In anticipation of Dr. Ngao Motsei’s book launch addressing work bullying, survivors have come out to relay their experiences.

Titled ‘Building Psychologically Safe Spaces: Safeguarding Your Workspace Against Bullying,’ the aforementioned book launch is slated for April 26, 2024, at the Mountain View in Mbabane from 5.30 pm.

The book launch will be hosted by the Leadership Growth Forum (LGF), a non-profit forum that offers exposure to global thought leadership, and a wide range of key leadership resources to empower aspiring leaders to advance their careers and live up to their full potential.

Worth noting is that the LGF is the same forum that hosted the Inaugural Ambrose Dlamini Memorial Lecture, South Africa’s former prosecutor, Professor Thuli Madonsela, and other globally celebrated household names.

EmaSwati have anonymously come out to share their experiences following the reveal of Dr. Motsei’s book launch event which will address work bullying.

“I had started a new job which was an exciting time for me but it turned upside down when I became a target for a colleague while others watched on, and even said she had done the same to others. It was supposedly normal and would pass. No one called her out and because God has a great sense of humour, at that time many vacancies were popping up which I qualified for.

“A former colleague once told me everyone at work has an employee number so no one can drive everyone out, which kept me going because therapy, gym, church or groove only provided grief for a few hours. Everything would be unravelled when I walked into the office and my new exciting job would turn into a nightmare.”

“Fortunately, my manager was a solid support system and would remind me that the end game was to distract me from my work so I look incompetent and use that against me. I also have a psychologist who is a total sounding board, so, the honest conversations with these two people got me back on track,” narrated one survivor.

Another survivor narrated, stating that as a trainee in one company, there was comfort in the first few weeks while executing duties.

“I got on just fine with my colleagues and immediate supervisor and head of my department. This was until my supervisor started noticing and sharing an opinion about my appearance and such, while speaking disrespectfully to other employees she was supervising, and eventually myself.”

“The toxicity quickly began to affect my performance and there was no one to report this to because my supervisor was doing this alongside the head of our department. I would cry every morning before getting to work.”

“I caught my break when I was moved to a different department and that experience taught me to toughen up and focus on the work I am hired to do. I also learnt to extend kindness to others at work because I experienced the opposite first hand,” narrated another corporate bullying survivor.”

Initially, the LGF Public Liaison Officer, Phiwe Dlamini, confirmed the event, stating the conversation on bullying in the workplace was taboo; meaning it was seldom addressed and often excused when asked what prompted the Forum to hold talks on bullying in the workplace.

“We wish to explore this and hopefully discover why it has become a culture in organizations, to formulate tangible solutions for better performance and treatment in every organization locally. We also wish to encourage and inspire long-term changes in working environments through this discussion, and also eradicate the comfort of bullying by anyone working with others. We believe this is a necessary start to reintroducing accountability in the workplace,” Dlamini said.

When asked what people should expect during the event, Dlamini said insightful discussions and vulnerability are to be expected from the event as it is an extremely sensitive issue for many.

“The event will take place on the 26th of April at the Mountain View Hotel Mbabane, and we will be hosting a special guest to spearhead the discussion. Seats are limited so we implore interested parties to visit our social media platforms and RSVP to secure seats.”

Dr. Motsei has worked in human resources, strategy and leadership consulting for over 25 years. In the last 10 years, she focused her work on respect, compassion, and empathy at work, as well as human-centred leadership as precursors to psychologically safe cultures free of bullying and harassment. She partners with C-Suite leaders to raise awareness about bullying in the workplace; provide specialized coaching to abrasive leaders accused of bullying, as well as facilitate team repair workshops in the wake of harassment and bullying incidents.

In Building Psychologically Safe Spaces, Dr Ngao Motsei teaches how to make sense of workplace bullying. She starts by removing the confusion around what precisely constitutes bullying in the workplace – a behaviour that is often difficult to define – before explaining the steps that can be taken to bully proof your organization: actions are outlined that are required of leaders, bystanders, targets and bullies. She includes first-hand accounts from both leaders (previously accused of abrasive bullying behaviour) and targets to shed light on how this phenomenon affects all involved.

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