9/23/2015 12:58:51 PM ET
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Just give us one moment. Let's start again I am hoping you can hear me clearly and that our closed captioner is able to capture the data is starting now. Again, welcome and thank you for joining us for NRCS. Thank you for being here to listen to this presentation and hopefully learn something about this trend we are seeing so much and able to navigate it with a little more success. A little housekeeping before we begin and that is if you can focus your eyes to the top of the screen for Live Meeting I want to direct you to some of the tools available to you today. First and foremost a let's go to the very are right and you see the back button, a little green square. That indicates you are hearing well, everything going smoothly which is great. If something changes, click on that drop down menu and select a different color. That will indicate to me something is happening, and I will try to assist you. If you go to the left you will see a piece of paper that is yellow, that is for no keeping. We don't typically use that but afraid to access that if you need to if we need to table somethings or address something in the parking lot, you can use that. I don't think we will but [ indiscernible ]. To the left you see three stacks of white paper. If you click on that icon, you will see the presentation it has been uploaded and you can download directly to your system. You will see some information on mediation and ADR as well. Just tools and information to share with you. To keep going across the ribbon, again moving across the left, I want to remind you again the session is being recorded so NRCS can access the recording for those not able to attend today and provide the link for future use and access if you continue to the left you will see a Q&A section, for questions. We will address your questions at the very end of the webinar. But feel free to login there to ask your questions and that should be about it. That is all you will see at the top of your screen. Focusing back on the presentation, this webinar is entitled the bully at work based on a book written by Gary Namie, entitled what you can do to stop the hurt and reclaim your dignity on the job. An excellent book and I highly recommend it. As you can imagine this webinar is structured to be held for an hour. It is only a snapshot of the wealth of information in that book. If something resonates with you today, I encourage you to gain access to that book. It is on Amazon and other formats. You will be able to see more detailed information there. About this topic. Let's get started. Bullies at work. What is their main goal? What we know, again, based on the data identified is that it is an attempt to control people. There is a lot of reasons why, and we will talk about some of the other behaviors and reasons and examples later in the presentation. But we know that overall, the overarching goal is to control the target. You get to take them out of a position where they are able to limit them so they are not a threat to them or even if they feel the target is more confident than them, it is a way to control the target, surrounding or environment. And there is a lot of tactics bullies use to do this answer as control. That their goal as part of the control is to shame and and humiliate and treat the target like they are powerless, not able to change the situation or better the situation and so that way that is how they gain control, to actually in part that humiliation and chain -- change on the target. There is a note on the side, in the book Gary -- Gary Namie refers to people who are affected by bullies as victims the belief is that a victim is a negative on a patient and somehow implies the person is powerless and not able to change their situation but it is important to -- everyone to know that why you may be targeted by these behaviors you are fully empowered to seek help. I am hoping that this presentation will allow for ideas and how to get that help.
We know workplace bullying is a serious threat. We know it impacts us as individuals in a profound way. We also know that it impacts our coworkers, our team. It impacts the overall group you are working with and the agency as a whole. You will see in a lot of different ways. It is really important to note we should be able to come to work with no fear of being threatened, no fear of danger. We should not come to work and be traumatized by the behaviors around us, but we are seeing, what we ourselves are being impacted by. We should be able to healthy and happy in the workplace. We should be able to come to work and have our civil rights intact so we are not targeted, based on our gender, race or any other protected category. We should be able to come to work and still feel dignified and feel we have our own self-respect and the respect of others intact. It is certainly something happening that will affect our home life and oftentimes it spills over into that. We are really adversely affected in the office many times and I think commonly we bring that home. It affects our home life. It shouldn't, but it does. It should not affect our morality, productivity, morale in the office. Again, it goes widespread. Also, to think from an agency perspective, if it's the agency at a liability when something is happening on an ongoing basis. We lose our skilled employees. We are not able to retain our talent because our talent realizes this is a situation that won't be resolved as quickly as it should be. Maybe it is too much to handle and because they are talented, they are able to seek other options and they can leave the agency. When something like this happens. Ultimately, it affects the reputation of the agency. None of these things -- we don't want this to happen. We don't want this threat to affect the person, the team or agency as a whole. Definitely something serious.
What we know also based on the information in the book is that bullying behavior is in three main categories. These are the origins of bullies. Again there is a lot of different types of characteristics. We will talk about that later. That there is a believe there is three main origins. The first is the chronic bully. This bully is the person who has always been a bully. This is a person who was a bully when they were six or seven years old, on the playground. This is the person you dreaded seeing when you went to recess. You hoped you would not bump into them in the lunch line, because that is their behavior as a whole. It dominates the staff at work. They dominate a waitress in a restaurant. They are just -- that is their overarching behavior. Oftentimes this person, their motivation is at -- to deflect from their own aquatic sees worth as a husband or wife or whatever the case may be. Because they are feeling inadequate and incompetent they exert that dominance to control the situation that they want to maintain how things are viewed and how they are viewed by others. As you can imagine this can be serious. As you can imagine it is difficult in trying to work the. This person's behavior has always been this way. Unfortunately, because it has worked for them in the past, they continue and again it stretches over every aspect of their life. It has been effective, it has worked there -- worked well for them. To give you an example of one we saw a few years ago, which was of course a serious situation, again with a chronic bully, there was a situation where there was a new employee entering the workforce here.
The staff was using this one cubicle as a common area, like we often do. When a printer would break or the coffee maker wasn't working, whatever the case may be, this one cubicle gathered all of that stuff. All of that junk. All the excess staplers and things. It became a gathering place. In anticipation of the new employee starting, the supervisor went to another employee, a fellow employee, about the new on border and asked for the employee to clear out that area. He had about it week to do it, the new employee would not come on until the following Monday so during this week's time could he please clear out the cubicle and make it ready for the new employee coming on board. So the employee absolutely agreed to do that, not a problem. In his mind, I have a week to do this I will take care of some things on my plate now and manage my time and I will work this in and make sure it is done before the end of the week. Which makes perfect sense, right? About midweek or so, the supervisor came around. The staff knew there was anger issues and other small negative interactions, where they knew there was some concern that had never really seen a major events until this particular morning. It was early in the morning, first thing the supervisor was entering the workspace, all of the employees for in their offices working in their cubicles. The supervisor passed by the cubicle that had yet to be cleaned out. And became enraged. Incredibly angry, lost his temper and went into the cubicle of the employee he had assigned the task to. And started berating the employee. Yelling, screaming, you could hear the employee was trying to back up into the cubicle to get more space. The fellow employee could hear the computer being shuffled aside and things falling. They could hear that there was essentially an altercation.
They could hear it was the supervisor and fellow employee. It was incredibly difficult for them. In some cases, traumatic for them to hear it, even though they weren't themselves being impacted directly. To hear their fellow employee being impacted in such a huge way was very difficult. The employee did a great job diffusing the situation, asking the supervisor to please calm down, asking to explain his position and timing and what he had been working on instead. The supervisor eventually did calm and leave the cubicle, but the damage had been done. And it was significant. The employee himself never called us, it was a man and the supervisor was a man and I think there was some pride there. Other employees surrounding that affected employee, the target, called. The only because they were fearful for him but fearful for themselves at this point. They all felt, goodness of this could happen to him, he could certainly happen to us. All of this -- all of them walked on eggshells, all of them wondering what would happen next and were filled for. Now the situation was handled off-line with employee relations. There was an ending, significant, handled seriously. a great thing. I want you to think about this as an example, that these things happen in the workplace. And the situation is an example of a chronic bully, the bully who exerts the dominance, exerts that type of behavior to get his weight and get something done. In that moment that he or she is expecting it.
Let's go to the next example. The next example is opportunistic bullies. This bully is a little different. This bully is one you would never expect to be a bully. This is not the person you bump into in the grocery store who snapped and bites your head off, this is the person road raging on the work, giving -- this is not that person you are bumping into and think this is a bully, a person you would never expect to be a bully. This is the person who in most cases is charming, supportive, a pillar of your church or other organization. Somebody on your soccer team. At data on your soccer team or something like that. Somebody you would not expect to have this behavior come about. What happens to the opportunistic bully is that they -- this behavior becomes prevalent for them when they feel threatened. When they feel as if a prime position or prime opportunity is -- he or she -- all of a sudden you become their competitor. You become their target. These behaviors come about just in those circumstances. When there is a sense of competitiveness. Again, the need to exert, I am competent, I have got this. To give you an example of this one, and this one again, all of them are [ indiscernible ] this one is not different.
There was a large conference call. These were all peers, all 14, 15, high level peers working on an incredibly visible project. So they would meet regularly. And talk about how things are moving, is their progression, are they doing well, hitting all their marks and targets. And move on to the next call and so on. This one particular call, I will give you a little background, the team felt as if this one person was dominated the conversation. Always going in this person's direction. This person was considered the lead in this effort, but the other parties felt that there was little opportunity for input. This one particular day, one of the peers decided to say, hey, have we considered this other option. Is this something we have looked at? and the lead in this case, an opportunistic bully, now that the switch has been turned on, fought hard and said are you questioning my authority? and the person said absolutely not I just want to make sure we are considering all of our options, heading the right direction, on the same page. And this person can this case it I don't appreciate you challenging me on this. I have been very clear I am leading this effort and if you want to talk about it more, we can take it outside right now, me and you. Now the person he was saying this too was a 70 -year-old woman. It were shocking to everyone on the call -- it was shocking to ever win on the call, as you can imagine the complete chilling effect. The had a tremendous impact on the target, as you can imagine. Even though they were hundreds of miles away from each other on a teleconference call, the threat still felt real in that moment. That somebody asked her to step outside. And again, the situation was handled, worked through it, just an example of what this type of situation could look like.
The next example is, the third origin of bowling, a substance abuse bully. This one is the most erratic if you will. The one that is unpredictable. This is one that can be dangerous and threatening. You don't know what this person is on or influenced by. It can be very frightening. You can suspect it may be alcohol, maybe drugs, but you don't know. And trying to figure out things that are happening, things can change very quickly. Again this can be one of the most dangerous of the bullies. To get the an example of this one -- to give you an example of this one, there was a situation where a high-level person in our agency was frustrated, working through a Monday morning, working through a situation with the help desk it did not go well. We have all been there. In this case, it went very wrong and the person became incredibly angered by not being able to get the help he was seeking. And slammed the phone, yelling and swearing and started taking things from his desk and throwing them across the room. Unfortunately there were people in the room. They were fearful. And actually took shelter from his outburst. Unfortunately, they had seen a pattern and there have been situations like this before. This was maybe the worst but they had seen his unpredictable mood swings. They had seen these dangerous behaviors and often wondered if there was something like a substance abuse situation that was affecting this person's behavior. Again, the situation was addressed. In this case, maybe not as fully as it should've been, but we will talk about some of those things how each of these cases are treated so differently.
So, where the bullies at work? the statistics are based on [ indiscernible ], a nationwide book. Not based on NRCS, not based on the Forest Service, this is based on nationwide as far as employment and supervisors and peers and employees. 72% of bullies are supervisors. And 20% of bullies are peers. Let's look at what bullying looks like. More statistics here. 45% of employees in the agency or organization feel like they have not seen or experiencing bullying. 12% have witnessed it, 24% have been bullied and 13% feel as if they are being bullied right now, currently in this moment. When it is witnessed, how? How is it being witness? 54% felt as if it was witnessed openly, just in the open. For example think about the opportunistic bully where it was a conference call. Everybody was present on that call. Everybody heard the words used, everybody heard the threat. 32% of the people surveyed said it was behind closed doors. It may have been with one or two people, maybe just with the other person, maybe during a one-on-one meeting, performance review or something like that, but behind closed doors. 10% felt it was overheard like the situation where it was wide open and the common area where there were cubicles. They did not see it that they could hear it. They could hear what was happening and surmise by the shelving of the desk and what was happening what was actually taking place around them. The targets of bullying. And this is important to pause on this one. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. They come in all genders. Male and FEMA. All races. -- male and FEMA -- no specific tape -- type. They control, dominate competent in all those things not based in gender, race or anything like that. We can point that out. Looking at just bullies, 30% of bullies are female. And in those cases they bully men 29% of the time. And they bully other women 71% of the time. 60% of the holies are male and they bully other men 54% of the time and women 46% of the time.
My sides are a little slow, I find myself advancing too quickly to compensate, I apologize. The turnover attributed to bullying. What happens. What happens when there is a situation going on. What does the target do? Try to navigate it, figure out the situation, what happens? Here are some statistics here. The target will quit 40% of the time. AB the Target Field as if I can't navigate this on my own anymore. Sometimes they feel it is too embarrassing to come forward. I don't think we hear from everyone who is going through this situation. There is embarrassment and shame. Humiliation like we talked about before. In some cases the target will choose to leave. The next one, the target is fired, that is 24% of the cases. You are may be thinking how is that possible? How is it that the person who had been targeted and adversely affected by these behaviors, how can they be fired? How does it happen? Let me pause on that and explain a situation that happened with us in our agency. There was a situation where there were two male peers. The one here was constantly targeting this other male peer, going for months and months. A lot of name-calling, just constant, every day, every single day something said or something done. A lot of it began -- a lot of it was very juvenile but it wore down the target, as you can imagine, over months. A nine or ten month period of time, a long time to be constantly picked on. So this one particular day, the target and the bully were walking out of the office at the same time. The bully starts in, starts picking and saying those things that he would say. On this particular day, the target had had enough and hit a critical point. The target hit the bully. And actually knocked him out, completely. I know some of you may be thinking well, it is about time, some of you would be thinking it was long overdue may be thinking the bully deserved it and I will be honest with you I thought the same exact thing. I honestly had. However, wait a minute, hold on, wait a second, now what happens I am thinking the target was on federal property. There has been so many things that led to that, so much history. The target still struck another federal employee on federal property. Unfortunately, that is what made the situation completely spotlighted.
Now it is wait a minute, what happened? There is a fight on site, what is happening, they are being separated, they are both looked at, all of these things. Come to find out all business forward absolutely the target has been bullied, we have seen it, witnessed it, heard it, tried to help, all these things but it did not change the fact that that event occurred on that date. While they were consequences for the bully, there were severe consequences for the target. Because the target is the person who struck him. If you think about that, in those moments when it is happening to you, you can never let somebody change who you are in that moment and make you be unprofessional or act outside your own character because you're retaliating or sticking up for yourself. Yet to find other, appropriate resources so you aren't affected by this more than the bully is -- has impacted you. You don't want your career or professionalism put in question because of this event. Just a pause on that one. 13% of the cases the target will transfer, that might be as a result of a situation, requesting a transfer, requesting to be separated. And 13% of the cases that does happen. And 22% of the cases the bully is punished. Again you might be thinking when a minute how is that possible? These things are happening, why isn't there more attention. Earlier, I think a large part is we are not hearing the full scope of what is happening. A lot of the targets don't come forward at a shame. Like I mentioned to you that very first example with the chronic bully. The actual target of that situation has never come forward. It is challenging for us as professionals when we are trying to help to look at that situation when the target refuses to come forward for whatever reason, fear, shame, humiliation.
Let's talk about some common types of bullies. We talked about the origins, chronic bully, opportunistic bully and the substance abuse bully, those are the origins, the main categories. But within those categories there are specific characteristics and let's talk about who those are, screaming Mimi is the person just in-your-face. Yelling and screaming, foul language, cursing. Maybe using their role and authority to dominate the situation. They are saying I'm your boss you will do what I tell you to do I don't care what is going on this is what I am telling you to do. The staff knows that there are angry outburst. Fear. This person will use intimidating gestures, they point fingers, right in-your-face. Slam items down, throw things and really again get in your space. Like we talked about with the two examples where the person was pushing their weight through the cubicle and the other person throwing staplers and those things. The person, the screaming Mimi is loud, abrasive, aggressive and sometimes scary. They also stop you and interrupt conversation. Like that didn't happen, they will minimize whatever happened and when you say no you push back. The person will threaten your job and maybe threatened disciplinary action. Gives you the fear of reprisal and retaliation. Again trying to control the situation, control who you talk to and what you share.
The other type is the constant critic. The person who is not as loud, not as aggressive, not in your face. The person still causing damage by putting you down, insulting you, name-calling, belittling comments, making you feel less than. Making you feel in adequate. As if you are not confident. And while this person may not be aggressive by throwing things and pushing you around, they are aggressive in the way the use eye contact, very direct. Very intent. They lock in on you in an unspoken gesture of know what is going on here and know what I am saying to you. This person will also make unreasonable demands. They give you tons and tons of deadlines. Impossible to reach. They send tons of e-mails so you can keep up, there is an unrealistic demand of your time. So many new jobs and tasks, again makes you feel overwhelmed. Make you feel shut down. May be disrespectful, may raise a different body language like grooming their nails her hair, one example I think I may have lost contact, money try to reestablish my VPN here. Give me just one second. -- I may have lost contact let me try to reestablish my VPN. Let me make sure you can still hear and see the presentation in front of you. Give me one second. I apologize, please standby. A little technical issue.
Standby on the line, hold tight while I try to regain connection here. It looks like we are getting back up here. Thank you for your patience. I am not sure what caused that to happen. If you are on the line, just standby. I am hoping you can hear me now? I apologize I am not sure we have a lot of folks on VPN today because of the increased telework for the event downtown this afternoon. I may have been kicked off there, I apologize for that. Again, this person will use signs of disrespect. There was a case I remember, years ago, where a person would go to their supervisor's office, when the supervisor requested time to speak the person would shine their shoes during the conversation. It was such a blatant disrespect. Just picking a moment on that. Holies are not always the supervisor. We talked about that a little bit. I have to tell you there have been many times I have received calls from supervisors who say I can't believe I am calling, I can't believe I am saying this to you but I am being bullied by my employee. He or she is doing this, these are their actions. Bullying can happen in all different directions and scenarios like a person shining their shoes when the supervisor is trying to have a serious conversation about work, tasks and assignments and so on.
This person also, when they attempt all these different ways of bullying, belittling, name-calling, insulting, inundating you with work and deadlines that are unreachable, if that is not successful, if you maintain the flow and you are successful, this person will then go to the next level and talk about your personal life and hit the low the belt, if you will. Which makes it incredibly challenging. You talk about your family, your kids, your partners, your home life and all those things, it gets serious and it gets real and he gets hurtful frequently. The next is the two headed snake. This person initially, when you first meet them, you feel as if you have a real ally in this person. This person can be a peer, supervisor, employee, any role you can imagine. The initial contact with them, you think this will be a great relationship, a perfect relationship. We are on the same page, I can confide in this person, share with what I am going through, I'm going something marital or childcare issues or some type of medical situation making it difficult for me to get my worked in, this person initially will seem as if they are there to help you, guide you and protect you. Sadly and unfortunately, this person is actually gathering information and Intel, if you will, and has every intention of breaching the confidentiality. They have every intention of using that information when it best suits them. For example big about the opportunistic holy and they are looking to get to that next opportunity. And they see you as a threat, if they see you as a competition, they may use that information to humiliate or shame you, to make you look bad in front of your supervisor or peers so you are no longer a threat. This is so incredibly hurtful. Again they make their own personnel file, gathering information. Taking credit for what you are doing. The intention here is to discredit you. And they are gathering information, to have it ready when needed.
The next one is the gatekeeper. This person is bullying and using bullying tactics in a way to ice you out, to ice the target out so the target is not aware of what is happening. As a result does not look competent. This person may know the meeting has been changed perhaps a date has changed or location has changed. When you show up two or three days early or late, what are you doing? Did you hear, get the news? What is happening. This happens more than once, what is happening is it is making you look like you do not know what is going on, you are incompetent. You are not in touch with what is happening in the office. It creates the perception of incompetence. This person will also make it very difficult for somebody who has a disability, or returning to work after surgery or some type of issue. They will not allow for reasonable accommodations even though it is the law because they don't want it to be easier for you. They wanted to be harder for you. They want you to have a difficult time. Ultimately they want you to look bad as a person. This person won't follow NRCS policy or practice. They have their own and they will hold you to it as if they have the right to do that. As it they can create their own policies or practices. Again, you try to do the right things in the targets just try to keep the piece and do all the right things to make it work, this person will throw in their own new role on a whim -- new rule on a whim to make it impossible for that target to achieve. Ultimately the goal. The goal of really all of the bullies in some way, to control, to manipulate, to discredit, to shame and for you not to succeed. Actually when they see you again,, competition. That threat. For competency.
Keeping all these in mind, keeping origins in mind, keeping different types in mind, I want to share with you what we see most often for tactics bullies use. Verbal abuse 53% of the time. Threats, intimidation and humiliation 53% of the time and keep in mind sometimes we see all of these things used at once. We see the bully do a lot of these things such as one of these, a combination in a lot of cases. 45% of the time you see the bully will interfere with performance of their target. Either they try to make the target look bad, they share falls and erroneous information with the supervisor or peers to make them look bad. They try to interfere with the performance of the target. Again icing out communication. Those types of things. 47% of the time abuse of authority. You will see where there is new rules, practices not use, they are not allowing for reasonable accommodations. Abuse of authority and 47% of the cases. And 30% of the cases they tried to actually affect your other relationships. When you think about distraction of the relationship, we are we're not talking about the relationship between the target and the bully, that has clearly been broken. That has been damaged, long since been damaged. The bully will often try to go out and isolate the target so the target doesn't have resources and doesn't have the support system so necessary during something like this. An attempt to discredit the target with their friends. Maybe starting rumors, saying things untrue in her old to damage those relationships around the target.
The top ten things we see him the target is blamed for errors. Unreasonable job demands, criticism of competency and ability. Again, a consistent and compliant -- inconsistent compliance with rules. They threaten job loss, retaliation, fears and concerns. Insults and putdowns, they begin to humiliate, shame, discredit the person. They deny the accomplishments of the target even take credit for them themselves. Or they deny the target even finished the work, or deny it even happen. They ice out the target, the person feels excluded, isolated. Yelling, screaming and again stealing credit. These is the tenth one. You may be sitting there thinking am I being bullet -- bullet? the this sounds so familiar I have seen this, I heard this maybe my coworkers have this happening my supervisor has this happened. Something to think about when you are waiting this and it is going through your mind. Do you feel sick the night before you go to work? I have shared an example in a previous webinar where I was in a strange situation looking back it probably was a bullying tactic by a person in leadership. A really incredibly uncomfortable situation. But every day on my drive to work, I would get to this one stop sign. And the stop sign, I have about it 30-mile or 35-mile commute. This one stop sign was about a mile away from the office, I was close at this point. Every day when I got to that stop sign I would fill physically ill. I could feel the blood draining from my face. I would get cold and clammy. My stomach would turn and I would be anxious and nervous. Uncomfortable. I would know I am almost there. What is going to happen today? Is this the day it will escalate? This is the day the other shoe will fall? I will tell you over time, because I love the situation and resolved far too long, because I was uncomfortable. I did not know how to approach it. It worsened because I did not approach it. I did not try to address it. Every day when I hit that stop sign feelings for more and more intense until finally I really had no option other than addressing it because I was honestly missing more work, calling in, take another assignment, doing everything I could do to avoid it. A new episode of Ali for a had to do something do you ever feel that way? On your way to work when you get close even the Sunday before the start of the week you start to feel upset or anxious?
Or demands at home feel more challenging. Are you feeling frustrated by those obligations because you come home from work and you are more impatient or upset or you have all these things on your mind. Are you feeling ashamed about what is happening because you are controlled by another person at the job and it is uncomfortable and awkward to talk about? Are you using time off like I did? Are you using that for a mental health break or because you can't face it that day, earning your leave to try to avoid the situation? On those days you take off to avoid it are you exhausted, lifeless, home trying to process what is going on. Has it left you feeling more agitated or more anxious? Other symptoms we know happen, when we are at the job and feeling targeted, we are having a hard time concentrating because we are thinking about where is that person. Where did they go. Is this going to be the day. Am I going to be embarrassed in front of my friends. Thinking about all the possibilities, you're not productive. Your concentration, as you can imagine is completely affected. In a lot of cases loss of sleep. You stay up thinking about it, tired, stressed, more irritable. Cases of posttraumatic stress disorder in that first case they shared with you, where people could hear it and they were scared. A few of them are being treated for PTSD because it was very difficult to hear and feel so helpless in that situation. Where they could hear their coworker being attacked in a sense. There is other mood swings. Happy, sad, change very quickly. Are you more indecisive. Folks who report clinical depression, increased nightmares, feeling shame, embarrassment, guilt. In some cases unfortunately even some folks have talked about more self-destructive behavior, turning to alcohol or drugs to self medicate and cope with this situation because they have trouble navigating it on their own.
When we start processing, we start thinking there is something wrong. It is affecting me. And affecting me in tangible ways from my health is affected I am concerned my professionalism is affected. When you start processing that, it is common to start denying it. The first thing we say, simple denial we say no, this isn't happening, this can't be happening. I work at this great agency, this couldn't be happening, it is just not. In some cases simple denial. The person is saying to themselves, even when their friends or peers her coworkers had heard it, seen it and come to them and said are you okay. The person will say I am fine. Nothing. That wasn't bad. After that minimizing comes in. The person will say Bob got out of hand today but it is one of those days. It is all right, not a big deal. We just got overblown. It will be fine, tomorrow will be a new day. Sometimes we rationalize it and say, well, the thing about it is, Mary ask this way. After a long weekend because she is going through a divorce. Something bad happened at home, she is unhappy. I am sure it is that, I am sure it is not because of me I am sure it is -- it is these things happening on. We rationalize it try to give the person a pass in a sense. Sometimes we intellectualize it and say, yes this is bad. There are serious things going on here but I have a job and in this climate for culture I am lucky to have one so I will write it out and see if this goes away and gets better. In a lot of cases we do all of this. We go through every single stage of this, go through every one of these. You don't want to believe it is possible. What we do know is, like I shared with you, when we don't do something, it worsens. It intensifies. It does give the bully pass. And the bully does continue. Oftentimes, ramps up the behavior. The person doesn't think that was nice of them to give me a pass I will take it easy on them know the person is thinking this is even easier than I thought it could be. They can almost -- it almost is a license to continue and intensify behavior. We have to think about what can we do to address it.
If you think about this from a coworker standpoint or supervisor, peer or friend. If you are thinking you have seen this and you want to reach out and help, think about in what way you can give support. If you are viewing this, you want to reach out to this person, think about these things. First and foremost, avoid criticism. I can tell you in cases I have heard when the target has called and my peers are helpful but they have said you know you can't say that. What did you say to see today what did you do, what did you say? The about it is, in that moment, we are trying to help, trying to understand as peers, friends and coworkers. But when we asked those questions, we almost place the blame on the target. We are saying what did you do to cause this. What did you do to trigger Mary. What did you say, what did you do? We are placing blame instead of affirming them and saying what happened is wrong. What can I do to help you. Are you okay. Can I get you in touch with somebody. Can I drive you home, go for a walk, go to lunch? Try to affirm. This had to be upsetting, let's talk about this. Again try to avoid blame and shame. Let me tell you something, the target is already going through that. They are already thinking what did I do. I was trying to be careful. I am walking on eggshells what did I say today I am trying to avoid these things? They are already going through that process. If you are asking the question if piles it on.
Also, the patient. Listen at the target's pace and that may be really fast. Processing what is happening, sharing with you, it may be really fast paced. Listen patiently. If they get quiet, they are probably processing. Thinking about it, allow them quiet to let their thoughts take over. They are thinking it through, what they can do, what they said what they can do next. Went it is the right time make sure when you speak up and say hey, let's go for a walk, let's talk about this that there is empathy and caring in your voice. They know you are coming from a good place. There is safety in that moment, somebody who empathizes in that moment. That they have a voice. Again, and them -- a safe environment to talk about what happened. If they say I can't talk about it, this is too much than say okay, when you are ready let's talk about this. Let's get out of here for a minute or so. Go for a walk with them. Let them vent, let them share. If you feel comfortable and it is appropriate, talk about something you yourself have experienced. This is also and this is what happened to me one time and this is what I did. Talk about maybe some options if you feel comfortable doing that.
After that person has invented with somebody they feel safe with, again up here, supervisor, coworker. Somebody like us in civil rights were they call, trying to option build, trying to get a handle on the situation and know what their options are. It is now time to think about what is the next step. the next step in a lot of cases is take action. The first step is to name it. Call it what it is. Because in this book you will see oftentimes when we call it what it is, when we say I was just a lead or I think I was just harassed, that felt like a threat. I feel emotionally abused or whatever that felt like for you in that situation as a target, call it that. Name is that. Say it. There is research that shows once you name it something, you call it what it is for you in your situation, the Celtic Flame stops. Now you are focusing on the problem that is bullying. You're not thinking about what did I do to deserve that. What did I do to create this situation. The second step is to take time to think about it. Now you know what it is. You identified and you have made it you said I am being bullied. This is what it is. So now assessing. Think about reaching out to get some additional help. Is it important for you to go to EAP, employee assistance program. You talk about it with somebody outside EAP and think about how it has affected you emotionally perhaps. Should that -- PTSD that we talked about the need to get someone in the mental health profession to help you. Think about your physical health. Talk to your Dr.. Have you had more stress, have you gained weight do you have higher blood pressure. Other physical things manifesting itself because of the stress you have been under. Get checked out. Also, know your rights.
Gain some knowledge about what you can do. This is specific to the Forest Service. I know at our area here too but certainly within NRCS civil rights program, check in with them. Check with your union, your human resources management. Go to all of these resources to get an idea of what your rights are in each of these areas. What can you do. What are their suggestions. What are their options and think about what the best fit for you is to move forward. In step three is maybe be ready at this point to take action. You have prepared yourself, you have gotten the help you needed, you have taken care of yourself physically, actually, emotionally. You had your resources together. You have built some options. Now think about how you will approach the appropriate person. If they are your supervisor, second my supervisor, it depends on the situation. In this case you will go to the appropriate authority and talk about what happened. And in detail. The data happen, who was around you when it happened, the statistics of the incidents, the language used, all of this, how you felt, how you were impacted and all those things and prepare a presentation of the well so in that moment when you are sharing this with the person and leadership and authority, if emotions come to play or if you are nervous you have it in front of you. You have a bulletin list of things you want to say in front of you, ready to deliver it. And present the situation. Equally as important as presenting the situation, make sure you are presenting those proposed resolutions. You are saying this is what happened and this is how it has affected me and this is what I am seeking for resolution. Either we need to be separated, look at other options to -- whatever the case may be for you. Be ready to present not only what has happened, how it has impacted you but also what you are hoping for resolution. Always come with a solution.
Gather information here for you too. Again if you are preparing a business case for thinking about what that should be comprised of here is some information here the bullying Institute is something Gary Namie has suggested. Think about civil rights, think about human resources, think about the union, EAP. All of those places will have resources for you and there is information to make sure you are talking to your Dr. If it is affecting your health, documentation again be the idea generator for what can be done to help bring about resolution. Also, once you present the case and you are working with folks to figure out the way to approach it and bring solutions, remember to keep focused. Work towards bringing closure to the situation. Don't dwell on it, don't let it affect you longer than it has to. Don't give the bullied the power to assist -- to affect your health, professionals in and career. Don't give anybody the power to do that. Once you are working on resolution, be that behind. Don't carry the baggage. Move forward, learned from it. That those tools and things from your resources to navigate the situation and be better for it. I have also included NRCS contact information here. If it is something that you have heard to date resonated with you and you want to talk about it a little more if you are interested in having options, situation you are doing this, please feel free to reach out to the NRCS team at civil rights. They will work with you to figure out how the situation can be addressed and begin to present options for you for resolution. I want to open it up for the next few moments for questions. I have a few questions in the queue now. So, I will try to address those first and foremost. Then we can, if we need to, we can open the lines as well. I am sorry it looks as if the first couple questions that there was some at going -- some echoing, I hope that was rectified look like that was at the first part of the presentation. You can hear and see, which is good. And then we have one here. How can grooming on your chest, feet or shoes, determine bullying or not? It is not that situation necessarily that when there is a pattern, a pattern of disrespectful behavior. For some people, an employee coming into your office putting their feet on your desk as a supervisor or peer are polishing their shoes are equipping their nails or something like that to see a demonstration of disrespect. Maybe that one instance you can talk to the person and say I am not sure I appreciate that please don't do that but when you see a pattern of disrespectful behavior in others not just that it may indicate an attempt to dominate or embarrass you or show that there is a lack of respect for you for your role as pure, supervisor, coworker. And some cases it is important to show a demonstration, a pattern of behaviors. Thank you for that question. Are there other questions for me in the queue? Feel free to go to the top of your string -- screen and you will see a ribbon will see a button that says Q&A, feel free to ask questions there. The next question is, what if the bully is your supervisor, who do you contact first? Certainly more challenging when the bully is your supervisor.
We always encourage a conversation to understand, better understand what is happening. It happens first at the lowest possible level. If you feel fearful or uncomfortable, we do encourage you to contact the civil rights office to ask about some assistance intervention whether it is mediation or a discussion or also consider going above the chain of command and go to a second line supervisor and talk about what is happening and look for resolution and relief at that stage, too. If you have attempted conversation, if you have worked through that and it is unsuccessful and the behavior continues, go up the chain of command and definitely look for other resources to help you. Thank you. The next question, what should you do if you are not happy with the way HR and the employees supervisor are handling the situation i.e. not taking adequate action to change the employees behavior? It is challenging and I know speaking from HRM standpoint from the Forest Service perspective, sometimes the process is also slow. Because in some cases for example, the one I shared with you, and investigation may be opened for a management inquiry to look into the situation in more depth and comprehensively. As a result of that, that can take a long time. And so you may not see behaviors change immediately because it has to go through that process, investigation or inquiry. Than based on their findings, HR may take action. Honestly that we never knew about because the information is private and confidential. It takes time and sometimes it is not always transparent as to what is happening behind the scenes. If you still feel there is a long time you are not seeing changes necessary you are encouraged to go to other resource, talk to civil rights talk to the other ways to work through the situation gather all those resources. It doesn't just and in one area you can look at multiple areas to help you through it.
The next question what if the bully is affecting my supervisor is it considered bullying if they are discrediting you or your customer? and discrediting is, as we discussed earlier, a tactic we will see with police. Again if there is a pattern of fact, if you are seeing it often and other combined behaviors, and certainly could be. It depends on the situation of course. If the bully is your second line supervisor, I would talk to your first line supervisor about it, figure out ways to approach it. You may have to go to other levels of leadership, again looking at other resources, looking at HRM, look at the resources in a collaborative effort. You definitely have to address it and get the right people in place to help you through. I know it definitely adds a level of complexity, as the level of authority increases. Even if it is your supervisor it is more complex. If it is your second line supervisor, even more so. That it does not mean you can't look at ways of addressing it. Get in touch with those resources to help you through that though.
Another question here, how do you deal with bullying when you bring it up to the bully and he or she laughs at you.
Part of the behavior we talk about where they discredit your feelings. Like it is not happening, get over yourself, it is incredibly challenging. In some cases of bullying, I honestly don't recommend that the person directly approaches the bully. Really depends on the situation. I said that because if it is an explosive person and there is a temper and anger, it is becoming confrontational without bully. It is not going to be the wisest move in that moment. When the bully is laughing, again they are trying to minimize the situation, discredit you and embarrass you in that moment. It is so hard I can't hear more details so I encourage you to talk to the NRCS team off-line but you can if you feel comfortable you can go into a protected area, facilitate that discussion or mediation and talk about those behaviors. You can talk about when that person is behaving a certain way how you are impacted, how you see the behavior change and look at those ideas and resolutions. If you aren't comfortable with that, if you feel that going to mediation with the person pulling you always the best approach in a situation talk to someone in authority who can help you do that. Again get in touch with your resources it will help you navigate it too. Because it does need to be addressed make sure you are addressing it in the appropriate forum especially if you attempt a resolution and it has been unsuccessful, get people together with you to help you and figure out ways of addressing it. I have a friend who quit her job due to bullying. Is there anything that they can do after the fact so it doesn't affect any other people in the office? That is a challenging one. Especially if the person is already gone. Speaking on behalf of others is sometimes complicated. I know in my role, as an ADR specialist, as difficult as it sometimes is, I want the person who is affected, the target if you will, to come to me and talk to me. When somebody comes to us on behalf of another person, it is hard to take action on that. It is hard to take the next step and report it appropriately because I don't have the person with me, telling me what happens, telling me when, telling me how they are still being affected they are still unemployed, affected real-time, the situation, the most recent event. What I would do in this case and suggest or recommend as an option is for your friend to give encouragement to her coworkers that are still there. Encourage them to come forward and encourage them to go to NRCS team and talk about civil rights, talk about what is happening. , forward and talk about it in a safe place , forward so they can take appropriate action. That may be initiating some type of other technique that they have to come forward themselves I would empower them to do that I know it is hard and I know people are often feel full, fearful of reprisals, fearful of retaliation. It is important like we talked about earlier, to make a positive change. The people who are affected, the target, really has to empower themselves and take appropriate action. Again, the action might be getting the appropriate resources in place. You have to make the next step to get help for themselves.
Thank you for that question. Next question is, I was thank you bullied by agent staff. How can agency help deal with partner agencies that we work with? Discussions with the agency [ indiscernible ] they did not force me out, [ indiscernible--static ] -- team bullied sound like it was an incredibly challenging situation. I don't want to get too much into that situation because it is really hard for me to assess what has happened. And I don't have a lot of information and background to know the full scope of the situation. It is hard to provide options. Certainly, if at any time you felt bullied by a staff member or team of staff members, again it is important to engage with somebody about what is happening and talk about that. And agency can't take action and can't help deal with a partner agency if they are not aware of it. I am hearing there was some unsuccessful attempts at that. I really need to hear more about this, it sounds like it is a really complicated situation. If you could contact me or the inner CRS civil rights staff, -- and are CRS civil rights staff it sounds like it is really involved and really complex. Please contact us off-line.
The next question is, what it you bring and name-calling bully issue to your supervisor and the bully turns the situation around and claims you are the problem and the supervisor does nothing to resolve the issue. As we talked about earlier that is definitely a tactic of bully will a take -- of bully will take they will deny, discredit, try to flip the table because they don't want it to be a problem if they are anachronistic bully they don't want to be viewed as a problem person because they want to be accomplishing other things he will do anything to protect themselves and that role. But that should not stop you. Go back to the supervisor. Talk more about how it has been impacting you. Again, present the case with specifics. If anybody saw it, heard it, the date, the time it happened. Be really specific about the situation so you have those details in that documentation. It sometimes if you have hard facts in front of the it makes it hard to refute it. Have that ready. If you still feel as if you are not being heard, again like I talked about earlier, go to the next level of leadership. Go to the appropriate resources. Go to HR, go to other folks around you to try to get more assistance and help you. Again prepare the business case, presented -- present it and get it action. Other questions when there has been an allegation of bullying, we have to report that in a certain timeframe within 24 hours to our human resources management group. Specifically to our employee relations team. And they assess it further and determine what happens next. Think about that. Look into that and see if that is also an option within NRCS. One of the policies there. What happens next. Again, get those tools in place to know what your next steps can be. Build that business case. Don't just stop when somebody shuts you down. It is actually impacting you, keep going and looking for resources.
If the bully supervisor is aware of the bullying behavior by the individual, shouldn't it be the responsibility to take action and put a stop to the behavior? You are reading my mind, that is something I was trying to say as response to the previous question. There is an obligation, again I am speaking from a Forest Service perspective. But there is an obligation when an incident of bullying is reported, there is an obligation to report it to the appropriate staff member. Again for us, it is within HRM, employee relations branch. I also have to refer it to my supervisor when there has been a report of bullying. There are policies and procedures in place. You are right. There is an obligation and responsibility to make sure it is reported appropriately. That is absolutely something to keep in mind. It needs to go to the appropriate person. And this is a long question here come the next question is, why does NRCS civil rights division stop after complaint has been filed -- also an issue at current supervisor directed by the second my supervisor [ indiscernible ] would it be appropriate to contact the ADR person at headquarters? I have filed reasonable accomodation request and have been tonight. This is a very long question and also very specific and personal to the person. And I thank you, I hear you. I definitely want to help you address it but I don't want to -- their own names associated with this question as well, I don't want to put the names out there. I am going to stop on this question. And ask you to absolutely contact someone off-line. You mentioned contacting someone at headquarters at that is what you feel is your next step, probably something to consider. It sounds like there is a lot of information in here, again not knowing a lot about it, it is hard to address and again area specific to your situation. If you want to contact me off-line, feel free to do that. I will make sure I can refer you to the appropriate person. Let's take this question off-line to address it in an appropriate setting. Thank you. We will try to get you help off-line.
The next question, what are the signs to help you tell the difference the person just has a bad attitude or being a bully. Great question. Definitely a distinction. There are some people that are just unpleasant. Just call it like it is. There are people who are unfriendly and unpleasant and more challenging to work with than others. That does not mean they are a bully. A bully is when the intention is to cause harm. It is intended to manipulate and control. Intended to shame. And humiliate and discredit. There is real intention there to do harm for their own gain. Whether it is professional in a team role or something like that. There is clearly a distinction between somebody who is unpleasant and somebody acting out with true intent for their own personal gain. That is a larger scale distinction. A person who is unpleasant because of life were personality is not a bully. -- life or personality -- I think we use this word more than we should. A buzzword, trigger word right now, anybody who is unpleasant or a jerk, honestly, is that person is a bully. Not necessarily they might just be a jerk. A bully, again, is someone trying to again, dominate, control, manipulate a situation for their own gain to discredit you. So they are in a more desirable position. For whatever they are seeking. It is with intent. Again that bully behavior is so different depending on that person and their style, characteristic. But it is the intention that is important to use a distinction. Another question would you consider someone who continually speaks over others at meetings to be a bully. The person often takes control of meetings when someone else is in charge. Again if you see a pattern, if you see being used with intent, again to control or discredit the other folks. If they are taking people for other people's work as part of that meeting, there is certainly, if there is a pattern in that, the intent behind that, it could be characterized as that. We should probably talk about it a little more, to have a little more understanding of the pattern, other things you are seeing. Again we don't want to say it is one characteristic. To label a person has a bully. They may be doing something that is brewed. Maybe not very -- something that is rude maybe not very polite not proper office etiquette doesn't necessarily mean they are a bully. There has to be again some pattern, intent, I need more information honestly. So we can talk about it more off-line, if you would like. Talk to the NRC RS team to see what else is going on behind the scene what else is happening that is an indication that this person is not just impolite but bullying others with their action.
Thanks for the question. The next question, what do you do when you have been bullied by your supervisor with witnesses and a grievance filed by higher-ups say stop talking to each other. Again I don't want to get into too many specific cases, those are better addressed and talked about off-line. Again, I can talked about earlier, we have to figure out what is happening. We have to have a little information about what is happened what is proposed, possible resolutions of what is happening specifically. Again another thing to consider, we talked about this earlier. When there has been a reporting of an incident. It sometime takes a long time for us to see tangible results. Weather goes to an investigation, inquiry, sometimes those processes take a lot of time. You want to see immediate action and immediate results. And that is in cases where it has taken nine or ten months to see anything or hear anything. The other thing to consider is you might not hear anything at all. We might not know what the consequences were if the person is getting coached off-line. If the person is getting counseled by their supervisor. If they are being directed to get counseling, whatever the case may be. We don't know because it is private and confidential. Oftentimes it takes a long time to see change and it is hard. People say stay away from each other in the meantime we will work or other people will be reassigned and moved and sometimes why am I being punished -- punishes other person that did this but sometimes is an attempt for the agency to separate and stop contact while the other processes are taking -- going through the system and process independently. It is a long answer, there is a lot of possibilities and that's. And again, it is hard to be specific about it certain case, not knowing the whole scope. But what I would suggest's back to your resources and talk about what is happening, and talk about the lack of relief. You have not seen anything, see what can be done in the interim. And maybe learn more about what is happening, too thank you.
Another question, do you think that bullying training should be mandatory in federal agencies? I would love to see -- really a lot of conflict management prevention type training be mandatory in federal agencies. Bullying certainly being one of them. The last time we presented this case, there was a huge push with leadership to try to make it part of an AgLearn program for employees and supervisors. For all employees, to really understand what it is, what are the characteristics, what to look for. What to do, the appropriate reporting systems and time frames and all of those things. Yes, I would love to see this training be incorporated, and mandatory training. Again maybe a larger scope for all employees on -- and federal agencies. It would be great, really helpful. Especially as we have seen it as a trend and we are seeing more commonly in the workplace.
Next question, it seems like bullying that does not involve Io civil rights protected class is often tolerated since there is no specific policy prohibiting it. What you do when your supervisor or senior is a bully or ignores the seriousness of the situation? There is policy. And the Forest Service, I am sure NRCS has it too we have an anti- harassing policy. That incorporates bullying. And also incorporates a course -- of course other forms of harassment, sexual harassment, other types of aggressive behavior. But it absolutely includes bullying. And it doesn't half to only be something that is a protected class like race and gender. It can just be because you are in that person's way. You pose a threat because you are the most constant person in the office and they know it. Because of that they want to remove you from that and discredit you. It does not have to be just within civil rights for that protected class. That is a resource to go to to talk about your options, talk about what is happening, figure out what the next steps are, is it appropriate is a work place conversation appropriate is recording this appropriate, it -- there are resources to help you digest the situation and figure out what your next steps are. There is absolutely policy prohibiting harassment. Again, there is a no harassment policy. What do you do when your supervisor is a bully or ignores it? Again, go to the next level of authority, go to your appropriate resources. Make an official report of the situation. As I said earlier, there are other resources in place to navigate that. Even if the person is in your chain of command, you have to get those resources in place to help you, to figure out what the next steps should be.
The next question is, how do you separate race discrimination from bullying? Can intersect? They can absolutely intersect. You -- certainly someone can be believe -- bullied because of their gender or sexual orientation or religion. Marital status. Absolutely, that can be a target or create a target. There can definitely be overlap. If you sometimes have nothing to do with that and sometimes everything to do with that. It really depends on the situation. Knowing the specifics of that, what is specifically being said. How do you separate that? How do you determine what it is? Really understanding what is being said. What are the actual words being used. How are you being treated? Are you being discriminated against? Are you treated differently? Given different opportunities because of one of those protected classes? Definitely thinking about that, knowing a bit more in those cases for you feel discrimination may be a possibility, absolutely reach out to civil rights to help them separate that, distinguish that, determine that and give you the next steps. Definitely talk to somebody.
Since part of validating bullying behavior is [ indiscernible ] or prior record. Why isn't the investigator allowed to look at past records or incidents let me read that warmer time to make sure I understand. Part of validating bullying behavior is documented history and prior record. Why is it allowed? I can't answer the question, honestly. I am not an investigator. I have never acted in that role. I would not know what they are allowed to do or allowed to see. What I do know is from our standpoint of when you are building your own business case, that documentation and those specific details mean a lot because one, it helps jog your memory of what happened, who was around you, where you were in that moment, what was said. It helps you remember in those moments what happened. But also it enables you, if you choose a formal process, to help you navigate it. It helps you to have documentation to present it and show this is what happens. I am coming from the documentation and business case for you to best present your situation. But I don't know about what investigators are allowed to see or not see. That is something, honestly I am not schooled in. I apologize for not being able to answer the question for you.
Would you please repeat the book and author used as a reference for the webinar? Absolutely. Let me pull up the first screen, there with me. We will go back. To the very top of the presentation and show it to you. So you can jot it down in case I say it to quickly. Also, note you can again download the presentation. Click on the icon with the three stacks of papers so you can have it with you as you can have it written down for you. The book is entitled "What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job" and the author is Gary Namie. He is very well known in this topic. I recently attended a webinar held by EAP. He was actually one of the presenters, which was pretty cool. You can look them up and find a ton of additional resources available as well. Even outside this book, too.
A comment, thank you for it, we have an issue right on target this important matter thank you [ indiscernible ] thank you for the comment I appreciate I hope this is helpful. Thank you again.
Next question, is that true for all agencies, not just FS harassment, protected classes? the no harassment policy is at the department level. Our cheap -- our chief recently send it out as a cover letter. Harassment and bullying, those types of the haters can happen across the board. -- types of behaviors -- look into that more. I am sure NRCS civil rights team has that no harassment policy. If you don't, I can certainly -- e-mail me I will send you what I have from Forest Service but again it is departmental, it identifies a policy in place that you are protected against those behaviors within the protected classes there is a no harassment policy period.
Can you recommend a specific template to help somebody document bullying to prepare and present a case? Let me go back to the one slide, I was talking about business cases. I will move along the slides again. There are examples of business cases. As the Institute website I posted here let me pull that up for you, go to this website WBI, the bullying Institute .org. And there is a ton of information about that, how to prepare a business case, what it should look like, what it should include. I'm not sure if it has necessarily a specific template but a lot more detailed information about what should be part of that, what they consider. Hopefully that is helpful for you. Let me know if it is not.
What can be done if you are trying to get to your employee to do their job and they think they are being bullied? That is a great question because I get that a lot. You are right. A supervisor is not a bully by having expectations of their employees. A supervisor is a bully when they are giving directions, requesting updates, giving assignments, that is not a characteristic of a bully that is a characteristic of a supervisor. That is a great question. It, again sometimes we are concerned with the word bully is over used, and a lot of cases it is not applied appropriately and a lot of cases. Bullying behaviors are again an attempt for harm. There is the intent to discredit, shame, humiliate, again to hurt, take credit. It is a different class of behavior. And that is completely separate from went a supervisor is again asking for information, asking a person to do their job, holding the employee to their expectations. It's a great question. A wish we had more time to talk about that in more detail but you are at those are different things. Can't a supervisor be a bully in the way they are asking for the information -- can a supervisor -- for the way they are explaining their exclamation? Absolutely. They can crossover and overlap but just solely, the action of a supervisor being a supervisor and holding the employee to those expectations, that in itself is not a bullying behavior, if that makes sense. That is an excellent question. We could spend a whole another hour on just that. Speaking for myself, from a Forest Service perspective, I'm sure civil rights would say the same thing, that is something we hear a lot. They are distinctly different situations.
Next question, I appreciate the presentation that speaks to a supervisor being bullied and makes a work environment difficult. Thank you. Thank you, I am so glad you heard that. It is so difficult. I have got to tell you, there is shame and humiliation from anyone who is a target of it. And I will tell you, some of those times when a supervisor has called, I can hear him their voice another level of shame and humiliation on top of being a target because they feel if somehow they are not an effective supervisor, they are not managing their staff or protecting other staff from this person. They themselves are being bullied. They feel this level of incompetence they are not managing the situation well. And some supervisors feel bullied themselves. It is a very real situation. It is an important thing to note that bullies are at all levels of the organization. I have seen it again peer to peer, supervisor to employ, employee to supervisor. Again all levels of leadership. It is widespread and comes from all different angles. A bully levels the playing field sometimes, it can be a bully to everyone including their own supervisor. Absolutely. Definitely a problem we are seeing, again, through all levels of an organization. Very true, there are row. The always a supervisor in the role of bullying, it happens at all levels.
The last question I see right now, what about when leadership holds one group or section of employees to a higher standard than others? Or causes a level of employees for example when a GS nine is told he is held to a higher standard than a GS 13? That is a good question. It is an interesting one. I do need to hear a little more about that. What does that mean? What situation is a GS nine being held to a higher standard than a GS 13? Is the supervisor expecting a different quality of work or -- I need to know more about that too understand and to know that may not be bullying necessarily it may be a supervisor needs guidance and assistance on how to manage their team more effectively, more appropriately. I need to know a little more. If you wouldn't mind, see if you can contact the NRCS civil rights staff and talk about this more. Give them more detail. Give them examples of what is said and done. Reactions. Definitely contact them and give them more details about that one. It definitely needs more information there. Thank you for that question.
It appears I have gone through all of the questions I have in the queue. And thank you for all the questions. All of them are excellent. Sorry I had to be vague with some of the answers, they are specific to certain cases. Again, please, reach out to the resources we identified. If you don't want to ask a question in the queue, feel free to unmute your self by hitting star six. That will give you access to the phone line and I am happy to answer your question on the telephone as well. I will give folks a couple minutes there. It looks like we don't have any additional questions in the queue or on the line. I want to take a moment and thank you all for being here. Thank you all for sharing your concerns. Talking about the situations you are encountering, I hope each of you can find help and get in touch with folks that can walk you through it. Thank you for your time today and listening to the presentation. Please note you can download this for other access by hitting the tab with the stacks of paper there for more information. There is a lot of information out there. If this is something that has resonated, please know there is more information to be found and feel free to contact us for more. A thank you again for your time today. It has been a pleasure working with you. NRCS staff come a thank you so much for inviting me to participate on the webinar this afternoon. Appreciate the opportunity and with that, I will close the session. Have a great rest of your day. [Event concluded]