Being silent for so long was not an example of great leadership – leaders must have responses and contingencies in place to manage situations when things go wrong. When there’s an issue like this with Facebook, Mark issues an apology but then something similar happens again. It’s not very ethical to compromise user data in this way and has resulted in many people leaving Facebook.
His slow response after the latest scandal shows that he really needs to work on his communication skills. How good of a leader can you be if you cannot communicate effectively?
In this digital age, where we can access the latest news instantly, leaders need to be quick and decisive with their communication. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to things like this!
I’ll let you make your own mind up about whether Mark Zuckerberg is a great leader or not; there’s so much that can’t be covered in a short blog like this. Consider, though, whether a less successful (or lesser, in general) leader, would be forgiven of some of the mistakes Zuckerberg has made in his career?
There is definitely plenty to take away for your own leadership journey, both good and bad, but my reason for this blog is to remind you that even if you become successful (whatever your measure of success may be) you must never become complacent in your leadership. Always practice authentic leadership, and you will become truly successful. Finally, leadership is about Attitude, Mindset, and Behaviour – and not about title or success.
Can I share something with you – the best leaders we work with truly understand this and how this contributes to their success and significance. It could make all the difference to you too – so contact us to find out more!
Want to know more about how to be a Great Leader or build Great Leadership within your Organisation – find out more about our Group and One on One Leadership Coaching Programs here at LeadershipHQ
Being true to yourself and having strong values and beliefs that you stick by is essential if you want to be a great, authentic leader! You also need to have a vision; what sort of leader do you want to be, what do you want to work towards with your leadership, how are you going to ROCK IT?
Let’s take a look at why these three things are VITAL to becoming a leader that kicks butt!
Being a leader means people are watching you all the time to see whether you act consistently and practice what you preach. It’s important to sit down and figure out what you value; not just in work, but in life as well.
You also need to remember that everyone has values, and a lot of us value integrity – especially in our leaders! You can’t be an effective leader without trust, so be authentic and stick to your values. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not!
Want to know more about Personal Leadership – Grab your FREE Personal Plan HERE (Valued at $199)
Be honest with yourself about what you believe in, especially in terms of leadership. Think of great leaders you’ve come into contact with throughout your life, and the bad ones too! They’ve helped mould your idea of what a leader should do, how they should behave, and what they should believe in.
Like with values, you need to demonstrate that you can stick to your beliefs so that your team will trust you! Without earning trust, you’ll be a pretty ineffective leader!
To be an authentic and great leader, you need to have a vision and share that dream with the people around you. Have a vision for yourself and your leadership future, as well as making goals to strive for. When you have a powerful vision and aren’t all talk, and you back up your words with meaningful actions, people will be drawn to you and your vision.
Think about John F. Kennedy and his vision of getting a man on the moon – it had been thought impossible, but his vision was so compelling that others wanted to follow his lead and make it happen!
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy
Take time to figure out your vision, and to clarify your beliefs and values. Make sure you truly believe in these, so that you’re able to be an authentic leader!
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