Now . . . . now . . . . now . . . . now?
Yes, indeed, folks, NOW is the time to take the wrapper off the Complete Lawyer Vol. 4, No. 1: No Jerks Allowed!
Listen, this is one classy legal journal. Glossy but deep. I'm ridiculously honored to have a place in this issue -- though who could reject the only "I was a jerk" . . . ahem . . . a jerk-in-recovery . . . confessional?
Kudos to Don Hucheson and his great staff for putting this issue together. I'm in the middle of putting up the winter issue of the r.kv.r.y. literary journal and I know, deep down in the marrow of my tired old bones, just how time-consuming a project getting an on-line journal up and running can be!
Focus on the Behavior, Not the Person
To avoid re-typing, but not re-peating, myself, I urge each one of us to take a look inside when we talk about bullying behavior, quoting the following comment I first made on Bob Sutton's fine blog below:
As the single "confessional" of bad workplace behavior to appear in the Complete Lawyer issue on workplace bullies, I note the following:
When we demonize others (i.e., tag them s "jerks," "bullies," "A-holes," and "sociopaths") we exempt ourselves from potential wrongdoing, create a class of evil "others" and unwittingly further enable people and their organizations to deny bad behavior by decent people.
If, instead of ridicule and demonization, we can "out" the bully in each of us, those who are ashamed of themselves instead of guilt-ridden about their behavior, will be better able to admit their wrongdoing, make amends, move toward reconciliation with their fellows and re-join the rest of the fallible human beings amongst us.
I suppose you could say that I am an jerk in recovery. As such, I make it a part of my daily "program" to "take my part" in any rancorous dispute, promptly apologize and make amends for any harm I have caused without seeking (but nevertheless hoping for) forgiveness.
I make every effort to practice "restraint of tongue and pen" but forgive myself my human fallibility when I fail and move forward.
For more on the profound differences between guilt and shame, take a look at my article on restorative justice, "Shame by Any Other Name."