“You should be grateful that I didn’t bring you the police to arrest you, right here, right now”
This was the CEO’s opening statement to my semi-requested termination meeting during an innovation program in Berlin. Less than 48 hours before, the most senior executive, who also won Europe’s top CMO of the year award a year before, has approached me with a warm personal congratulation for what he described as an “outstanding performance”.
As entrepreneurial leaders, CEOs and business executives we often operate in highly competitive environments and face highly intense and complicated conflicts that could cause severe consequences to someone’s career or wellbeing.
Not all leaders play fair and deciding on a course of action while being in the middle of such situations could be overwhelming. Often those who naturally have certain characteristics and experiences in facing conflicts are able to maintain a balanced outlook
Harassment, dominance and leverage control, workplace mobbing and incitement of mobbing is a phenomenon that faces emerging leaders more frequently than others.
Emotional and Psychological abuse is said to be more damaging than Physical Abuse. Physical abuse always leaves visible marks and can be situational traced back to incidents, though emotional and psychological abuse in most cases is extremely hard to trace, which makes it a popular practice for weak leaders and entities.
Also, those who experience emotional and psychological abuse over a period of time experience changes in their behavior and attitude that makes them vulnerable to have their behavior used against them.
As 31 years old entrepreneur, I have survived several incidents of incitement of mobbing and I have provided support and still providing support to entrepreneurs and executives while going through mobbing experiences.
People and organizations are often very afraid of change and this makes a certain type of leaders exercise incitement of mobbing as a tool for dominance and leverage control. I’m not surprised anymore to hear the names of individuals who were involved in mobbing experience.
You are an emerging leader who intimidates those above you
You are spending your time getting things done and not building relationships
You are not aware of group dynamics and positional power and leverage control
You are not protected by strong leaders / institutions above you
Your behavior allows others to take advantage of you
- Understand group dynamics
- Avoid coming off as intimidating or threatening
- Directly refute any intentional negative framing
- Build alliances with powerful people
- Gradual Escalation
- Avoid the Emails loop
- The 24 hour / 48 hours rule
- Be mindful of use of language
- Submit a police report: Emotional and psychological abuse is classified as a criminal act, even the most experienced abusers leave marks that could be traced back by authorities, if you are put in between committing actions that can be used against you. Immediately submit a police report detailing the specific incidents that caused you emotional distress.
- Legal support
- The 2 months rule
- The best revenge
Also published on Medium.