Many have been -at some point in their life- victims of professional degrading by their colleagues or bosses. It can be lack of respect, trying to prove work incompetence, slanders and even mockery. This is the basic idea of mobbing at work. Aleksi Tommi Tapani Kokonaho, the writer of the book “Voimaannuttava Johtaminen” (Empowerment Leadership) explains one of the main causes related to this bad behavior.
“Usually people who have very good self-esteem respect themselves and also respect others. Those with low self-esteem do not respect themselves and try to raise their image by putting other people down. A good leader must understand how to lead a company. There are people who use power in a wrong way and that creates terrorism at work”. Tapani Kokonaho says it is not only done by bosses but also by colleagues. An example is speaking badly about people behind their backs, humiliating them, putting them in stress situations or creating an image of them being “bad employees”.
Mobbing is basically a mental attack and there are several consequences to it, for example sickness, stress, tiredness and depression. Not every body is affected in the same way; it depends on the strength of each one. Aleksi Tommi considers that alpha people know how to stop these kinds of aggressions and they can easily have control of their own lives. It is necessary to understand what things stress people, learn how to decrease its level and value oneself as a person. However, he points out that if someone has been hurt mentally and there is no solution, quitting the job is the best option: “There must be zero tolerance regarding this kind of behavior in places of work. That is something leaders and companies have to do. It is very important to feel successful, to feel part of a team, have a position and to value oneself every day”, he said.
In the book “Voimaannuttava Johtaminen” Tapani Kokonaho describes how to lead others by using empowerment, which means giving someone the authority to do something, delegating power and freedom to employees to take decisions in the company. The book, which was written in Finnish and this year will be translated into English, shows how those who are motivated use 80 to 100% of their energy, but those who are unmotivated or frustrated use only 30 to 40%. For this reason, companies should motivate employees all the time.
This kind of mental violence at work is illegal in Finland and the governmental institutes basically protect employees. However, it is advisable to deal with these issues inside the company. According to Aleksi Tommi, Finnish companies usually respect employees: “Finland is a very good place to work, but you have to understand that in empowerment leadership there is another side, professional attitude and a proper way of behaving in a place of work. Not only the leaders but also the employees have to work according to the business world”.
In some countries mobbing is not considered as a crime and in some places very little is known about it. Aleksi Tommi believes that in different countries there are different kinds of cultures in leading others and in doing business. Some countries have stayed in the 60’s and 70’s ways of leading. In Finland some companies are in the 80’s and others are in the XXI century in how employees are led, the same way as in other parts of the world as well.
Aleksi Tommi Tapani Kokonaho is the creator of Aksios, a training and consulting company. It is specialized in sales skills, leadership, understanding business and self-management: “We are doing this work by using our heart. We truly want to help people and organizations. Our main value is respecting the other person”.
Against any kind of aggression
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