How you feel about yourself plays a huge role in how you communicate. When you don't like yourself or see the world as an unfriendly place, you perceive and respond differently to others. A recent research study that was exploring whether shy people tend to be victims of bullying found a surprising result: shy people often become bullies! What the researchers found was that people who feel uncomfortable with others become disconnected and some of them become angry as a result. This anger turns into bullying in the workplace. Workplace bullies impact the whole environment and greatly disrupt the flow of communication. The funny thing is that most workplace bullies aren't even aware that THEY are the workplace bully. Many think that they are just doing what they need to do in order to get through the day. They are hurt and disconnected from others and they don't realize what they're doing.
So the solution? Always start inside of your own head first. How do you feel about yourself? Have you taken positive steps to feel good about yourself and connect with your workplace? After you've looked at yourself, start reaching out those who are a negative force in your workplace. You'd be surprised at how much you can change with just a few small steps.
Lynne M. Smelser, Ph.D. is an expert in communication. Her speciality is helping people to look internally to find barriers. Over the years she has helped companies create dynamic content and open communication channels. She also has assisted many individuals in overcoming communication anxiety and developing projects such as novels, memoirs, and ebooks.