Jun 232015
What Warning Signs Did This Young Man Display and How Could This Tragedy Been Prevented?

What Warning Signs Did This Young Man Display and How Could This Tragedy Been Prevented?

On Wednesday, June 17, another tragic shooting occurred. Many people were attending a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church when it was stopped short by Dylann Roof. He attended the meeting for an hour before he stood up, muttered that he was there to shoot black people, and then opened fire on the congregation. He killed nine people, including Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Roof was arrested and charged a day later.

 

5 Weary Warning Signs

 

It is clear that Roof was very disturbed, and there were unfortunately many warning signs that went unreported. First of all, he frequently wore a No. 88 shirt, had 88 Facebook friends, and drew the number, the white supremacist code for “Heil Hitler” in the sand.

His website was discovered where he discussed his views in a 2,500 word manifesto. It also included sixty pictures of him at different Confederate heritage sites or slavery museums. In the manifesto, he discussed his view on the Trayvon Martin case which triggered his racist rage. “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.”

A lot of his writings speak to this black on white crime, which is common in white supremacists. They demonize blacks so that they position themselves as the victims as proof that they need their own state.

Beyond his website, Roof also showed a lot of signs in public. On his Facebook page, he has a picture where he is wearing a jacket with images of the flags of apartheid-era South Africa, and Rhodesia, the African country that was renamed Zimbabwe after white rule ended. He also recently told one of his friends that black people were taking over the world and something needed to be done for the white race. Roof also was reported to have said that he wanted to start another civil war.

For his birthday, his parents gave him $350 towards the purchase of a gun. He even specifically wanted them to give him the money rather than buy it for him so they wouldn’t be implicated in whatever he would do with it.

 

Reporting Suspicious Behavior Saves Lives

According to Author Timothy Dimoff, if Roof’s friends or family members had reported this behavior to law enforcement, lives could have been saved. It is critical that if anyone notices suspicious behavior like this, they report it to their law enforcement agency in their jurisdiction.

Once it is reported, the police are able to come out and speak with the person. Just this action alone is a great diffusing technique. It shows them that their behavior is no longer their secret and they don’t have full control of the situation.

If there is any indication of a plan, the law enforcement can get help for the individual. They also can perform surveillance, notify others, and speak with the family. The law enforcement agency will work to diffuse any situation before it occurs, saving lives and tragedies from happening.

 

We hope that these times bring unity to our country and that we are able to move beyond the violence and focus on recovery. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Tim Dimoff at tadimoff@aol.com for better ways to handle such rage.

Jun 112015
Are your hidden biases causes workplace bullying?

Are your hidden biases causes workplace bullying?

Have you ever looked around your office and noticed if the managers are primarily men? Are the clerical workers predominantly women? What’s the nonwhite to white ratio of employees? These observations go unnoticed in the day-to-day work environment, but addressing these issues is the only way to lead to change.

 

What is Hidden Bias?

 

Today, racism, sexism and/or homophobia are not typically as vocally apparent or present. Instead, hidden biases are what dominate the workplace. This type of discrimination appears in the unconscious level based on upbringing, identity, culture, and mass media and it shapes the way you view people and how you behave towards them.

Having hidden biases does not make you a bad person, since everyone has them. It’s uncomfortable to acknowledge this, but recognizing the lens you look through helps you step away and notice how you treat people that are different from you. These differences could include a number of characteristics, such as:

  • height and weight,
  • introversion and extroversion,
  • marital status,
  • disability status,
  • foreign accents,
  • hobbies and extracurricular activities,
  • sexual identity,
  • gender identity and
  • expression, race, ethnicity, and many others.

 

Hidden Bias Can Lead to a Tough Work Environment

 

But how do these hidden biases lead to a non-diverse work environment? Well, think about the hiring process. In interviews, one of the main objectives is for the two people to connect and see whether they would be a good fit in the company. This “connection” though is most easily achieved when discussing similarities. This could be that they attended the same university, are from the same hometown, or their kids play the same sport. This connection makes the person to appear like they would be a good cultural fit, because the HR employee fits in the company well. But with this phenomenon consistently occurring, and people recruiting similar people, the company becomes very homogeneous.

Another element in this issue occurs even before the interview. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that resumes with “white-sounding” names receive 50% more callbacks than those with “black-sounding” names. This could be an intentional decision decided by whoever is doing the hiring. This also could be as simple as the HR person who is making the calls is Caucasian and is uncomfortable with pronouncing unfamiliar names, so they gravitate toward easily pronounced names. Whatever reason, there needs to be a way of eliminating this issue. Many companies are conducting “blind” reviews of resumes by removing them of any identifying information, like name and gender.

Most recruiters and HR managers are taught to avoid acting differently around people based on obvious traits like gender or age. But these hidden biases are harder to recognize. Does a married man makes him appear more stable? Does the applicant speak with a Southern accent, making her appear not very smart? Is she a single mother, making her appear unreliable? These unconscious observations based what society and mass media have dictated are a big cause in not having diversity in the workplace.

Harvard performed IAT tests (take them here) that showed that certain words like “men” and “career” are closely related. Also, 75% of the participants, including some black individuals, displayed an implicit preference of white people over black people. It also showed that people prefer thin people over overweight people, heterosexuals over homosexuals, and young over old people. People make snap judgements based on these biases without even realizing and it is hurting the workplace.

 

Workplace Bullying

 

Having these kinds of biases, and not having diversity in the workplace, can unfortunately lead to workplace bullying. Things like constantly being interrupted in meetings, all your opinions being shot down, and people gossipping about you are all examples that create a hostile work environment for the employee.

But why is this a result of hidden bias? Because people are uncomfortable when they experience people who are different from them. They use the societal norms that they are taught and unconsciously label anyone different from them as strange.

In fact, a study at Stanford looked at people who are transgender in the workplace to look at their experiences before and after transitioning. The transmen all had similar experiences. When they identified as women, people constantly asked them to defend their opinions. They were interrupted in meetings, and asked if their boyfriends helped them solve the tough math problems. When they identified as men, however, people (who didn’t know they had transitioned) suddenly started respecting them more. They were “taking charge” instead of “aggressive,” they were not interrupted in meetings anymore, and they were shown a lot more respect.

It’s hard to believe that even today, such biased actions and bullying occurs in the workplace. It’s our job as a corporate environment to not sit along the sidelines. By acknowledging our differences and limitations, we can begin to work towards a more diverse, welcoming workplace environment.

 

Life Rage & Tim Dimoff Can Help

 

An expert on workplace bullying, Tim can help your organization put an end to this issue. Give him a call at 330-255-1101 to ask him to speak to before your corporation, organization or church. Or preview a chapter of the Life Rage and order it today!

May 272015

 

Life Rage

Will this teenager be capable of out and out rage?

It seems that school shootings are all too often in the news, and teen depression statistics and rates of suicide are going up. But are these two issues linked?

 

To first answer this question, depression needs to be defined. Depression is an illness that interferes with the person’s ability to function. It creates a feeling that no one understands them and that they are alone. According to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement, 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. Depression is a prominent illness among teens, and it greatly affects their everyday lives.

 

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10-24. There are about 4,600 lives lost each year and about 157,000 people receive medical care from emergency rooms for self-inflicted injuries.

 

The statistics for teen depression are bad, but does it really lead to rage and violence? The answer: Yes.

 

It might appear that rage would disappear with onset depression. However, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in three depressed people are also openly hostile. Additionally, many depressed people will have “anger attacks” where their heart rate increases, they begin to sweat, and they get a tightness in their chest in response to even small irritations. More than 60% of people who have these anger attacks have reported that they have physically or verbally attacked others during this fit of rage.

 

What Causes This Depression and Rage?

 

There are a number of factors that cause teen depression. Bullying is one of the leading instigators of this issue. Tim Dimoff highlights this in Life Rage (pages 47-48)

 

Bullying is repeated and aggressive systematic behavior that deliberately causes physical or psychological intimidation and torment. It can take the form of taunting and name-calling, intimidation and psychological aggression, as well as vandalism of personal property, and even gestures.

 

Why do kids bully? This is a culture that values strength, control and power, and especially power over others. In sports, in corporations, in the media, we reward winners… Bullies have learned the lesson of the importance of power, at least, and they are aggressive not in response to a situation but rather regardless of circumstances.

 

Tim also discusses violence in society as a cause of depression and rage (pages 51-52).

 

The public health community agrees that 30 years of research show that entertainment violence leads to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, especially in kids, and that video games are the most severe stimuli of all TV shows, music and movies.

 

Many kids see violent images–whether in the movies or on the news, whether in a natural disaster or a man-made one–and they are not affected. But when the images of violence become the norm and occur over and over with increasing regularity, on news coverage that goes on 24/7, it tends to overwhelm some of the more fragile kids.

 

What to Look For

 

If you notice that someone is continuously feeling sad, has lost pleasure in usual fun activities, poor school performance, or more risk-taking behavior, they could be suffering from depression. Talk to their teachers, parents, or friends to see if they have noticed any changes and to ask them to watch out. It is so important to help this person and encourage them to receive a mental health evaluation and treatment. Helping them could save a life, maybe even more.

Contact Timothy A. Dimoff for More Information on Life Rage

Fill out our Life Rage contact form to have Tim come out and speak to your school about the link between teenagers and Life Rage. You can also order an autographed copy of his book for $20 via this form. Contact Tim today!

Apr 292015

What do you get when you have one young black man dead in jail, 15 buildings blazing, 19 police officers injured, 144 cars set on fire and 209 citizens arrested?

Answer: The Baltimore Riots.

Here is a depiction of what is going on in Downtown Baltimore right now:

 

 

What is going on? And how did Baltimore get here?

Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray was chased and restrained by police officers on the morning of April 12th. A cellphone video of his arrest showed him being dragged into a police van limping and screaming in pain. According to his family, upon his arrival at the police station medics were called. He was taken to the hospital, slipped into a coma and died. His family stated 80% of his spinal cord was severed and his larynx was crushed.

Violence and rioting broke out after his funeral on Monday and lasted several hours into the night.  In fact, as I write this blog post, downtown Baltimore is still closed. The Baltimore Orioles are playing baseball to an empty stadium.

Why Do Riots Happen?

According to Life Rage (pages 149 and 151) here is a synopsis from Author Timothy A. Dimoff as to why riots happen in the first place.

They (the rioters) feel that they have lost the ability to control their environments, and this feeling of powerlessness means that they must cast about for an enemy or a scapegoat that would explain their loss. 

Riots and illegal activities are the result of rage. While pronouncements may go unheard and manifestos may go unnoticed, a riot or violent act will quickly gain the attention of the media. 

In riots, it seems to the rioters that they are the ones who have the power, when in actuality, no one has the power, and no one can really control the event. 

What Can You Do To Prevent Rioting In Your Community?

Who knows – your community could be next – especially with an unexplained death of a young black man at that hands of the police. What can your community do to prevent this type of action? Here are some tips from Tim:

  • Communicate suspicious activity. If you witness brutality in your neighborhood, report it to the police and the media. As we have witnessed in South Carolina, videos are extremely powerful, as a police officer down there is now being tried for murder.
  • Work with your public officials and make certain they have a crisis communication plan for rioting.
  • Don’t engage. Violence begets violence.
  • Hire Timothy Dimoff for training of your police force and/or community leaders on Life Rage issues.
  • Read Life Rage.

We will hope and pray that this situation is brought under control never to happen again and Baltimore residents can live in a peaceful and tranquil environment.

Mar 232015
Are you a victim of workplace bullying?

Are you a victim of workplace bullying?

How many of you have experienced these situations:

  • You are in a meeting and one person constantly interrupts and/or talks over someone else. They are the focus of attention and no one can get a word in edgewise.
  • You are pitching a new idea to the team and your boss tears it apart in front of everyone and makes you feel extremely small. Internally you are frustrated and have decided to not share any more ideas with the group.
  • There is someone constantly making snide remarks in the meeting, sort of under their breath. You can hear these comments which are meant to shut you up, slow you down or discombobulate you altogether.

What do all these situations have in common? These disrupters are workplace bullies and unfortunately, they are tolerated in the workplace far too often.

Why?

Because most people, in and out of the workplace, are people pleasers who don’t want to deal with conflict and discomfort. So, what happens? A lot of triangulation, gossip and office drama. A lot of silence by team members. And a setup for workplace violence when someone “cannot take it anymore”.

7 Effective Tools To Stop Workplace Bullies

  1. Develop a code of conduct for the workplace and post it everywhere.
    Have a code for meetings, brainstorming sessions and general workplace interactions. Refer to the code when inappropriate actions occurs. If someone starts talking over another person, discounting their idea or publicly humiliating them, refer to the code.
  2. Don’t triangulate.
    Remember, workplace bullying sets up a natural “bully-victim” scenario. The victim will seek solace with anyone who will let them vent. Ask one question, “Have take your complaint directly to (the bully)?” Chances are they have not and want you to speak on their behalf. Don’t do it and don’t listen to the problems.
  3. Recognize when a spirited discussion has turned into bullying.
    When it does, turn to the code of conduct and if necessary stop the meeting altogether. Stopping the meeting removes power from the bully and says this type of behavior is unacceptable.
  4. Try to find out what the bully wants.
    Without a lot of fanfare, determine what exactly the bully wants. Try to do this over email where emotions are less likely to enter into the picture.
  5. Set up a “zero bullying” tolerance policy at work.
    They have it at school – now it needs to be brought into the workplace. Provide a safe system for employees to report bullying behavior. Leaders then need to act on it with specific consequences if it continues – including termination.
  6. Read books about ways to avoid this type of rage.
    Life Rage is one book that gives you practical solutions to solving problems like this.
  7. Bring in a trainer to address this issue.
    Everyone should receive a minimum of two hours of training per year about ways to recognize and stop workplace bullies in their track. Timothy Dimoff is available do this type of training on a national level.

Life Rage & Tim Dimoff Together Can Help Put an End to Workplace Bullying

You can preview a chapter of Life Rage and order the book online. Give Author Timothy Dimoff a call at 330-255-1101, Monday through Friday to learn more about how he can help your organization put an end this problem!

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