Staff Council Update: Workplace bullying expert to present workshops and lecture

Published: Feb. 4, 2013

by Tom Sebok, CU-Boulder Obmuds Office

Wayne State University Professor Loraleigh Keashly, an internationally recognized scholar on workplace bullying, will visit the University of Colorado Boulder campus to present two bystander training workshops.

I have heard allegations of workplace bullying since becoming an ombuds 22 years ago. I hear ombuds colleagues talk about it almost every time we meet. For people who feel bullied, the problem is often severe both physically and emotionally. But those accused of bullying usually do not view their behavior as bullying and are often offended by the label. People who witness it often feel powerless to act. And, people with authority often don’t know what to do.

I’ve gotten to know Prof. Keashly over the past five years and in addition to her scholarly expertise, she is a delightful and warm human being. I am thrilled to be a part of this collaborative effort to bring her to our campus.

The bystander training workshops will be in the UMC Art Gallery, Room 225, from 1 - 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 and again from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. in UMC 415-417 on Friday, Feb. 22. Space is limited to 40 participants in each session, and those interested may enroll in one of the sessions at the links below.

Bystander training: “From observation to engagement: Developing peer strategies for addressing workplace bullying”

People who witness workplace bullying report feeling reluctant to act for fear they will be next. They also report that they do not know what options they have for responding. Prof. Keashly believes co-workers can learn to respond to uncivil and bullying behaviors and often have a positive impact. The focus of this session is to help participants recognize strategies they can use when bullying occurs in their workplace. In the workshops there will be opportunities to try out some of these responses through role play and debriefing of these experiences.”

Thursday, Feb. 21 session:

Friday, Feb. 22 session:


Workplace bullying talk: “Workplace bullying: What’s going on and what can I do?”

In conjunction with the CU Women Succeeding Symposium, Professor Keashly will also present “Workplace bullying: What’s going on and what can I do?” This talk will be in the UMC Aspen Rooms on Friday, Feb. 22 from 2:45 - 4:15 p.m..   

In this session, participants will learn to recognize when a relationship becomes bullying and when it is not. Professor Keashly will pay particular attention to women’s experiences. She will draw on current research and participants’ own experiences, and examine how bullying manifests itself in university environments. The group will then generate strategies that can be utilized by those who feel bullied, bystanders, and those perceived to be "bullies" to improve bullying relationships. 

The Symposium is free and available to individuals from all three campuses of the University of Colorado. Those interested in hearing Professor Keashly may sign up to attend at: