I’m alleged to have done power harassment

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female nurse in my 30s. This year, I was promoted to a supervisory position and put in charge of my younger colleagues. But after several months, my superior called me and said many staff members became stressed because of my words and actions, and warned that my behavior constituted power harassment.

The call came as a shock. There were occasions when a patient’s condition changed suddenly or other incidents occurred. I didn’t think about how I was speaking, although I always wanted to be careful how I spoke. However, there were staff members who suffer sleepless nights or palpitations. They tried to avoid working with me, and my work schedules were drastically changed.

My role is to teach younger colleagues how to work properly, and I don’t know how to express my intention without causing offense.

I was also shocked that management took the side of the staff members who haven’t been working as long as I have. I don’t know how to change my behavior.

I, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

You come across as a very serious person, and I can imagine how you’ve been working hard while firmly believing you must supervise all of your younger colleagues.

I’m also the type of person who casually speaks up. I sometimes make others unhappy by making direct comments, even though I myself would accept such strong speaking. You may unconsciously hurt other people’s feelings because of the standards you have for yourself.

I think you just don’t have enough knowledge about power harassment. To resolve this, you need to take training in this area. From April, all business operators are legally required to take measures to prevent power harassment. This includes training.

I had observed how Yoshio Koide coached many renowned runners for years. During practice sessions, Mr. Koide often praised trainees. He encouraged them with shorts phrases such as “Good,” and “Perfect.” At the end of practice, he carefully told the runners their weak points while there was nobody else around.

The key is to “praise when others look on, and criticize when others are not there.” I believe that as a diligent person, you can become a trusted boss if you can find the little tricks that can get you by. Keep fighting!

Akemi Masuda, sports commentator