Leaders are in a unique position to change the culture of their school, their workplace or their team. Here are 5 things group or team leaders leaders can do to reduce and eliminate bullying.
The good news is that bullying can be stopped. To get it to stop, bystanders, or people who witness bullying, need to step up to get it to stop. What can you as a leader do to reduce or eliminate bullying in your school or club? Here are 5 tips that will help you as a leader end bullying.
1) View everyone compassionately. Everyone you meet has their own story and experiences. Your job as a leader is to find out what makes everyone the unique individual they are and what strengths they bring to the team.
2) If someone is shy, withdrawn or different from everyone else, don’t assume you know why or that you won’t like them. Make an effort to get to know them. You and they will be glad you do.
3) Words matter. People who trash talk about others are usually doing so because they are nervous and afraid and the trash talk is a way to help themselves feel more in control than they really feel. Don’t allow it. If someone says something mean about someone else, simply say – that isn’t nice while looking the offender directly in the eye. Do this every time and the problem will stop.
4) In every group there are loud confident people and shy quiet people. Make sure to create space and invite the shy people to give their opinion. Just because someone is quiet and observant doesn’t mean they don’t have something to add to your discussion. They just need to be invited and given the space to do so. Some people aren’t willing to compete with others, and those are usually the people with the best ideas. So, make sure that everyone is given a chance to comment.
5) If you witness someone being bullied or harassed, make it your responsibility to get it to stop. Tell the bully that what they are doing is wrong and that they need to stop. Report it to a teacher or other adult. Bullies bully because they can. It only takes one person with the courage to stand up for the victim to help others find the courage to do so as well.
Bullying can only be stopped when the leaders stop it by simply not tolerating it ever. Every incident of bullying needs to be reported to get it to stop.
How active are you as a leader? What do you do when you witness bullying on your team or on another team?