Richie Incognito, Jr. of the Miami Dolphins was suspended indefinitely for allegedly harassing a teammate. Before the NFL, he played college football at Nebraska. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft and also played for the Buffalo Bills during the 2009 season. In 2012 he was honored with an invitation to the Pro Bowl. This news story is still unfolding and includes the culture of professional football. We’ll hear more before all is said and done.Inside the context of pro sports it isn’t hard to imagine this behavior getting out-of-control. The media spotlight will find similarly high profile activity within corporate culture soon enough. It is a serious problem when there is a perceived imbalance of power. Add pressure to succeed and desire to fit in and you have a recipe that can result in an explosive combination of human interaction. Bullying often takes place in the presence of a large group of relatively uninvolved bystanders. A bully creates an illusion that he/she has the support of the majority and instills the fear. Unless the bully mentality is effectively challenged, in any given group, in early stages, it becomes an accepted, or supported, norm within a group.
Therein lies the opportunity to put a halt to it. Speak out! It is easier said than done of course, when you see it happening in a corporate boardroom. But is it important. It is the right thing to do. Incognito cases of camouflaging problems to disguise unacceptable behavior between associates in the workplace can have extreme and dire consequences. Be on the lookout and do your part to stop it.