byrne·dean is proud to support the campaign to raise awareness of the impact of bullying in all walks of life. As an organisation we help our clients to create kinder, fairer, more productive workplaces and so this campaign has particular relevance to our work and belief systems.
In a previous job I hired out venues to the public. As a goodwill gesture, we used to give free hire to internal staff members. This often proved tricky as our venues were usually full and we had targets to meet so, generally, had to give priority to paying customers over colleagues.
One day we had an ‘internal hirer’ call our office, they were very angry as their booking had been cancelled. I was sitting next to my colleague who received the call and I could hear the shouting through her handset. Not only that, I could also see the physical affect that it was having on her. I believe the conversation then got personal and my colleague terminated the call. After the call I could tell that my usually bubbly co-worker was visibly shaken and upset.
As my colleague was describing the events to us, a more senior member of our team overheard the conversation and was shocked by what she heard. She immediately called the angry internal hirer back. She was perfectly pleasant to them but was also clear in her language, telling the internal hirer that she should not speak to any members of the team like that again and that she needed to consider that as a team we were doing our best to be fair. The conversation only lasted a few minutes, the internal hirer apologised to my colleague and from that moment, when the internal hirer in question called our office again she was always friendly and polite.
I do not remember the exact details of the conversations however, what really stood out about this whole incident was how having a colleague stick up for you can make all the difference. You do not have to go out of your way or be brash or offensive to stand up for a colleague who is being bullied just a few kind words can make all the difference. As someone watching these events unfold, the intervention also had a huge positive impact on me.