Do Your Own Thang
I’ve been told, and overheard, that workplace violence (WPV) seems to be getting worse. Barely a week goes by and there is another mass shooting somewhere in the country and on the news. But is that really the case? Or is that just our perception of events?
Despite this being my specialty, I have to admit it’s not necessarily worse than it was in the 80’s & 90’s.
There are 3 reasons for this seeming to be so much worse than it really is, and it’s not the proliferation of firearms;
- The culture we live in – and not because of firearms proliferation
- The media
- ‘Perception is Reality’
Let’s start with the culture in the United States. As I stated in my book (One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence), I believe that the seeds of WPV were sowed in the 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s. It all started with the ‘Do your own thang’ mentality of the drug culture of the 60’s.
It then progressed to the ‘Me Generation’ of the 70’s. Add to that the recklessness of disco and ‘Let it all hang out’ pushed us even closer. Then came the 80’s.
Greed is good and our self-esteem was sooo low, according to the conventional wisdom and ‘progressive thinkers’. You have to do things to make yourself feel better. It doesn’t matter whether or not someone else gets hurt, you have to let it out and seek ways to boost your self-esteem and make yourself feel better (remember scream therapy?). Unfortunately, far too many people decided that killing others or at the very least shooting up businesses was the way to accomplish this!
Then we come to the media. We live in a period of 24 hour news channels. It all started with CNN & HLN. Then a proliferation of others MsNBC, FOX, Bloomberg, al Jazeera-America, amongst others. And let’s not forget the plethora of all news radio stations across the country.
We are constantly bombarded with news. These networks have to fight to be the first to report on something and/or find stories the others aren’t covering. Therefore, they are going g to play up these events and attempt to position themselves as ‘the news leader’. And there we get the sensationalism of news items.
30 years ago, we had the main networks with news at 6 and 10 and CNN. Not much competition in the industry. And now with newspapers losing out and going strictly digital and the overabundance of news channels…
Lastly one phrase I’ve trumpeted for years. Perception is Reality. Our perception’s shape our reality. Many times what we perceive is what gets ingrained in our brains and is almost impossible to remove without something else to ‘perceive’ as the truth. Which is why many of the perpetrators of WPV believe that their actions are justifiable?
So is WPV more prevalent now or what is causing the perception that it is? To be perfectly honest, it’s all three. It’s our culture, the media, & our own perceptions of what is going on around us. We walk on the Sunnyside of the street and don’t want to see the ‘dark side’ until it jumps up and bites us in the arse.
There is no doubt that WPV is a serious issue within the business world. It affects everyone involved and costs billions of dollars to the American economy and those who push it forward. And the devastation it leaves on family members is even worse. Unfortunately, the perceptions of the masses will keep businesses from trying to prevent it in any meaningful way.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.