https://shiftworkplace.com/podcasts/authenticity-humanness-collaboration-linda-crockett/

E13 Authenticity, Humanness, and Collaboration with Linda Crockett

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Bio for Linda Crockett

Linda Crockett is a workplace psychological harassment specialist, trauma therapist and the Founder and CEO of Alberta Bullying Research Resources and Recovery Centre, the first resource in Canada designed to provide a specific variety of services to organizations, employees, and individuals, from needs assessments, consultations, training, mentoring, research, and coaching through to short or long term counselling. She is a highly trained and experienced professional who collaborates with qualified associates to offer tools for prevention, intervention, and recovery options. Her goal is to ensure psychological safety and address psychological injuries in the workplace.

Linda leverages her 32 years of experience in social work in her private practice, travelling all over Canada and North America teaching, training, coaching and helping people identify and solve bullying issues in the workplace. Her passion for this cause arose after 22 years of social work, when she found herself in a difficult workplace situation, hitting rock bottom, as she describes it. She went back to school for a Master’s Degree, advocated for changes in legislation, met MLAs and MPs, wrote petitions and was part of the movement that led to a law being passed in Alberta which made workplace bullying illegal.

Linda had not been taught about workplace bullying, had no exposure to it before that time in her life, and no language to talk about it. She experienced debilitating shame as someone who helps people out of extremely difficult situations, because she couldn’t help herself out of hers. She went into silence and isolation, searching for recovery, justice, and answers, but didn’t find any in Alberta. Her therapist didn’t know how to correctly address her situation either. She wanted to create a centre where people could go for advocacy, counselling, coaching and training that would open doors to research, resources and recovery options because she believed that Albertans would need it in the future.

Episode highlight

As a Scottish-Canadian, Linda Crockett didn’t know where she belonged. Listen in on how she grew to help people assert their place in a world that she didn’t always find welcoming.

Links

Quotes

  • “Workplace bullying is primarily psychological abuse.”
  • “I call the internet an abyss of weaponry if we want to hurt somebody.”
  • “If you listen to many people who turned their experiences into ways of helping other people, you’ll find that they shared some pain in their lives too.”
  • “I think that’s a really powerful leadership skill – to be self-monitoring, to listen to that voice within us.”
  • “Nobody can ever shatter the truth that I am a good person, that I try my best, that I do my best.”
  • “If you are not confident as a leader, you need to listen, hear as to what’s in your way of being confident and you need to sit and deal with it and correct it so you can be confident.”
  • “My guiding mantra is – am I walking my talk? Am I practising what I preach?”
  • “Being human is about accepting that I am not perfect.”
  • “I want people to… learn from their mistakes and do better so they won’t stay trapped in shame and regret for incompetency and make decisions with guilt and shame… that makes us poor leaders, that makes us poor parents… So I think we have an obligation towards ourselves to heal that part of who we are and remove the guilt.”
  • “It’s so important to put our egos aside and understand that we all have limits and see the gifts that each of us have and bring that together as a group to change things that sometimes are impossible.”
  • “There’s plenty of work out there for everybody if we could just collaborate, accept our limitations, see our gifts and work together.”
  • “I believe that healthy collaboration helps us do our best and could really move mountains and save billions of dollars each year.”
  • “All that stress becomes… blocked energy in your body and in your brain and you can’t process and flow like you normally would. In other words, your full capacity is not on board when you are stressed and you’re blocked.”
  • “We live in a world of higher stress – do more with less.”
  • “Your greatest tool is self-insight, is self-monitoring, is being aware.”
  • “You can’t change someone else… you have the greatest power… inside.”
  • “We need our investigators trained in trauma interviewing skills, we need our mediators trained, therapists trained, leaders trained and cohesive in their stand to remove bullying and practice zero tolerance in their workplace.”

Takeaways

Childhood incidents:

Linda’s parents had moved to Canada from Scotland when she was very young. Her mother suffered from depression, anxiety and layers of unresolved grief which developed into alcoholism. Her unhappiness impacted Linda deeply, giving her “a drive and it gave a determination that I was not going to be like that, that I was not going to hide in my fears, that I was not going to be a hostage to my fears.” She was inspired to try new and unique things, push and challenge herself, mature and heal, and forgive and accept her mother and look for the good in her. Linda realized that she could channel parts of her mother that she loved – her wit, fast and quick humour and ability to be social – which Linda believes makes her a good presenter today.

Linda’s father was gentle, charming, kind and genuine. Watching him work extremely hard to feed five children in a new country, she learned lessons from his integrity, how honourable he was and how people gravitated towards him. She channels parts of him too – his strong values and his inclination towards spirituality. Like his mother, he also had a good sense of humour and she has wonderful memories of her parents singing during her childhood. She states that she combined traits she picked up from her parents to make her the person she is today.

Groups you were born into and belonged to:

Being a Scottish-Canadian, she was teased by both groups for traits she picked up from either. She also grew up in a Protestant family who reprimanded her for speaking to, aspiring to be like or having crushes on Catholics. She couldn’t understand this, but knew she needed to be the one to break the cycle. To overcome her subconsciously engrained bodily memory of fear of Catholics, she went to a Catholic Church.

Al-Anon, a group for people impacted by people suffering from addictions, was a solace for Linda. It inspired her to begin a spiritual journey and seek her own truths. It drove her to achieve more and better in her life, and she feels grateful to it for leading her to her core values – authenticity, humanness and collaboration.

Linda has been most influenced by her profession of social work, “giving a voice to those who are silenced, giving solutions to those who are hopeless and knowing that all things in life are not black and white.” Her work has opened her mind, enhanced her skills and made her look at life through the lens of social justice. It has also made her challenge herself, understand her inner workings, accept her humaneness and grow beyond any perceived limitations.

Temperament and personality influences

Linda has always been a sensitive, genuine, caring, kind, and sharing person. As an idealistic social worker navigating a political world with varying levels of authenticity and deceit, she claims, “I felt like a dolphin swimming with sharks.” However, she has learnt to value her traits, draw strong boundaries and understand and accept herself. This helps her identify her own feelings before attempting to help someone else by bringing more emotional intelligence in her communication.

A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experience

As a social worker, Linda wanted to give it her all. She approached her work with all her heart, and found that others didn’t always resonate with her investment in her work. She felt that she didn’t fit in, moving from one job to another because she always wanted to do more than her employers allowed. In her last job, disciplinary action was taken against her for doing too much for a family she was working with. That was when she realized the difference in the culture of her profession and the space she was coming from.

Advice to an employer to work with me

Linda says that to work with her, she needs to be reassured that all the policies and procedures of the workplace are aligned with the current Occupational Health and Safety Act which will protect the staff from any harm. She would also like to see separate training opportunities for staff and leadership. It is important to her to know that the entire leadership team is on the same page about workplace safety, and that the organization will maintain an open dialogue about it.

More great insights from our guest!

Linda’s organization celebrates Workplace Bullying Awareness Week every year in October. If you are someone who is or has been a victim, bystander or perpetrator of workplace bullying, she has resources and can help! There is no shaming involved, just changing and healing. Contact her for posters, handouts, training, videos and a lot more that can make an impact during this week. She not only offers consultations and needs assessments to employers but she also trains therapists to better help people who have caused or faced workplace bullying. She recommends following people like Brené Brown to learn how to understand ourselves better, to rise above bullying and to strengthen oneself so as not to be afraid of vulnerability.

Tagline

You have the greatest power inside: A Scottish-Canadian workplace harassment specialist shows us how to understand and accept yourself to rise above difficult situations.

Extro

Turning trauma into transformation – that is what Linda Crockett’s professional journey is all about. From the difficulties of negotiating identity and hope within her newly immigrated Scottish family, to working with the most difficult social work cases in Alberta, Linda has consistently been on a self-discovery balancing act. On this delicate tightrope, her naturally kind and sensitive nature has come up against the need to protect from the harsh realities of dysfunction, addiction and violence. After recovering from her own workplace bullying experiences, Linda retrained as a trauma therapist and crafted the Alberta Bullying Research Resources and Recovery Centre.

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