Today's blog in our #BeTheRippleBlogs is a thought-provoking piece from Vickie Cridland.
I have never met Vickie in person, but I was her Tutor when she was studying towards her Level 5 CIPD qualification in L&D and we have remained in touch ever since.
Vickie says that she is passionate about personal empowerment and she is always looking for fun, creative and non traditional ways of designing and delivering learning, much to the horror of some old school L&D colleagues who she takes on a journey of discovery with her! She gained a lot of hands on experience in retail before moving into the L&D space.
Over to Vickie:
We hear a lot about kindness and paying it forward, but what about the other side of that golden coin? Believe it or not, there are some companies/brands that use fear as a driving force to get what they want – world domination. Ok, bit dramatic I know, but bear with me!
Fear is a powerful driving force behind what people do and I have seen examples of company’s using this as a tool to drive profitability even though it flies in the face of company values.
Is it fear that turns an environment meant for wellness and growth into one that resembles a cult – you are free to leave at any time but people don’t, given the fear of the unknown that hides on the other side of that door?
In my experience, I believe that everyone including myself, has played a part in the building of a culture that allows this sort of behaviour to spread through a business like a river. Bullying, sexual assault, self-worth eroded in front of others, it was all fair game as long as the profits were rolling in. Now I would like to point out I was on the receiving end of such behaviour and had I really stood my ground; would the landscape of my life be different to what it is now?
It’s a tough one to answer. Do we acknowledge the damage a company has inflicted either knowingly or unknowingly onto others, or do we gloss over it like it never happened? Fear should never be underestimated. It drives people to keep safe but it also drives some, to do the opposite.
One thing we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to be part of the unkindness debris that litters the pavement or be part of something better? I know what I chose, and the grass is lush on the other side.
Thank you to Vickie for this thought-provoking piece.
Vickie says that her piece is centred around a two year experience with line managers at different levels in an organisation she worked for and that the message she would like to get across to readers is that being on the receiving end of such experiences can shape our future only if we allow it. She says that had she allowed it to destroy her completely, she could never have come out the other end, stood up and shouted "look at me now".
If you have been impacted by work-related bullying, or harassment of any kind please speak to someone you can trust, or get some professional advice externally. You do not have to put up with people treating you unfairly or unkindly at work.
You can find expert guidance at the following links:
Thank you once again to Vickie for sharing this piece, a reminder that fear-driven cultures can be damaging for relationships and create an environment of mistrust and poor behaviours.
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See you soon for the next instalment!
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