Volume 4, Issue 3, March 2005
OWN UP TO IT!
There is an old saying, “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
As you know I sit on many tribunals and boards. I also do interventions with various companies and associations on conflict and bullying. I become involved in hearing many various types of problems and conflicts that have to be addressed and it always amazes me as to how people react once they are found out and questioned.
What generally happens is that someone is caught doing something they are not supposed to do. That can range form Bill Clinton’s extra marital activities to just forgetting to lock the front door. It really doesn’t matter how severe the mistake is for the range of consequences will depend on one thing; how forthcoming were you with the truth? Did you own up to your part in the situation or did you try to stick handle your way out of it?
Remember the picture of the child who was caught with chocolate all over his/her face and looked up at you like a deer in head lights, then looked you square in the eyes and said, “What?!”
When Bill Clinton was accused of his indiscretion, had he and Hillary held a press conference and said, “Yes, I did it. Hilary knows about it. We have dealt with it. And it really is none of your business. This is a private matter, now let me get on with governing the nation.” It would have all been over and done with. Instead, it became the cover-up that he was censured for, not the deed itself.
Months ago I went to another province and dealt with a situation in a company where a staff member was accused of making statements that were contrary to company policy. The Tribunal began and as chair I stated the rules and regulations as to how the Tribunal was to be conducted and how the accused was going to be able to face her accusers. Well the accused began trying to confuse the situation by bringing up all sorts of bogus labour laws and also wanted to bring up other issues from the past.
This tactic really annoyed the members of the Tribunal because we had to deal with all these objections before we could get down to the case at hand. It created an uncomfortable situation which did not bode well for the accused. Even after the four witnesses testified as to what they had heard, I asked the accused if she actually said what they said she said and she would not answer with a firm yes or no. She was found guilty of the offence and was dismissed. She is still trying to get out from under the fallout.
Here is the bottom line based on the conversation I had with other members of the Tribunal after the fact. Had this person just admitted to making the mistake and showed some remorse for the indiscretion, I believe the members of the Tribunal would have gone easier with the punishment and may have even dismissed the case. Instead, it looked more like she was trying to “cover up” rather than “own up”.
You all know if you did it or not. If you did it, own up to it. If you didn’t do it fight as hard as you can to prove it and clear your name. But, the more you try to hide or cover up what you in fact did, the more serious the consequences will be.
OWN UP TO IT…THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL.
DID YOU KNOW?
By Pierre R. Ouellette Hon.B.A., LL.B.
A recent conference in the United States referred to Workplace Bullying as 'The Silent Epidemic'. Indeed we have been arguing that Bullying closely resembles the phenomenon of domestic violence. There was a time in the not too distant past where domestic violence was shrouded in silence and evolved into situations where victims were initially blamed for their fate. The same is sadly true now of bullying on the job. But eventually such behaviour was deemed unacceptable with respect to domestic violence and we are working at having bullying in the workplace treated in the same manner. Did you know that as many as 1 out of 6 employees are affected by psychological harassment in the workplace?
If you are experiencing Workplace Bullying or know of someone who may also be at risk, call us at 905.682.7380 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential consultation.
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