In the words of the immortal Michael Jackson song, I want every person who feels isolated at work and as if they might be the victim of discrimination or bullying to know that they are not alone.
As part of my purpose to amplify the voices of others and to shine the light on these shady employment practices I have written an article to highlight how victimisation can take hold in an organisation through a combination of factors that create an ecosystem where victimisation thrives. One of my firsthand experiences of victimisation is shared below. It explains why at this stage in my career and life I want to do more not just talk about it.
As a D&I consultant and someone who experienced some horrifically lousy behaviour from line managers especially early in my career I know how difficult it can be to face these issues alone. I remember having a line manager who favoured the white members of the team and ensured that they received training and support to progress their careers while I was expected to do menial team roles despite being the same grade as my colleagues. I was told I would liaise with the support staff as they were my “type” of people (presumably mostly ethnic minority and relatively junior) and he often berated me if I was too slow at learning the new IT system even pulling the mouse away from me on occasion while tutting loudly. Finally, enough was enough, and I requested a transfer sharing with a few trusted colleagues my reasons for leaving. The Group Manager called me to his office and suggested we go for a walk to “catch up.” On our walk, he told me that he had heard rumours that my request for transfer was due to my treatment at the hands of this line manager. I nervously confirmed to him that the rumours were correct. Nervous because I thought this might be the start of an investigation and I knew I would have to find the strength to confront this man. Instead, the group manager thanked me for my candour and for leaving without making a fuss and a mess for him to deal with. I left a week later. The shortest ever transfer window. Moreover, as I left, I vowed never to collude with a tormentor.
The Cocoon Club
So, what am I going to do to be part of the solution? My article and responses to it have provided the catalyst for me to launch a new service through my coaching practice. Named after my self-help book series the Cracked Cocoon and recognising the transformation that takes place when a caterpillar emerges from a cocoon. The Cocoon Club provides the opportunity for people to contact me for up to 3 one to one support telephone calls to discuss their experiences and gain an objective view about their experiences without initiating formal conversations with lawyers, ACAS (in the UK) or HR teams. Although if they have already started proceedings, they can still access the support.
I offer this free, impartial service to help individuals to gather their thoughts and decide whether they want to make a formal complaint or take alternative actions such as a job change to resolve their situation or just to be a listening ear and sounding board.
If more sustained support is needed, then I offer a coaching support service which can run alongside formal proceedings to ensure that you get the pastoral care required to build your resilience and support your wellbeing. This service is 100% confidential and charged at a reduced rate and subject to discounts depending on personal circumstances.
To get in touch with me about how I can help drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org