Do you agree with this statement: Lawyers must be able to report “mini-bullying moments without fear that things will go nuclear”

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I read an article recently at

It’s a short, very interesting read that I recommend to you. Tiernan Brady was speaking at a Thomson Reuters Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law webinar on bullying and sexual harassment. Summary key points included:

 ·         If everything is reported to the top it could create a wall of silence

 ·         Most bullying was subtle and took place in unhealthy environments 

 ·         Predatory and professional bullies are very incremental and clever in the way they behave

 ·         He would encourage people to speak out as nothing focuses the mind of a law firm more than seeing another law firm          in the papers for all the wrong reasons.

Is there something missing?

 There’s a lot I agree with in the article. Yet the news item got me thinking. Isn’t there something missing here? Surely:

 ·         This is not just about law firms; this is about all firms.

 ·         Is it just “unhealthy” environments that create bullying and harassment? What about the so-called healthy                                  environments?

 ·       Do we really want to acknowledge what is going on? My experience in the HR and the Anti-discrimination fields                        suggests to me: perhaps reluctantly it will get dealt with.

 ·        And how about making this issue a zero-tolerance area? What’s preventing us from doing that?

Is there a confidence gap between men and women?

I question our organisational systems because there is so much evidence and research that women may not be as confident as men to speak out and they often may suffer in silence for many years.

Some of the research makes for very interesting reading, particularly women who are doing extremely well professionally and who consider themselves imposters! That’s amazingly sad.

What does the research say?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman have written a great book called The Confidence Code. More information can be obtained here:

Harvard Business Review has many articles, books and videos on the topic of confidence: One of these articles has been written by Rosabeth Moss Kanter on how to Overcome the eight barriers to confidence through examining:

1.      Self-defeating assumptions 

2.      Goals that are too big or too distant

3.      Declaring victory too soon

4.      Do-it-yourself-ing 

5.      Blaming someone else 

6.      Defensiveness 

7.      Neglecting to anticipate setbacks 

8.      Over-confidence.

Jack Zenger, the CEO of Zenger/Folkman, a strengths-based leadership development firm suggests research shows that as women’s experience increases over time, so does their confidence. And usually that women’s confidence increases more with age than men’s. He also says to consider the many opportunities lost for women in their early years because of fear and lack of confidence. See more at:

Jack’s six tips are: 

·         Mindset  

·         Dress and grooming 

·         Posture 

·         Overall manner  

·         Speech 

·         Communication practices

So what and who cares?

Well I think we all need to care and do something about it. Particularly because there are so many ways of helping women nowadays. Yet in many organisations, there are still no targeted and specific coaching and mentoring programs that will support women to grow their confidence and their EQ self-awareness.

Multi-Health Systems has a great tool that measures leadership in a variety of composite areas and subscales, including confidence and self-regard: If you’re interested in finding out more please call me or download a sample copy of the EQi-2.0 Leadership Report from my website: