Dr James Costello joins us in this episode to talk about gaslighting, relational abuse and the insidious ways that organisations and individuals can undermine us.
[07:36] Dr James’s Background
- James worked as a workplace counsellor in an occupational health unit of a large hospital in Bristol.
- He became a trade union caseworker, trying to advocate for change in organisations.
[09:24] Defining Relational Abuse
- We use relationships to manipulate, coerce and be punitive and damage people.
- Emotional aggression or abuse captures microaggressions in the workplace.
[12:15] The Corruption Complex
- The corruption complex is the misuse of authority and power for the personal gain or benefit of the group or the clique.
[13:45] Challenging Organisational Power
- Organisations as a whole can sometimes be the bully in the workplace. Challenging it has to be done as a collective.
[15:10] Examples of Relational Abuse
[21:49] Bullying in the Workplace
- Often, people are not aware of the impact of their behaviour on others.
- There can be a lot of shame associated with being a bully and being the target.
[27:06] Effective Performance Management
- Deescalation of the issue is key.
- Spend a lot of time understanding where they are coming from and offer informal support.
[34:11] On Gaslighting as Bullying in the Workplace
- Gaslighting is undermining the sense of self-awareness that a person has and their capacity to trust in themselves.
- Don’t remain isolated and get help from those you trust.
[41:05] On Emotional Labour
- Work now is more relational.
- Medical professionals need to exert huge amounts of emotional labour as you treat your patients, particularly if they’re scared.
[43:40] Key Takeaways
- Common factors work in creating a therapeutic change in someone.
- The common factors are the things common to a relationship that create a safe space for somebody to flourish and develop.
[48:59] Top Three Tips if You Experience Relational Abuse or Bullying in the Workplace
- Check out your experience with a trusted colleague or friend and triangulate.
- You need to make contact (HR, trade union, caseworker or even somebody who understands the context of what’s going on).
- Look after yourself.
- Do not bring the issue home; find somewhere to blow off steam.
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