Following on from yesterday’s post about standing up to bullies it occurred to me that bullying can be more subtle and widespread than we assume. And we all give in to it.
Every time we put someone down for talking rubbish it is a small act of bullying. It makes them feel small and us feel more powerful.
This happens all the time at work. That pervasive tone of disapproval so cultivated by managers who see their job as saving their organisations from people who talk rubbish.
You might argue that that is their job. To keep everything tidy and organised. The thing as that we have got so good at making our organisations look tidy, at reducing the levels of noise, that we have also driven out the signal. We are so afraid of talking rubbish that we are constantly at risk of saying nothing.
We need to practise. We need to say more. Some of which will be rubbish. If we don’t get used to talking rubbish more often we will learn to keep quiet. We will learn to say nothing, and will all lose as a result.
We need to learn to be more tolerant of other people’s rubbish – including our own.