Full Circle POV

Nurturing a holistic, integral point of view for greater leader and team effectiveness and member well-being.

Workplace mistreatment: The importance of cross-situational empathy

David Yamada’s blog on workplace culture is well worth following especially in his concern with workplace mistreatment. Check out Dr. Brené Brown’s short video on empathy at the end of the post.

Minding the Workplace

Comprehending one form of workplace mistreatment, abuse, or trauma ideally should make us more empathetic toward those going through different, but similar experiences.

However, this is not always so. Over the years, on occasion I have observed the unfortunate tendency of some people who have experienced serious workplace mistreatment to be dismissive of the difficult experiences of others, even when those situations bear similarities to their own. For example:

  • Targets of workplace bullying who are dismissive of people alleging discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or some other group;
  • Those who are deeply concerned about discrimination in society but are dismissive of claims of workplace bullying, assuming that it’s not as bad; and,
  • Professionals who rail against the unfair or wrongful treatment that disrupted their career tracks, but who disregard the sufferings of underpaid and mistreated low-wage workers here and abroad; and,
  • Targets of workplace mobbing (group bullying) who put down targets…

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