Brenda bowers co-workers cliques conflicts


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2012 Women Leaders Conference

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  • Think about the movie “The Help”, lateral violence was a main theme
  • Note the pros and cons of “relationships” in review of the lateral violence document. Relationships can be “cliques that promote passive aggressive behavior” or they can be uplifting. Relationships are what build businesses
  • What attracts the media to woman-on-woman (WOW) bullying is the fact that women are targeted at a higher rate by female bullies (71%) than by male bullies (46%). Yes, women are crueler to women than they are to men, and that must be explained. But don’t forget that 60% of all bullies are men. 31% of all bullying is men-on-men, 29% is WOW. Why is there so little interest in the more frequent variety of same-gender bullying? May 20th, 2009 Workplace Bullying Institute
  • Frienemies = a “friend” who is an enemy, someone you compete with and have a professional or social tie to for some reason; it’s the equivalent of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” – think of all the women who were “friends” with Hilly in “The Help” were they true friends or more likely to be bound by attempting to live up to a lifestyle and also feared her backlash (Skeeter being replaced as newsletter editor)
  • Bullet Two: Think of the girl who is identified as “going to be fast” due to her physical maturity OR the jealousy that comes with getting picked for additional training, or “she got that job because she “did something” to get it, not because it’s her own merit” - this person progressed ahead of the group.Since bully behaviors often develop by middle school it is also a time of changes for girls – physically and mentally and we (like it or not) become competitive with each other either for attention and recognition from boys or proving ourselves overall
  • What’s interesting to note is when the behaviors begin to target men – men will go straight to HR or a leader and confront the behavior
  • Women will often report another woman as being her best friend not her husband or another man
  • If women are socialized to not express anger feelings of frustration and anger will come out/manifest in another way. Can you think of times when you’ve had a bad day and taken it out on someone else?
  • Think of the movie “The Help”- the character “Hilly” is a classic example of the bully (pictured in bright pink floral dress) in this movie everyone else is a bystander or victim depending on what she was aiming for. Her view of herself was “doing what’s right”… perhaps she was responding to the stress of appearing “perfect”
  • Sample questions from the 15 questions in the book – these are all bully behaviorsIf you can answer “yes” to many of these questions you are likely to exhibit bully behavior
  • Think of the “card-club” and who could and could not join or the “toilet issue” – even though members may have objected to Hilly’s idea, no one said anything to her directly fearing backlash – this comes from a sense of powerlessness
  • P52 Mean Girls Grown UpWhatever you put up with you promote – is a saying that we use in our leadership classes at WFH
  • Differences can be a younger, ethnically/racially different, mom/ no kids… etc… anything that differentiates you from the group norm… even though diversity in a group makes the group stronger; it can be threatening to others.In the movie “The Help” Aibileen and Minny don’t have a choice of life position… it is imposed on them each manages this status differently. There is also the character of Celia Foote who dresses provocatively and is “different” from the ladies in the bridge club.
  • This can be in relationships as well
  • This person may look good to their superiors and colleagues; a competent subordinate may threaten themTips for working with this person:Avoid acting timidly or over-confidentRealize this person cannot admit to having made a mistakeAvoid upstaging Keep notes, know policy and when it’s violated
  • Do not divulge confidences: home-life, kids, feelings ~ keep it all about workMake friends out-side of your work-group
  • This is not to say that men are better rather we have different styles. This is comparative not competitive to state one is better than the other
  • Lateral violence examples: talking about someone behind their back, delaying responses to co-worker requests, making demeaning comments to co-workers or getting other co-workers to dislike a person
  • This can lead to passive aggressive behavior as well. Typically men will report that in male dominated workplaces anger will be abruptly and directly expressed to co-workers and then problem solving will begin. If that doesn’t work withdrawal from the workplace and workgroup will happen.
  • stemming from feelings of anger and aimed at inflicting pain
  • Bullet two: a group of friends who are all married stay at home mom’s had a new person who would be joining their group for a grill-out. The new person happened to be the girlfriend of one of the guys in the group who was just recently divorced. This group of women were all friends of the ex-wife and one of the women in particular did not like this “new girl”. In a previous conversation “the new girl” – who works full time outside the home – said “I don’t know how you do it all day, being at home with your kids” it was a time when all three of the kids were acting up and the intent was empathy. To set this “new girl” up for failure she made sure she told all the women that “the new girl” “thought being a stay-at-home mom was ridiculous”
  • The “male style” is the dominant form in the workplace as more men are in leadership roles; it is an adaptation for women to balance
  • One is NOT better than the other… they just are and can vary between genders
  • While as leaders we are taught to give negative feedback in private there are instances that require demonstrating “zero tolerance” demeaning behavior is one of them (do a self check with your comfort level in doing this and if you’re not what steps can you work through to become confident in interventions)
  • These strategies promote communication and give the group the foundation for positive group norms and expected behaviorsThese can be 15 minutes on a regular basis or in staff retreats
  • Women have this innate capacity to go with others and build deep relationships; it is a strength!
  • Brenda bowers co-workers cliques conflicts

    1. 1. Co-Workers, Cliques & Conflicts Dr. Brenda J. Bowers, RN, PhD
    2. 2. “more often than men, womenconsider the impact of their actions on how it will impact their relationships” Women’s Ways of Knowing (1997) 2
    3. 3. What Is Lateral Violence?Behavior that humiliates, degrades, orotherwise indicates a lack of respect forthe dignity and worth of an individual (ICN 2004)It is the consistent hidden pattern ofbehavior designed tocontrol, diminish, or devalue anotherpeer (or group) that creates a risk tohealth and/or safety (Quine 1999, Farrell 2005) 3
    4. 4. Names for Lateral Violence• Peer to Peer Hostility• Incivility• Bullying• Horizontal Hostility• Eating Your Young• Harassment• Workplace Abuse• Interpersonal Conflict 4
    5. 5. How Will I Recognize It?What behaviors constitute lateral violence?
    6. 6. 10 Most Frequent Examples1. Nonverbal Innuendo (raising of eyebrows, face- making)2. Verbal Affront (covert or overt, snide remarks, lack of openness, abrupt responses)3. Undermining Activities (turning away, not available)4. Withholding Information5. Sabotage (deliberately setting up a negative situation) 6
    7. 7. 10 Most Frequent Examples6. Infighting (bickering with peers)7. Scapegoating (attributing all that goes wrong to one individual)8. Backstabbing (complaining to others about an individual and not speaking directly to that individual)9. Failure to respect privacy10. Broken confidences (Griffin, 2004) 7
    8. 8. Overt Hostility Behaviors Name calling  Gossip Sarcasm  Shouting Bickering  Blaming Fault finding  Put-downs Back stabbing  Raising eye brows Criticism  Ignoring Intimidation 8
    9. 9. Covert Hostility Behavior• Unfair assignments • Whining• Eye rolling • Refusal to work with• Ignoring someone• Making faces • Sabotage (behind someone’s back) • Isolation• Refusal to help • Exclusion• Sighing • Fabrication • Criticism without recommendation 9
    10. 10. Hostile Behavior Can Include 1. Hostile Communication 2. Sabotage 3. Passive/Aggressive Behavior 4. Narcissism 10
    11. 11. Hostile Communication Examples • Inability to confront issues directly • Poor inquiry skills • CAPITAL LETTERS IN EMAIL SAYS, “I’m angry” • What about……….means, "There is more to be said but I am not telling” • Scathing e-mails from a co-worker – No restraint - speak exactly what they think or feel - “Off with their heads” – Cowardice (I won’t say this, I will write it) – Blaming (takes no responsibility for actions) – Brutally direct (no regard for others feelings) 11
    12. 12. SabotageAn act or process tending to hamper or hurt; deliberate subversion. “I will get you behind your back” A common behavioral issue in women-dominated workplacesMEECE , MICKEY ; Published: May 9, 2009New York Times, Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work 12
    13. 13. Sabotage Example• Mary does not like her co-worker Nancy who is very skilled and good at her job.• Mary does not tell Nancy about changes in the office that were discussed when she was not there. She purposely does not send her jobs to the print shop for completion of her project and does not tell her. When the materials do not come in, and Nancy does not understand the delay, Mary is silent. 13
    14. 14. How it plays out in work relationships• “Frienemies”• Exclusivity 14
    15. 15. Why Women?• Boys learn to act out aggression at an early age in play and sports, girls are often discouraged from doing the same DiCicio, Tony and Haacker, Colleen, PhD, (2002)• Girls tend to prefer “sameness” aka: one not developing, having or doing more Mean Girls Grown Up, Dellasega, , 2005 15
    16. 16. Why is it?• Women are taught to work for the welfare of the group, men are taught to focus on personal achievement• Women develop their identities in the context of relationships – who they are and how they feel about themselves often come from friendships and partnerships versus through pure self worth/esteem/value P. 21 Dellasega “Mean Girls Grown Up”, 2005 16
    17. 17. Facts• “Women are more likely to undermine and bully each other in the workplace than to target a man” (Heim, Murphy & Golant, 2010)• In a survey of 60 women, 73% said bullying in the workplace between adult women is “common” or “very common” (Dellasega, 2010) 17
    18. 18. Importance of Friendship• Men often report their best friend to be their female spouse or romantic partner which is less true for women Mean Girls Grown Up, Dellasega, , 2005 18
    19. 19. Self - Awareness• What are your relationships like with women?• How well do you manage stress and anger within yourself primarily and then with others? 19
    20. 20. How Will I Recognize It? The roles and how they playthemselves out through lateral violence?
    21. 21. The Bully• The seeds of this relationship style are most often planted in middle school• Bullies rarely recognize themselves as such 21
    22. 22. The Bully Characteristics • Poor self-esteem or egocentric • Angry – may feel threatened • Jealous • Someone treated them badlyPhoto source: • Poor coping and stress management • Wants to win 22
    23. 23. Assess yourself… Am I a Bully?1. I find it hard to create close relationships with women2. I have looked for ways to sabotage, intimidate or get ahead at any cost3. I am more likely to be irritated than intrigued by other women4. I often make the plans, call the shots without asking for input5. I cycle through co-workers, employees and friends quickly 23 Dellasega, Cheryl, Mean Girls Grown Up (2007) p. 33-34
    24. 24. If You’re a Bully Find opportunities to be assertive instead of aggressive Assertive in Conflict: Win/Win Aggressive in Conflict: I win/You loseIf your behavior hurts or takes advantage of another it needs to change 24
    25. 25. The Bystander• Stands by and watches while others are abused, shamed or mocked• Source of bully power: being a “passive-aggressive” partner• Longs for acceptance 25 Photo source:
    26. 26. Assess yourself… Am I a Bystander?• I enjoy being in the middle of drama• I use gossip as a way to connect with others• I look for ways to stay on the Bully’s good side and prefer to work behind the scenes 26
    27. 27. If You’re a Bystander• Walk away from the drama situation• Focus on problem-solving as a way to connect instead of gossipWhatever you put up with you promote 27
    28. 28. The Victim/TargetCommon targets – “Subordinates” – New hires • In a newly created position or replacement role – “Different” from everyone in environment – The “other” – Interns, graduate nurses 28 Photo source:
    29. 29. Assess Yourself… Are You a Target/Victim?• As a young girl I was the victim of other girls aggression• Strong women intimidate me• I will do anything to avoid conflict• I am in an entry-level role and have little power or say in my environment• I’m often suspicious of people speaking negatively about me 29
    30. 30. If You’re a Target/Victim• While the Bully lashes out as a “preemptive strike” to prevent others from hurting them, the Victim may believe the abuse is warranted (self- esteem, past experiences, role in organization)• It only continues if you believe you are deserving of the behavior. If you didn’t believe it, how would/should you react?• Report it to a leader or HR 30
    31. 31. Ways to Defend Yourself1) Be aware of it. Labeling it for what it is reduces its power over you. In other words, “call it out!”2) Accept that it is not normal behavior and you have every right to be treated as a valuable and respected professional.3) Manage your physical and emotional expression when you know you are getting upset or defensive.4) Remove yourself if necessary to calm down.5) Control your anger and stick to the facts.6) Document the interaction.7) Directly point out the inappropriate behavior, but don’t attack the bully.8) Inform your supervisor if you feel threatened. (Adapted from Broome, 2008) 31
    32. 32. Tips for Dealing with the Bully BossIf you decide to remain working for thisperson ask yourself: • How important is this job to you? • What can you tolerate? 32
    33. 33. Strategies for Moving Past The Bully Boss• Ignore the bait ~ the back handed compliment• Persist in your goal• Find alternate routes to success• Maintain a positive attitude• Keep the relationship professional• Connect with other women• Set boundaries 33
    34. 34. The Effects Bullying/Abuse• Feeling a sense of shame• Withdrawal from others• Avoiding stressful circumstances• Taking impact out on others• Taking impact out on yourself• Depressive symptoms like appetite or sleep changes• Anxiety/excessive worry• Burn-out/compassion fatigue• Using alcohol or drugs• Chronic stress and new health problems• Suicidal ideation or self-harm behaviors 34
    35. 35. Self Awareness• Have you ever been the target, bystander or bully?• What is your relationship style? Do you tend to be a target, bystander or bully, or have you been able to find a balance in healthy relationships that are encouraging and supportive? 35
    36. 36. Gender DifferencesWhy is lateral violence more common among women?
    37. 37. Anger Expression & Gender• For women, anger is a very confusing emotion that elicits feelings of hurt and disillusion. “Violations of a woman’s core values, beliefs, or principles provoke her angry feelings. But her anger, even when produced by a substantive violation, is often inhibited for fear of damaging relationships.” (Thomas, 2003, 104) 37
    38. 38. Anger Expression & Gender• When there is lack of reciprocity of feeling, a woman’s anger is usually triggered• Most women are taught as young girls that anger is unfeminine and unattractive; therefore, anger is often withheld until it seeps out as either passive and/or aggressive behavior that can be expressed as lateral violence Thomas, SP. 2003. Anger: the mismanaged emotion. MedSurg Nursing 12(2): 103-110. 38
    39. 39. Anger Expression & Gender • A man’s anger comes from a perceived affront to his sense of control and/or his views of right and wrong. When a man cannot gain back control, he tends to withdraw (Thomas, 104.) Thomas, SP. 2003. Anger: the mismanaged emotion. MedSurg Nursing 12(2): 103-110. 39
    40. 40. Passive- Aggressive• “The good twin/bad twin – both!”• Exerts control in the relationship• Keeps you off guard• Withholds information• Messages not received• Memory of convenience• Holds you responsible and they have no accountability or impact on the event• Silent then deadly 40
    41. 41. Passive• Avoid Conflict• “I will DISAPPEAR”• Apologetic, self-denying, “It’s ok, you can disregard me”• Ignores feelings to satisfy others, “I don’t mind, whatever you want.”• Will often feel like the “victim”• Underlying low self esteem, anger, frustration 41
    42. 42. Aggressive • I will win…always! • I dominate…Oh, in case you didn’t know…I dominate… always! • My opinion is most important always! • It is all about ME…always! • Every “always” is at the expense, degradation and humiliation of others – Hostile aggression – Manipulative aggression 42
    43. 43. Hostile Aggression• Making fun of a person amid a group• Purposefully bumping into someone• Name calling – Behavior witnessed on Jersey Shore, Basketball Wives and the Desperate Housewives of Atlanta, Beverly Hills, etc… series 43
    44. 44. Manipulative aggression• Acting as a shoulder-to-lean-on and then spreading gossip about what was shared• Saying things that will sway a group or person to support disliking another person – Ex: taking a conversation about parenting out of context – Behavior witnessed on Jersey Shore, Basketball Wives and the Desperate Housewives of Atlanta, Beverly Hills, etc… series 44
    45. 45. Assertive• Expressing yourself and your rights without violating others – This is what I think – This is what I feel – This is how I see this situation – This is my experience• Gives and receives respect, demands fair play , leaves room for compromise when right• Goes for win/win in conflict 45
    46. 46. Gender Differences: Ways People LeadMen Women• Lead by command and • Share power and information control (military approach)• Exchange rewards for • Enhance others’ self-worth service rendered• Rely on positional power • Encourage participation (hierarchical)• Action orientation • Get others excited about their• Analytical, linear thinking work ________________ Judy Rosener, Ph.D., Harvard Business Review, 1990 46
    47. 47. Gender Diversity Men Women• Communicate to • Communicate for “Rapport.” “Report”, compete, and • Communicate to collaborate win. and build community.• Communication is a • Prefer to reach results contest. gradually. Seek to affirm• Get to the point quickly. relationship. Seek results now. 2007, HumanNext LLC 47
    48. 48. Managing Workplace Bullying• Zero tolerance toward violence, bullying, etc...• Policy that protects employees from retribution if they report violent or aggressive behavior• Reinforce problem solving and relationship management practices (policy must be acted upon/implementable)• Leaders should address the behavior immediately and in a respectful manner with the only bias being toward “truth” 48
    49. 49. Managing Workplace Conflict• Provide workshops and resources for staff on constructive and positive communication• Encourage team-building – Provide exercises for people to get to know each other – Develop team best practices together• Call it out – When its positive (praise it) when its negative (redirect it) 49
    50. 50. Do Not Tolerate(Can’t just go along to get along) • Remember: If you permit it, you promote it! So: • Confront Secrecy • Engage Shame • Speak up and call out Silent WitnessImprove your communication: Develop Assertion 50
    51. 51. Feedback Model S- B- I- RSituation - Articulate the context & frequency of behaviorBehavior - Provide Data and/or an observable descriptionImpact - How are you, team or organization effectedRecommendation - What will improve the situation 51
    52. 52. Ways to Receive Feedback1. Focus on the message2. Listen calmly, don’t interrupt3. Ask questions of clarification4. Acknowledge the other person’s concern5. Avoid over explaining6. Welcome suggestions7. Leave with an agreed upon plan/next steps to ensure mutual understanding 52
    53. 53. If you want to go fast… go alone.If you want to go far… go with others. African Proverb 53
    54. 54. Small Group ReflectionThink about a positive experience you have hadworking with a woman/women.1. What type of communication style was practiced?2. How did you experience a sense of team or inclusion?3. What other elements of the interaction made it positive for you?4. Do you feel that you use the same/similar approaches when communicating with others?5. Is there one thing that you can do differently starting today that will advance collaborative, positive encounters with women and reduce/eliminate lateral violence? 54
    55. 55. References1. American Nurses Association. 2006. Background Report: Workplace Abuse and Harassment of Nurses. Silver Spring, MD:ANA2. Belenky, Mary, Clinchy, Blythe, Goldberger, Nancy Tarule, Jill, (1997) Womens Ways Of Knowing: The Development Of Self, Voice, And Mind , Basic Books3. Broome, B. (2008). Dealing with sharks and bullies in the workplace. ABNF Journal, Winter 2008, 19 (1), 28-30.4. Dellasega, Cheryl PhD, (2007) Mean Girls Grown Up, Wiley5. Dellasega, Cheryl PhD, (2011) When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Overcoming the Cycle of Nurse Bullying, Sigma Theta Tau International6. DiCicio, Tony and Haacker, Colleen, PhD, (2002) Catch Them Being Good: Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Coach Girls7. Farrell, GA. 2001. From tall poppies to squashed weeds: Why don’t nurses pull together more? Journal of Advanced Nursing 34(1): 26-33.8. Felblinger, D. (2008). Incivility and bullying in the workplace and nurses shame responses, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing; March 2008, Vol. 37 (2) p234-242.9. Griffin, Martha. 2004. Teaching cognitive rehearsal as a shield for lateral violence: An intervention for newly licensed nurse. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 35(6): 257-263.10. Haselhuhn, Michele R. RN, BSN, MSN, CCRN, CEN, EMT-P (2005) Adult Bullying Within Nursing Workplaces: Strategies to Address a Significant Occupational StressorUniversity of Michigan School of Nursing11. Hadikin, Ruth and O’Driscol, Muriel(2001) The Bullying Culture, Books for Midwives12. Heim, Pat PhD, Murphy, Susan PhD MBA, and Golant, Susan (2003) In the Company of Women: Indirect Aggression Among Women: Why We Hurt Each Other and How to Stop, Tarcher13. Kettering Sincox, Ann and Fitzpatrick, Michelle RN, MS, CPNP, Lateral violence: Calling out the elephant in the room, Michigan Nurses Association Nursing Practice/Lateral Violence.14. Meece , Mickey; Published: May 9, 2009 New York Times, Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work15. McKenna, BG, Smith, NA, Poole, SJ, and Coverdale, JH. 2003 Horizontal Violence: Experiences of registered nurses in their first year of practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing 42(1): 90-96.16. McMillan, I, 1995. Losing control. Nursing Times 91, 40-43.17. Rowell, Patricia, PhD, RN, 2008, Lateral Violence: Nurse Against Nurse18. Workplace Bullying Institute. (2007). 2007 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey. Retrieved March 23, 2009 from 55