Friday, 8 May 2009

Bullying in the workplace

A problem in Conductive Eduation?

Only a few hours after the last posting on Conductive World I had a phone call from a conductor who told me that the amount of workplace bullying in Conductive Education is more widespread that I might think.

Actually I do not know how widespread such unpleasantness is in Conductive Eucation. I just know that it can happen. Why not, conductors are human like the rest of us and their workplaces are therefore subject to the same problems, opportunities, joys and abuses as are everyone else's. Just because it is easy to describe conductors as 'angels' etc, does not mean that they are all saints, or even that some of them are not devils!

My caller (who I have reason to consider might know what she's talking about) even went so far as to say that she reckons that most conductors have experienced workplace bullying from someone, somewhere, some time during their careers. From whom? From other conductors, from 'management', even some parents.

I have no idea of the scale of this, or its severity. I do know that many in the conductor workforce around the world are exceedingly conscientious and hard-working, and that the very nature (even the places and language) of the work can make enormous emotional demands upon them (and physical ones too). I know too that many, many conductors, and also many management and clients, extent caring hands.

The job of conductors can be stressful and exhausting. When it is, other conductors (and other people at work too) may be a vital buttress against finding it all too much, and against the range of psychogenic ailments that can come from this. Even colleagues' providing no more than a cool, neutral, non-helping context this may be rightly experienced as another pathogenic factor, even the last straw.

In circumstances in which fellow conductors, management and even some clients contribute actively to the emotional pressures withing conductive practice, then the lives of some of our 'angels' might be simply hell.

In Western Europe and the English-speaking countries (and for all I know in many other countries too) society regards workplace bullying as a social evil. Employers and unions pay great heed to trying to identify it and stamp it out. I know that some CE centres do have mature anti-bullying policies and procedures in place. Perhaps some others do not.

Perhaps there is no widespread problem at all, and I have been misinformed.

Any comments on this?


  1. Greetings;
    Thank you for your post. Workplace bullying is a serious problem. For more information you can check the Zogby Poll at Bullying seems to be most prevalent in health care and education. I've written extensively about my experience as the target of a workplace bully for 2.5 years under the heading "Workplace Psychological Abuse" on my blog "The Cambium Level" at

    Leonard Nolt

  2. Thanks for the Comment.

    Nice blog, nice photos.

    Andrew Sutton.

  3. To be honest bullying was part of my professional life since I had been working as a conductor. As you mentioned, bully can come from different angles and from different collegaues. It is however, as you also expressed it well is not only CE related. What I think is sad is that I have experienced much less effort to recognise and tackle those actions in our CE community. I believe this is a real danger for those who go, or went to foreign countries and can not stand up for themselves in a certain way. In contrast of that I have also seen Hungarian ladies bulliting English conductor in England. So, you never know.

  4. If anyone is out there hurting and having a hard time as a consequence of any kind of bullying ask yourself this question.

    Do you think that if a person is fulfilled, content, self-assured and leads a joyful existence would want to bully anyone?
    There is no way that a person like this would be drawn to bullying.

    There is another question that springs to mind?
    Why do we judge anyone?
    What is the basis of that emotional superiority? – Only to feel superior.

    The only way mediocracy can get close to originality is by suppressing others and it is only a con game of abuse.

    ‘Your silence gives consent.’ Plato