There is an important difference between behaving abusively and providing constructive feedback on abusive behavior. Distinguishing between bullying behavior and bullies is an important step in eliminating horizontal and vertical violence in healthcare and anywhere else!We must be vigilant in setting limits on poor behavior while showing compassion to offenders. Click To Tweet
When Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter he used humiliating language, tone, and gestures. His behavior was disrespectful. It is an example of classic bullying behavior and all the more so because of his position of power with his audience.We must be vigilant in setting limits on poor behavior while educating offenders about respect. Click To Tweet
When Meryl Streep commented about it at the Golden Globes 1/8/2017, she used ownership language and spoke to his behavior. Please watch this video carefully and note that she is not calling Mr. Trump names or attacking him as a person. She is owning how his actions impacted her i.e. referring to it as a performance “…[that] sunk a hook into my heart…”! She speaks to his abuse of power, how disrespect invites disrespect, and how effective he was at getting others to laugh with him at the reporter. Her voice crackles with heartfelt emotion and conviction. Speaking up against bullying is courageous bystander behavior and essential for stopping it.
When Donald Trump responded, he called her names (attacking her!) and ignored the feedback, more bullying behavior.
I advocate for a “No Innocent Bystanders” approach to addressing bullying in healthcare and in our society at large. And with that in mind, “Thank you, Meryl Streep for speaking up so respectfully and clearly against inappropriate behavior”!
If you’d like to develop your assertiveness check out this new workshop from the Portsmouth Improv Learn Lab: PILL. The Art & Science of Speaking Up!