Learn to Stop Bullying and Incivility in the Workplace: Expert Interview with Renee Thompson

Are you curious how it’s possible bullying and incivility still happen?

image of people in an office with one man pointing his finger into the chest of another man showing bullyingIn fact, can you conjure up, at this moment, a particular person who bullied you? I bet you can – their name, what they said, maybe even what you and they were wearing, and certainly how they made you feel. The potency and toxicity of that experience you could conjure up at this moment is why I wanted to share with you a conversation with Renee Thompson, an internationally renowned expert in bullying and incivility.

Although she specializes in healthcare, no industry or team is immune to it, so let’s learn from Renee. How can we hardwire OUT the toxicity in some teams? It’s a question that’s confounded me for years. Having been the person who, personally or my team, was responsible for coaching “disruptive physicians,” conducting mediations, and team interventions, I can tell you I wish I had known Renee years ago to give us the playbook for helping individuals and teams in the grips of an incivility crisis.

Our OD (organizational development) teams discovered, through a lot of trial and error, that recognition was a healing balm that could cut off the oxygen supply to incivility, making it struggle to survive let alone thrive.
Was this just something we saw, or does an internationally renowned expert like Renee also see this?

Join me in my conversation with Renee to better understand why bullying is even possible in professional environments, how we can stop it, and how she’s has found recognition can help it from setting down deeper roots.

Here are the questions I asked Renee, and where you can find her delicious answers in our interview:

  1. We all know “bullying is bad.” So why is it so widespread? – 2:35
  2. What is the cost of not addressing it? – 5:30
  3. It seems we expect a person (such as a manager or a department like HR) to “fix” bullying. Have you seen this? – 7:30
  4. What is the difference between bullying and incivility? – 13:00
  5. How can recognition help in a relationship or team with bullying and incivility? – 18:45
  6. Is it possible there will be an “end” to bullying? – 23:30

When you listen or watch, I encourage you to reflect:

  • What myths were debunked for you about bullying and incivility at work?
  • What is one step you can take to detoxify one relationship, meeting, or project?
  • How can you leverage recognition to stack the odds in your team’s favour?
  • What is a strength you can leverage to dampen bullying and incivility where you work and lead?

image of 2 coworkers standing together in a workplace without bullyingHealthcare peeps, you may want to check out Renee’s book and catch back episodes of “Nurse Bullying” on her YouTube channel. Our episode you can find here. Renee also has a course that could be helpful if bullying is out of control where you work. Check it out here.

Everyone, thank you for tuning in, and for doing your part to make your workplace a recognition-rich, psychologically and physically safe, and scrumptious place to work and grow.

Here are a few other posts on bullying and incivility that I’m sure you’ll find helpful:

Eradicating Bullying & Incivility Program with Renee Thompson



PS. Renee has a course that could be helpful if bullying is out of control where you work. Check it out here.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve