Professionalism and Self-violence


Professionalism can be seen as a set of obligations or responsibilities that individuals have to adhere to certain standards of behavior, ethics, and conduct in their work or professional roles.


The idea that professionalism is equivalent to self-violence is a controversial and complex statement that requires careful consideration.

On the one hand, the pressure to conform to strict standards of professionalism can create feelings of obligation, and thus stress, anxiety, and burnout among individuals who feel they must suppress their authentic selves in order to meet these standards. This can result in a sense of self-violence, as individuals may feel they are denying their true identity in order to meet external expectations.

On the other hand, some argue that professionalism is a necessary component of creating a safe and respectful work environment, and that adhering to certain standards of behavior and conduct can promote positive relationships and effective communication among colleagues and clients.

Ultimately, the relationship between professionalism and self-violence is complex. While professionalism can be a positive force in some cases, it is important to recognize and address the potential negative impacts that obligatory adherence to professional standards can have on individuals and organisations.

Unshackle Yourself from ‘Shoulding’: Embrace the Power of Choice

💡 Imagine a world where guilt, shame, and pressure dissolve, replaced by empowerment and self-determination. Discover the transformative impact of switching from “shoulding” to “might choose to,” and watch as conversations, writings, and thoughts become more authentic and humane.

➡ “Shoulding” refers to the practice of imposing expectations, obligations, or judgments on oneself or others, often leading to feelings of guilt, shame, opposition, or resentment. This habit can negatively impact mental health, relationships, and communication.

If you would like to eliminate “shoulding” from your conversations, writings, and thoughts, consider using the phrase “might choose to” instead. This alternative promotes a sense of autonomy and flexibility, encouraging individuals to make decisions based on personal values and preferences rather than societal pressures or perceived obligations. By embracing this approach, we can foster healthier, more empowering communication styles and thought patterns.

Fellowship As Protest

Relationship-building is an undervalued but vital tool in the arsenal of the modern-day employee. It is not enough to simply march in the streets or hold a sign aloft; building connections with like-minded individuals and fostering a sense of community is essential to creating lasting change. However, many businesses today actively work to undermine relationship-building in the workplace, promoting division and competition among employees at the expense of cooperation and collaboration.

This insidiousness can take many forms, from pitting employees against each other for promotions to encouraging a toxic work culture that values individual achievement over teamwork. But through active relationship-building, we protest against these destructive practices and create a workplace that values fellowship, cooperation and solidarity.

By forging connections with our fellow employees and working to create a sense of community, we challenge the dominant narrative of competition and individualism. This is not just a matter of improving our own working conditions; it is a powerful form of protest that strikes at the very heart of the capitalist system that pits workers against each other for the benefit of the few.

So let us not underestimate the power of fellowship as a form of protest. By standing together and fostering a sense of community in the workplace, we can create a better world for ourselves and for future generations.

Steeped in Violence: How Workplace Aggression Contributes to Society’s Problem

Violence is a pervasive issue in our society. In fact, the workplace is one of the most common settings where violence takes place. This is not just physical violence, but also psychological aggression, such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Unfortunately, this workplace violence has a ripple effect on society as a whole, perpetuating a cycle of violence that affects individuals and communities both.

The consequences of violence in the workplace are severe. For employees, it can lead to emotional distress, physical injury, and decreased job satisfaction. For employers, workplace violence can lead to increased insurance costs, decreased employee retention, and decreased employee morale. This creates a vicious cycle, where the violence in the workplace contributes to the violence in society, and vice versa.

Moreover, workplace violence is not limited to specific industries. It can occur in any type of workplace, from a construction site to a corporate office. This is due, in part, to the cultural norms and values that are prevalent in our society. For example, in many cultures, there is a belief that aggression and dominance are desirable traits in a leader, leading to a workplace environment that is prone to violence.

Similarly, cultural norms may also dictate that employees should be passive, leading to an environment where violence is tolerated and unreported.

The culture of violence in the workplace also extends to the wider society. For example, those who are subjected to violence in the workplace are more likely to become victims of violence in their personal lives.

In addition, exposure to violence in the workplace can desensitize individuals to violence, leading to a more violent society. For example, individuals who experience bullying or harassment in the workplace may be more likely to engage in violent behavior in their personal lives.

The cycle of violence between the workplace and society is not easily broken. To address this issue, we might look to changing the cultural norms and values that perpetuate violence in the workplace and society. Additionally, we might choose to provide support and resources to individuals who have experienced workplace violence, such as counseling, legal assistance, and simple compassion

In conclusion, violence in the workplace is a significant issue that has far-reaching consequences. By addressing workplace violence, we can help to break the cycle of violence that affects individuals and communities, and create a safer and more respectful work environment. The key to this is changing the cultural norms and values that perpetuate violence in our society, and promoting a culture of respect and nonviolence.

The Impact of Programming Language on Thoughts and Behaviors in the Workplace

Linguistic Relativity is the idea that language shapes the way we think. In programming, the imperative style is widely used in which instructions are given to the computer. The immersion in imperative communication via programming languages raises the question of whether this influences the programmer’s thinking and contributes to the preservation of command-and-control behavior in organisations. The use of “should” in modern Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is an example of rampant imperativism in language.

E-Prime is a modified form English proposed by D. David Bourland to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts. The idea of modifying language to improve thinking is not new.

The concept of a Nonviolent Programming language based on the Four Steps of Nonviolent Communication is an intriguing one. It raises the question of what a Nonviolent Programming language would look like and feel like to use and whether it would have knock-on advantages for Nonviolent BDD. If Gandhi, for example, had been a programmer instead of a lawyer, what would his code have looked like? If he had been immersed in programming languages for 40 hours a week, would he have held the same views on non-violence?

Adopting a Nonviolent Programming language and style could have positive implications for our personal and work-related communication, as seen through the lens of Linguistic Relativity. Spending 40 hours a week on Nonviolent Programming could contribute to the health and well-being of our human dialogues and personal interactions.

See also: Nonviolent Programming

Stepping Away From the Meat-grinder: Joining the Campaign For a Just And Fair World

I don’t have a regular job because I just can’t stand the insanity of it all any more. Is that my loss or the world’s?

The world of work is a meat-grinder, a place where the only thing that matters is ego, violence and stupidity. It’s a place where the only thing that counts is one’s ability to serve oneself, to cosy down and protect one’s own interests to the exclusion of all else. I can’t live like that.

I can’t stand the way that people are treated like nothing more than numbers, like nothing more than cogs in a machine, like so many adjuncts of a Borg unimatrix.

Similar to how Gandhi couldn’t stand the deep injustices and intolerability of British imperial rule in India, I can’t stand the world of work as it is now. He stepped away from his comfortable life to fight for what he believed in. Similarly, I have stepped away from the world of traditional wage-slavery to pursue other avenues, other ways of making a difference in the world.

I don’t know if my decision is a loss for me, or for the world. I just know that I can’t continue to be an acquiescing adjunct to something that I find so deeply troubling and unjust. I have little expectation that in the future, the corporate world will change, that it will become a place where people are valued for the content of their character and their heart, not for how much money they can make. But for now, I know that I need to step away, and that’s what I have done. I suspect I’m not by any means alone.

#work #culture #change #people #justice #insanity

Combatting Bullying in the Tech Industry: A Necessary Step for a Healthy Workplace

This post is close to my heart, having suffered and seen bullying on numerous occasions in various organisations, include Fujitsu Siemens, CPA Global and News International (now News UK).

Violence in organisations is a pandemic in and of itself. It can take many forms, including verbal abuse, physical violence, and cyberbullying. This type of behavior can have a detrimental effect on folks mental and physical well-being, as well as on the overall productivity and morale of the workplace.

One of the most common forms of bullying in the IT and software industries is verbal abuse. This can include name-calling, belittling, harassment, and intimidation. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, and can make it difficult for individuals to feel comfortable and confident in their work.

Another, albeit less common, form of bullying is physical violence. This can include pushing, shoving, and other forms of physical aggression.. It can create a hostile and dangerous work environment, which makes it difficult for employees to feel safe and secure.

Cyberbullying is also prevalent in the IT and software industries. This can include sending threatening emails, messages, or posts, or spreading rumors and false information online to harass or bully others.

Cyberbullying can be particularly damaging as it can be done anonymously, and can reach a wide audience.

The effects of bullying in the IT and software industries can be severe and long-lasting. Victims of bullying may experience a range of physical and mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may also suffer from poor sleep and eating habits, and will struggle to concentrate or perform well in their work.

In addition, bullying can lead to high turnover rates and lower productivity, as employees who are being bullied may be less motivated and less engaged in their work.

To address bullying it’s important for employers to take a proactive approach. This can include implementing a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, providing training for employees on how to recognise and report bullying, and taking swift and appropriate action when bullying is reported. It is also important for employers to create a culture of respect and inclusivity, where employees feel valued and supported. Don’t leave it to HR to handle.

In conclusion, bullying and other forms of violence is a serious issue that can have a detrimental effect on the mental and physical well-being of those who are targeted, as well as on the overall productivity and morale of the workplace. Employers have a legal and moral responsibility address this issue, by, for example, implementing a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, providing training for employees, and creating a culture of respect and inclusivity in the workplace.

One-on-One Meetings: Focus on Needs to Move From Mediocre to Masterful

One-on-one meetings are crucial for building effective and productive relationships within any organisation. To ensure that these meetings are successful, understand the social style of the person you are meeting with and adapt your communication and behaviour accordingly. One valuable technique for this the Wilson Learning Social Styles Model. This model identifies four different social styles, each with their own unique strengths and communication preferences. By understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, you can adapt your communication and behaviour to better suit their needs and build a more effective and productive relationship. The model suggests that there are four social styles: the Analytical, Driving, Amiable, and Expressive. Each of these has its own characteristics, communication preferences, strengths, and potential development areas. By understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, you can adapt your communication and behaviour to better suit their needs and build a more effective and productive relationship.

Additionally, the principle of nonviolence and the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can also play a key role in making one-on-one meetings more effective and productive. NVC emphasises the importance of understanding and expressing our own needs and feelings, as well as listening deeply to the needs and feelings of others. By using NVC techniques, we can communicate in a way that is more compassionate and understanding and avoid the use of blame, criticism, or judgement. This helps to create a more positive and open environment for communication. Additionally, by approaching conflicts and disagreements with a non-violent mindset, we can avoid escalating tensions and find more constructive solutions.

Another valuable technique for one-on-one meetings is Nancy Kline’s Time to Think (and More Time to Think). This approach emphasises the importance of giving people enough time to think and reflect before responding, rather than expecting immediate answers or solutions. By creating a safe and quiet space for people to think and actively listening without interruption, we can help them to access their own wisdom and insights. Additionally, by encouraging people to share their thoughts and ideas, we can tap into the collective wisdom and potential of the group. This can foster a more collaborative and productive working relationship.

In summary, the key to great one-on-one meetings is a combination of understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, incorporating principles of nonviolence and NVC, and using techniques like Time to Think. By implementing these approaches, you can create a more conducive environment for effective communication and problem-solving in one-on-one meetings, resulting in better outcomes for all parties involved.

Seeing People as Trees: How Non-Judgmentalism Promotes Nonviolence

The quote “When you see people as trees, you don’t get tangled up in their branches” by Ram Dass highlights the idea that when we choose to see people as we see trees, we can avoid getting caught up in their flaws and imperfections. We can appreciate the unique beauty and complexity of each individual without getting embroiled in judgment or criticism.

This non-judgmental attitude is key to nonviolence, both in our personal interactions and in larger social and political contexts. When we can approach others without judgment, we are more likely to respond to conflicts and disagreements with empathy and understanding, rather than with anger or aggression. And in recognising interconnectedness and the impact of systemic injustices, we can actively work to dismantle them.

Why I Blog

Thare’s a few key reasons why I’ve been consistently and regularly blogging for the best part of fifteen years now:

  1. To invite conversation. I love conversations. I love personal interactions and the exchange of perspectives. Blogging has not served me too well in this regard, so far.
  2. To clarify my thoughts. I find writing my thoughts down serves to refine and clarify them.
  3. To change the world. Some ideas, such as nonviolence, fellowship, love and dialogue have the possibility to change society in general, and the world of work in particular, for the better. I feel privileged to invite folks to encounter these ideas.
  4. To listen to and learn from others, and experience their alternative perspectives.
  5. To share my experiences. I probably have more experience in software delivery (and life) than most. Maybe my sharing equips readers with extra experiences, albeit vicariously.

– Bob

%d bloggers like this: