Everyone hates a bully. But how often do we bully other people, without knowing that that is what we are doing?
A while ago, I happened to be around a group of employees on a day which proved to be difficult for them. Their boss arrived at work with a facial expression that resembled that of the red emoticon signalling anger in no uncertain terms. It was interesting to watch how people responded to the unfair balance of power. Employees are not allowed to talk back. And the red emoticon was fully aware of that and made full use of the opportunity to be able to make the employees walk on eggshells. The satisfying feeling of wielding such false power is of course short-lived, but the emoticon made the most of the opportunity. The mood did not last and when the angry emoticon changed to a smiley face the next day, the employees did not trust it. Why would they? Once someone has chosen to abuse a position of power, even if only in the smallest way, he or she will have to work very hard to return to a position of integrity. Proof will be required and the friendliest of emoticons will be suspected of wearing a mask.
This is not an unusual occurrence and millions of employees, if not billions, experience this every day. And the boss is not the only one who can abuse power. Sometimes, an employee holding a key position knows he or she is not easily replaceable and that sense of false security in turn makes the employee feel powerful. The ability to spoil everyone else’s day, whether they are co-workers or the boss, by being unpleasant in the workplace, is sometimes the only source of power a powerless person has.
Whenever anyone becomes moody and manages to upset everyone in their direct field of contact, whether at work or at home, it is usually because the person lacks personal authentic power and needs to get some energy from others, even if in a bullying and undesirable manner, in order to fill up the energy resources which the person is unable to sustain. The inability to sustain personal energy levels is quite simply the result of the human ego forever blaming others for one’s unhappiness. The employees would most certainly be blamed for the bad mood the boss fell into as a result of ‘their poor performance’, etc.. The truth is that the boss who holds authentic power manages to get performance out of all his or her employees without even asking. This is the result of having true authentic power, a power only held by those who live a life of compassion and understanding, without judgment and criticism, always and only turning in to find the cause of whatever unhappiness manifests.