Seems pretty obvious, right?  Bullying is a behavior.  The cool thing about bullying as a behavior is that the paradigms of behavior apply.  We know, through years of research and application, that;

  1. Behavior meets a need.
  2. As long as that need is met, the behavior will not change.
  3. A behavior does not just stop.  It has to be replaced.

In my opinion, this frees up some thinking about how exactly bullying can be approached and creates it as something that can be eradicated, eliminated, made the exception to the rule.

It has become clear that one of the most dangerous mindsets related to bullying behavior is the idea that “kids will be kids.”  There’s a benign acceptance of it within the workplace as if it were just furniture. I have heard time and again that, ‘you know we can’t get rid of bullying…’

There is a pervasive idea that bullying is part of childhood and part of societal fabric. It just “happens.” As such, it can’t be eliminated.

Remember that once such things as polio and small pox were also seen as pervasive, inevitable, and unable to be eradicated.  They led to death and debilitation.  Our society didn’t accept those as a continuing reality.  Why should we accept, then, that bullying is something we can’t eliminate?

It is true that bullying is not something that is cured by a silver bullet or the hero riding in with a sultry voice, “I’ll save you!”  There’s not a vaccine that creates immunity. It requires investment of time and money and willingness.

As individuals, communities, schools, and corporations it will require new mindsets, new skills, strategies applied in new ways, and a new acceptance of what the reality of life without bullying can look like.  But WE can do it, TOGETHER.

Are you with me?  Comment below…..

With Respect,

Leah Kyaio

Leah is actively engaged in Educational Consulting, providing Professional Development Training, Executive Coaching & Consulting, Instructional Coaching & Mentoring, and Organizational Development. All of her work is through the lens of creating environments of equity and respect where learning is fun and functional. Contact her for more information about what she has to offer.