Why you need to have the courage to call out bad behaviour

  • Calling out bad behaviour can incite fear.
  • But not addressing poor behaviour in the workplace can see a culture of disrespect, fear and low trust develop.
  • This article provides some techniques to address the neurological and physiological reactions associated with fear.

Little boy dressed in corporate clothes with steam coming out of his ears

As leaders, it’s a sad fact that at some point you will come across someone who is behaving badly in the workplace. It may be someone who speaks poorly about another person or actively participates in office gossip. Perhaps it’s someone who is rude and disrespectful to you or one of your team members during a meeting or conversation. It may even be someone who is bullying or intimidating another person into doing something they’re uncomfortable with.

Experiencing this kind of behaviour in the workplace needs to be called out yet so often it isn’t. To call someone on their poor behaviour is frightening and very uncomfortable for most people, and it’s even uncomfortable to watch. It takes courage to do it, and part of the reason it’s so often not done, is because of the fear of potential consequences. Will you damage the relationship with this person? Will you be perceived as the one who is behaving poorly? Will you lose your job, particularly if the person is in a higher position to you? All very real fears. And fear is a curious thing.

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