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20 Ways Celebrities, Parents, and You Can Combat Bullying

20 Ways Celebrities, Parents, and You Can Combat Bullying

When Beyoncé dropped her Lemonade flick with the world a few weeks ago, the Internet, of course, went berserk. But then came the immediate attacks following the “Becky with good hair” lyric from her short film.

Her fans, notoriously known as the “BeyHive,” attacked other celebrities, assuming they were the proverbial “Becky,” causing the rift between Beyoncé and her famous husband, Rachel Roy and Rita Ora.

But there has to come to a point where I’m sure Beyoncé probably thinks her fans take things a little too far. Bullying, be it in person or online, is never OK. Roy eventually tweeted her frustration with the attacks, when some of the “BeyHive” bullied her teenage daughter.

And that’s just one recent incident. Malia Obama recently decided on Harvard as her school of choice in the next two years. But when Fox News posted the story to their website, the President’s daughter was bullied immediately. The commentary got so bad, Fox News had to close the post to comments.

Let’s not forget the Old Navy ad of the biracial family that met a barrage of racist insults and comments. It was so bad, Jack McCain, son of Senator John McCain, came out in public to slam the insults.

And it doesn’t end there! Dejah Jones of Newport News, Virginia; Nicole Mittendorff of Fairfax, Virginia; Amy Inita Joyner-Francis of Wilmington, Delaware; Destiny Gleason of Warrenton, Missouri — all of these individuals recently took their young lives from the result of constant bullying. The list is as long as time itself.

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So what gives? Does Beyoncé, Old Navy, and Fox News have at least a moral obligation to combat extreme bullying? In fact, why not everyone put more of an effort into fighting against bullying? Yes, our country was founded on free speech and liberty, but it was also founded on ensuring domestic tranquility and promoting general welfare to one another, per The Constitution.

So, let’s all work to put bullying in its place. Here’s a list of ideas to adapt to get started.

1. Speak up.

If you see something, say something. Not speaking is not an excuse. There are entirely too many anonymous avenues available in workplaces, schools, and universities to allow bullying to continue.

2. Don’t share social media depicting bullying.

We have a real problem with glorifying violence. Chances are you see at least one video of kids viciously fighting or bullying each other on social media once a week. Don’t fuel the fire by sharing it.

3. If you do share, give ways to stop it.

And implement it in your life. It’s one thing to share something because you’re disgusted by it. It’s another thing to leave a disproving comment and then do nothing to change your own behavior. Facebook and Twitter both have functions to report abusive material. Use it. If enough people report abusive posts, these companies will have no choice but to act.

4. Write more letters to leaders.

If your child is being bullied, inform the principal. If the principal wants to sit on their hands, inform the superintendent. If they decide to twiddle their thumbs, inform the major or the local television station. Everyone has someone to answer to.

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5. You’re not entitled to your own opinion.

I know this is an American right. But think about it. If you were really allowed to say whatever you want, why are there affirmative action laws in most workplaces? So, while legally you are allowed to have an opinion, it could cost you your job or livelihood. You’re entitled to your opinion, not a job. Learn to shut it up and keep things to yourself.

6. Learn empathy.

Words do hurt. Take yourself out of your bubble and try to understand words that don’t affect you could wreck havoc on someone else. We don’t know each other’s story, so don’t assume a little name calling or teasing is OK in every situation.

7. Recall some of your misfortune.

Before you start teasing the new coworker on the job for being a little out of the loop, simply recall how ridiculously clueless you were starting out on a new job. Yeah, doesn’t feel good, does it?

8. Humble yourself.

Not everything requires to be pointed to and laughed at simply because everyone else is laughing. Someone who was a great friend maybe turned into a real jerk. Humble yourself and do not fall into that category.

9. Pull out your cell phone and share it — with law enforcement

If you’re going to use social media to call out bullying, make sure the local law enforcement officials know, especially if it’s a serious crime taking place. And from the looks of many bullying videos that turned into brawls, it wouldn’t hurt to forward your video to the cops.

10. Stop giving excuses for kids.

In Shawano, Wisconsin, fining parents for bullying is a reality. Stop saying kids will be kids and other lame excuses. It could cost you a ton of money! And yes, this law in this small town is growing to be quite popular around the country. You’ve been warned!

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11. Don’t be scared to be an iron-fist parent.

Sometimes a little tough love is all it takes to get bullying children to realize their behavior will not be tolerated. Cut the phone and iPad use. Disconnect the laptop and cable. Cancel all their leisure activities until they can show and improve their behavior towards others.

12. Stand up for yourself.

You have a right not to be physically or verbally antagonized. And if they don’t want to listen, have an authority figure break it down to them.

13. Know when to get authorities involved.

Be able to distinguish horseplay from nefarious play. And if you’re not 100% sure, get them involved anyway and let them make the determination.

14. Use your platform.

Are you so proud of your thousands of Instagram and Twitter followers? Use your own platform to reach thousands of people in your own network when promoting anti-bullying.

15. Encourage celebrities to use their platform.

Simply because celebrities are celebrities, they shouldn’t sit idle and allow people to viciously attack others, especially if it’s being done in their name. Many celebrities, like Lady Gaga, have spoke up about bullying. In fact, she started an anti-bullying foundation. Unfortunately, her message needs to be heard throughout all of Tinseltown a little louder.

16. Know your harassment laws in the workplace.

Some of your coworkers will treat the workplace like a playground. If you suspect bullying, even if you’ve informed your supervisor, get familiar with workplace harassment laws just in case. You never know when you’ll have to call legal counsel to get your point across that you will not be bullied at work.

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17. Please. Please. Please don’t be scared to talk to someone.

Many of the poor souls who’ve taken their lives over bullying tend to have one thing in common: the lack of support. If you’re being bullied, please don’t feel you’re alone in the world. There are many online bullying forums to chat about bullying anonymously if you’re scared to address it in person.

18. Join anonymous groups — even if you’re not being bullied.

It makes even more sense to take a peek every now and then into forums if you’re a parent of a bullied child or someone you love’s being bullied. Get help, insight, and tips from others actually going through the ringer.

19. Encourage stricter laws for bullying around the world.

Shawano, Wisconsin is on to something with fining parents for bullying. Other cities and countries should follow suit. Hitting people where it hurts the most (their wallet) gives them no choice but to MAKE change happen or face some serious legal ramifications.

20. Don’t feed the trolls.

Many bullies are simply crying for attention. Don’t give it to them. Let them bask in their own misery alone.

21. Stop sitting idle.

When we hear about another young person taking his or her life, it’s not enough to pray and wish their family strength. Going to town hall meetings, speaking out about the deaths of numerous young people to administrations that are often left shrugging their shoulders, going to the media, or even campaigning to Capitol Hill are some of the loudest ways you can combat bullying.

Featured photo credit: Sad by Loren Kerns via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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