WMU News

Blakely to counsel on coping with workplace victims, bullies

March 25, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Learning to avoid the "bully-and-victim dance" in the workplace can have positive influence on one's entire life, according to an expert slated to speak at a Western Michigan University workshop Thursday, April 3.

Mary Blakely of Azuray Learning will present "How to Cope with Bullies and Victims in the Workplace" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Federal Room of the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce building, 346 W. Michigan Ave. The program, part of a monthly series of workshops offered by WMU's Women's Business Development Center, is free and open to the public.

Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact WBDC Director Patricia Guenther at (269) 387-2714 or <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

"Both victims and bullies are acting out of fear," says Blakely, author of the forthcoming book "Unmasking Bullies and Victims: Revealing Their Physiological, Psychological and Emotional Patterns." "Behind every bully and victim mask is a person who is afraid.

"If you understand the bully, in particular, you can refrain from being drawn into intimidating situations by not allowing yourself to become a victim. When people try to belittle you or shout at you, they are hiding behind their bully mask and feeling powerless. By understanding this, you can become the observer of their control technique and stay out of the drama."

In her talk, Blakely will outline the psychological, physiological and emotional patterns of bullies and victims; discuss tools and techniques for disarming a workplace bully; offer suggestions for discovering who the person is behind the bully or victim mask; and help participants identify whether they have ever been bullies or victims.

Blakely is president and chief executive officer of Azuray Learning, a company that creates and produces multisensory learning tools and programs. Author of the book "Why Not You," she is a learning and behavior specialist, educator, professional speaker and clinical master hypnotherapist. She offers a variety of training seminars, classes and lectures to children and adults at schools, businesses and other organizations. Blakely specializes in multisensory learning and training, conflict resolution, teamwork, interpersonal communication skills and personal discovery.

WMU's Haworth College of Business established the Women's Business Development Center in 1999 to offer support to female professionals and entrepreneurs by providing training, problem-solving consultation, current business information and networking opportunities.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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