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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: 2/21/10 - 2/28/10

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Gordon Brown bullying allegations

This political hot potato seems to have been all over the media in recent days. None the least here if you have not already heard about it.
I certainly say that Brown cuts a figure of a man liable to lose his temper. That is evident in his body language. What dismays me most of all is that some seem to regard this imposing behavior as a sign of strong leadership. I disagree with this entirely. If such a leader fails to keep his temper, then I suggest he lacks emotional intelligence. Of course, we all get angry from time to time. It's not an easy emotion to deal with. Various Brown allies have suggested that he is angry with himself. There are appropriate ways to deal with anger, but one of them is certainly not to take out that anger on other people.
From my own experience, I have been on the wrong end of bullies many times in my life, none the least in the workplace. A few years ago I was heavily involved with newsgroups supporting those who had been bullied at work. I even went with a delegation to The House of Lords to campaign on the issue. I've moved on from those days now and look at the issue from a different perspective.
Brown of course made a impassioned denial that he has been bullying his staff. To a degree, I think he genuinely believes this, however, most people that bully do not know they are doing it. It's not a conscious behavior. I believe that everyone is capable of bullying. I've seen victims fall into the trap of becoming a bully. This happened quite extensively on one of the newsgroups I belonged to some time ago. It was then that I decided to move away from that organization.
There is no denying that bullying if rife in workplaces as it is in schools. It's something virtually impossible to get rid of, however, an awareness of it can help to minimize incidents and can prevent, in some cases, it happening again. We all sneer at the school head teacher that declares "Bullying does not occur in my school." Of course it does. In the same way, to deny that it occurs in the workplace, none the least 10 Downing Street is pure folly.

No! It's not strong leadership. It is weak leadership and a lack of self control. It is emotional immaturity at its worst. The fact that Christine Pratt is being blamed for much of this just shows bad bullying can get. The claims of confidentiality breach are, in my opinion, misguided. There is no such thing as total confidentiality. I always have a deep admiration for those people who are prepared to put their career on the line to expose an issue of such importance. Full marks to you Mrs Pratt for sacrificing yourself to support others.

The most effective way of dealing with bullying is to try not to make yourself a target. This much I have learned and continue to learn and practice.

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