You don’t need to go too far back in history to see what happens if we don’t confront ‘bully behaviour’.
We can easily blame Hitler for what he did. But up until when he committed his atrocities during WW2, few people and even countries failed to keep him to account.
It is claimed that this is what Britain and France did with Hitler in the 1930s.
Hitler built up his army. After 1936, he reintroduced conscription, and by 1939 Germany had 95 warships, 8,250 airplanes and an army of 1m.. Hitler even war-tested his armed forces in the Spanish Civil War. Britain and France turned a blind eye to these breaches of the Treaty of Versailles – Britain even made a naval agreement with Germany, accepting Germany’s right to a navy 35% of the British navy.
Using the DISC behavioural system, Hitler could be seen as employing RED/negative “D” (Dominant/Decisive) behaviour.
The least effective way to handle this bully behaviour is to appease, rather than confront – usually RED “S” (Steady/Supportive) behaviour. I believe people who exhibit D behaviour appreciate more being confronted that people pandering to their controlling nature.
I see this all too often in business, people would rather ‘keep the peace’ rather than call people to account.
In the end everyone loses.
Confrontation coming from a value base usually ends up a win-win for all – BLUE behaviour all around! It’s not usually the easiest action to take – that’s why it takes leadership to enact.
Next time when you see bully behaviour, before you decide to appease you may need to show some leadership, speak up, take action.