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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

#DefuseBullying - Part 4: Speaking Up

Updated: Mar 19

Yesterday I joined an #antiracism Session as part of our new Global strategy for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging.

My favourite line from the session was: “our community, our responsibility.” 🙌🏼

Meaning, if you see something wrong in your teams, do something about it.

It is not enough to have a #teamfit, you need to have a #teamADD. Too many of one nationality hired into senior positions can dominate and bully a workplace.

#Racism - one of the most potent forms of subtle #bullying, is insidious and seeps in unawares if we are not vigilant.

So here are some things you can do to protect yourself and others in cases where racism or other bullying may need to be escalated:

1️⃣: Know your legal rights: in some countries it is legal to make audio recordings and even video recordings of others and communications. Knowing what you are and aren’t allowed to record in your country helps with knowing how and when to gather evidence of bullying.

2️⃣: If you aren’t sure about point 1 above, then consider that everything you say and do could be held against you, and vice versa. That by itself will protect you from doing or saying anything that may counterintuitively end up serving the bully in an investigation.

3️⃣: Document evidence, quietly and respectfully - make sure you keep track of instances where bullying behaviours are evident. Dates, times and witnesses. Even if it’s not you who is the victim. I have always had a practice of documenting both good and bad things that happen and storing them in a digital notebook. The contents of the positive notebook uplifts me, and the contents of the documentation notebook assure me.

4️⃣: Make a note of witnesses. As I have discussed, bullying is a #subtle act, it can be very tricky to capture an instance of #racism in action, especially in a school or office setting where things happen quickly. A single witness can turn a court case on its head. Make note of who heard what, and what was said.

5️⃣: Don’t stand around listening to negative talk - even as an observer. Get away and get out. Excuse yourself from the conversation if you can’t say something to stop it. Don’t go to the staff room if you are afraid of hearing or being pulled into behaviour that troubles your moral compass. Avoid the office if you are finding it a toxic place to be.

6️⃣: Speak up, speak out, speak loud, or find someone who has picked up a foghorn and may be able to do so on your behalf. (Let’s talk!🙋🏻‍♀️📣)

I call on my #teachers, #friends, #colleagues, and growing #linkedinfamily - do you have other pieces of advice that you would add?

Don’t be afraid to escalate a case of #malpractice.

Don’t be afraid to join me in looking this beast straight in the eye.

In looking ahead at a positive future, eyes cast upwards.


There’s lots of #light ahead.

P.S. I’m not posting this from Dubai.. guess where? #roots

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