In this episode, our guest is Leslie August, CEO of The Leslie August Corporation. As a massive advocate of mitigating workplace bullying, she is relentless in purging injustices that are often getting a pass by people who are afraid to stand up and do what is right. Leslie shares her experience with workplace bullying and how it shaped her mission in life.
[03:49] Why should we listen to you?
My biggest asset is my absolute inability to sit by when injustice happened to another person. If you sit down next to me, and you are in trouble where words or actions have occurred, I would be the first person to stand up and reprimand.
[06:48] Bullying & Mitigation
Most people would be embarrassed to share that they are being bullied. Sometimes they are just in the wrong place or time, and they withhold their woes from their friends and families – until the effects become incredibly severe.
[07:24] It can be anything from ostracism, exclusion from activities, meetings, or social events specifically targeted at you and up to the point where information becomes inaccessible for you to do your job. Targeted distractions, scrutinizing commentaries intended to demean or embarrass you in front of people, and gossiping behind your back can be a form of bullying too.
[08:44] To be considered bullying, it has to occur over a period of time or becoming repetitive; occasional bad behavior is not considered as such. It has to be a targeted attack. Bullied people are typically afraid to stand up for themselves; they don’t want to make matters big and are usually afraid to say their feelings.
[10:32] You should be educated on it before you make decisions. First, share your concern with your families and friends – let your support system know what is happening to you and understand why you are being bullied. Second, if you can accept the cause of bullying, try to approach the person who instigated the action. There will be mixed reactions for it; If positive reaction, then excellent. Otherwise, you need to think twice before reporting it to your HR for a complaint and be prepared for possible retaliation.
[12:21] Personal Experience with Bullying
Before my current career, I was involved in trade and international insurance which is a family business. I came upon an instance of workplace bullying, where I was tasked to solve the problem. I went through a rigorous process of figuring out how to stop it and separate the two, only to know that the co-owner and co-business operator favored the instigator. As expected, I ended up getting bullied out by the board of directors.
As a company, you need to adopt an anti-bullying policy and procedure distinct from your current anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. Harassment and discrimination are the next steps after bullying, especially for people that belong to a protected class.
[17:13] My mission is to eradicate workplace bullying, which is not going to happen. Humans are humans, after all. But realistically, I hope this subject area should be set at front and center than it currently is. I want to work with insurance companies and help identify recurring claims of bullying and reduce their losses by implementing an anti-workplace bullying program. Through this, a lot of things will be brought to the surface.
[23:32] What promise did God make to the world when He created you?
I would stand up for what is right, regardless of the cost.
[14:54 – 15:06] “Rewards and incentives will not work if employees will not trust the company and its system.”
[21:26 – 21:45] “Bullies are proficient at brown-nosing, looking good upwards and misbehaving down the chain – even at peer levels.”
Learn more about Leslie August and her company on: