Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Integrity, democracy, bullying and respectful communication; a philosophical discussion:

This blog will examine the meaning of these words in relation to women, midwifery and the meaning of life. I consider integrity fundamental to my life and practice therefore it is essential to midwifery. Bullying has such wide ranging implications and forever present in many formats throughout life..... We are constantly reviewing bullying strategies to prevent the phenomenon. Democracy, the choice for one vote, one person....and lastly how do we attain respectful communication? These principles are all very dear to me and I get very upset whenever I see that they are being discarded for the sake of what is perceived to be “the greater good” by some people. The question is “whose greater good?”
Yes we all know that integrity means honest, trustworthy, one’s own beliefs, and values at all times..... Here is how Wiki defines......Integrity is a concept of consistency (lack of contradiction) of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. In western ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that one judges whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Integrity acting on what you believe is right and wrong.... discovering the truth? Efforts to arrive at either the truth or a mutually equitable outcome, this leads to respectful communication:

Democracy means elected by the people....a majority rule.....equal rights....... well know what that means....in terms of Australian Politics this doesn’t quite ring true with the recent events of the spill of Kevin Rudd and the current PM Julia Gillard..... However there are always exceptions to the rule... nevertheless integrity is required.... remember truth and honesty.... which is something not terribly renowned for politicians.

Bullying.... now this is the hot topic.....the definition of bullying is as follows...... Bullying is defined by the effect of the behaviour, even though there may not be a specific intent to bully. In my experience people don’t always mean to be a bully.... and often it is unintentional however unacceptable. For more information read this report....Dealing with bullying at work; a guide for workers.

There are bound to be occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in working relationships, these are part of working life. But when treatment of another person is unreasonable or offensive, then workplace bullying exists and should not be tolerated. Interestingly all workers and other people at workplaces are potentially at risk of experiencing some form of bullying. Different researchers have found examples of victims who are younger, weaker, less important, less experienced and those with less social skills, as well as those who are highly skilled, competent and high achievers, who are trusting, creative, and politically inept and have a high degree of loyalty to the organisation.

It is a very difficult position to find yourself...being overtly bullied...you know its happening yet you are still powerless and fearful... and often it can be from respected people...the question is how do you deal with it? there is no point being like a bull at a gate.... but careful consideration is required.... you can just walk away...then you may feel that your integrity is questioned...because this could happen to someone else... and really the culture has to change.... therefore careful consideration is required.....in my case it will result in a well constructed letter out lining the issues and hopefully this will not happen again...if all else fails... walk away....click here for the cycle of bullying:

The answer is respectful communication; Dealing with difficult conversations and conflict is never easy but the sooner you start communicating effectively, the easier it will be to resolve your dispute. It always sounds so simple..... but in the vast majority of cases, most people want to continue their relationship with the party or parties they are currently having problems with, particularly if they are family members or work colleagues. To avoid damaging relationships in the process, so they can be maintained or even strengthened and improved once the issues are dealt with, it is helpful to learn more about effective communication. One way to communicate more effectively is to treat the person you are addressing respectfully.... even if you do not really respect him or her....Exhibiting disrespect is almost never helpful, as it immediately places the listener in an adversarial, and hostile frame of mind. You need to state your differences that do not belittle the other person.....an example would be... “that’s a stupid project to choose... I will resign if you do that” it would be more helpful for you could say.... “I see the situation differently ..... I can do the best project for xyz reasons”......it is a real tragedy when midwives bully....and even more of a tragedy when they do not even know they are doing it.....to women, peers, subordinates.... in fact to anyone is just unacceptable....unfortunately it seems to be an accepted culture.... and I for one will not stand by and watch it happen.... please be true to yourself and speak up....for the sake of others....

Its about, truth, honesty, choice, equity and respectful communication.....! treating each other with respect.

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." - Henry Ford

Ref: Towards Dignity and Respect: An exploration of Antecedents and Consequences of Bullying Behaviour in the Workplace, Maryam Omari, 2003, Curtin University, Western Australia


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