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Verbal Sticks and Stones

Photo by Rich Johnson

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can also harm you.

Be careful with words, the scars they cause may not be visible but they are real, words can cause real damage.

People may appear strong and able to cope, but what is going on beneath the surface may not be apparent, and you do not know what demons people are struggling with.

Being told to “get over it” or “harden up” are not helpful statements especially if you have been brave enough to reveal a problem. Yes, we need a reminder from time to time it doesn’t matter what others think about you (or me); but, if you are struggling, you need support and encouragement, at times even professional assistance.

We all can struggle with self-esteem or self-worth issues at some point in life, some people are more obvious with letting it be known, and others just hide it away. The trigger points are different for everyone and you may not understand what your own triggers are.

Words can have permanent consequences for people. You never know how close to the edge someone is, or what they are going through. so be very careful.

Let your words build up and not destroy.

Paul S Allen

I am not a stranger to being bullied, as a child, teenager and as an adult. It has been in the form of words and insults, intimidation, threats and physical attacks.  Coming to a new country as a child with a different accent, just not being the same as others, or being quiet and shy or for no apparent reason at all. What ever the reason given, there is no valid reason to bully anyone, ever.

New Zealand support services

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 – 24 hour service

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

For an emergency if you or someone else is at risk, call 111

Powerful photos illustrate real damage done verbal abuse

The image above is one of a few photos that are a great visual representation on the power that words can have.

Be aware some of the images, although staged, may cause a reaction in you and may not be suitable for sensitive people or children.


 Stand up together –  Stop Bullying – Pink Shirt Day this Friday – 23 May 2014

Apparition in Chingford Park 2

Poor Management Culture

The WatersideI have recently read an article re-published by Manufacturing NZ (a part of Business NZ) with the title of “Three types of people to fire immediately“.

It would have to be one of the most appalling articles on how to manage staff I have seen. To suggest you should immediately fire an employee because they disagree with you or have their own opinion, is not only poor management practice, but in NZ would leave the employer open to a personal grievance case being lodged against them.

To have this practice endorsed by a supposedly leading business organisation reveals how deep-seated bullying behaviour is in some organisations.

I note that on the page where that article is posted there is no legal disclaimer, so could they be held responsible if someone just followed what was proposed there?

There are ways to manage/lead difficult people and doing it well can win loyal staff out of strong objectors. Even if you can not win them over you can not, in any way, sense or form, just dismiss them on the spot. There is a formal procedure to follow to manage staff performance and in New Zealand the Department of Labour has clear guidelines to follow. The Department of Labour  also operates under the guiding principles of  good faith, good reason and fair process. Get it wrong as an employer,  prepare to face the Department of Labour for mediation or legal action.

My advice to you if you have difficulties with staff is this… Follow the Department of Labours guidelines if you don’t know what they are call them  0800 20 90 20 (in NZ) … get independent assistance, get legal advice, be honest, factual, objective, tactful, allow time to think (for yourself and the employee) before decisions are made, allow for the employee to also have representation(support or legal) at any meetings. At all times respect the staff member there is no excuse for putting undue pressure on someone to resign, in fact this could also lead to personal grievance case to be laid.

There is no place for bullying in the workplace from peers or from employers.

Paul S Allen

Please note my disclaimer on this page as well

The information supplied here is not meant to replace professional legal, financial or health advice. By using this information supplied you acknowledge that it is done at your own personal, legal and financial risk.


The information and comments on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of any organisation that I am employed by or that I am associated with.

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