No bullies, no victims

Originally appeared on

Recent conversations with friends prompted me to dig out a brochure I’d created at the tail end of my career as a marketing communications consultant. Somehow, in the intervening years, this brochure had taken on a luster as a kind of piece de resistance capping my career. But looking at it now, I felt it hardly deserved special mention!

I realized it wasn’t the brochure that was noteworthy — it was the healing that had occurred while creating it that deserved a place of prominence. It’s a healing that is worth saving and sharing because it vividly demonstrated the futility of accepting the prevalent notion that we all—adults and children alike—operate in a world of “bullies” and “victims.”

One of my clients, the CEO of a large organization, had a reputation for being a bully. However, in the two years I’d been serving as his consultant, he’d treated me with nothing but the utmost respect. Then one day, out of nowhere, he yelled at me in a meeting. I was shocked, but didn’t react.

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