Are you being bullied as an adult? Five ways to combat adult bullying.

Are you being bullied?

When someone repeatedly and deliberately says or does things to hurt another person it is known as bullying.

Most commonly we think about how school bullying has grown exponentially due to the 24hr per day reach of social media. It seems there is no safe place for kids to get away from bullying. However, adults too can experience bullying in the workplace, in social settings, and are also becoming the target of cyber-bullying.

Bullying behaviour might look like this:

  1. Intimidation or threats. This is where one person uses their authority or position to coerce a colleague to do something or there will be detrimental consequences. It can be as subtle as “When I decide on my successor, I will be looking for someone who goes the extra mile; first to work, last to leave and will respond to any demands outside of work hours. Someone who has decided work is their priority.”
  2. Physical bullying. Repeatedly violating your personal space or bumping into you. Sexual harassment, including encouraging others to collude with inappropriate comments about your appearance also fall into this kind of bullying.
  3. Passive-aggressive behaviours. There can be nothing more frustrating than being ignored or to have a person give you the silent treatment. The silent treatment is an obvious kind of bullying, however it can be very wearing on your patience when a colleague repeatedly says “yes, sure I’ll get that done” with no intention of following through. Passive-aggressive behaviours are not limited to one bully. Ever been excluded from that invitation you wanted? You would think exclusion finished with adolescence. Yet time and again the office goes out to lunch and no-one invites ‘you know who’ How painful for the person that is excluded from a group.
  4. Sticks and stones! The old children’s rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” is simply not true. Gossip, hurtful teasing, judgemental comments, and public shaming are very much evidence of bullying. In particular, we seem to be able to say a lot of hurtful things in an email or online that we wouldn’t dream of saying face to face. Such experiences ranging from being repeatedly annoyed to social and economic trauma can result in symptoms of mental health disorders. According to the Australian Psychological Society, signs that indicate a person is being bullied could include withdrawal, depression, anxiety (including panic attacks), low self-acceptance, loss of confidence, chronic exhaustion, disordered eating habits, and in its extreme PTSD and thoughts of suicide.


  1. Trust your gut feeling. If you feel uncomfortable in an interaction trust your instinct to remove yourself from the situation. If you feel unsafe, remove yourself and get the help you need. Follow company procedures to get support. If you are afraid to do this or have tried to no avail, you can call a crisis hotline, make an appointment with a psychologist, or get advice from a legal representative as some alternate options. It’s important to know your rights in order to defend yourself appropriately.
  2. Keep Your Distance. Let’s face it, some people just are difficult to deal with. If the bully is just annoying and not interfering with your workload, try to avoid interacting with that person. Bullies can thrive on getting a response and might give up if they are politely ignored. This includes not showing them that they are getting under your skin. The more calm you are the more likely you will be able to act thoughtfully and in your own best
  3. Assert your boundaries. Make sure you let the other person know that they have crossed a line. Further, tell them that if they continue to cross that line you will speak up. Sometimes bullying continues because the sufferer remains silent. Bullies thrive in secret places. When speaking with groups of children, I often tell kids to hold out their hand like a policeperson and say “STOP, NO, I will tell my mum” to the person who is making them feel uncomfortable. You may need to send an email that clearly reiterates your conversation, ie; Dear Jo, Just confirming our conversation today that I have kindly asked you not to speak to other colleagues about me. And that if you continue to do so, I will need to take this matter further.
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. It’s more common than you think, and people won’t think there is something wrong with you or you are a drama queen. If you are an employer, ensure there is a clear pathway for employees to voice their concerns – AND respond promptly. Also make sure adequate support has been providing to the employee, namely provide psychological support as needed.
  5. Model respectful behaviour. Bullies get away with their behaviour when you bully back. Do your best to create safe, healthy places for yourself and others. Check that you are not gossiping or making public jokes at the expense of others.

How to write a release form for your blog, podcast or book.


Are you releasing something this year and collaborating with other leaders?

Do you worry about intellectual property and making sure you have your bases covered?

In the past I have created many different collaborations with people and sometimes especially with friends a lack of clarity around the agreement we have made can come back to bite you.

Here is a simple guide to help you get permission from those you are collaborating with, so that you have all your “ducks lined up in a row”


Here is an example below:

I grant NAME (NAME OF PUBLICATION, PRODUCT OR PODCAST) their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, successors, and assigns the right and permission to record, use, publish, stream live, offer for sale, or otherwise distribute any audio or video interview with me. Such right and permission includes, but is not limited to, my name, recorded voice or video, photograph or likeness, biographical information, handouts or any material based upon or derived therefrom.

I understand that NAME OF BUSINESS OR NETWORK may, at its sole discretion, produce presentations or publications based in whole or in part upon audio interview (or any portions thereof) and/or a video or audio recordings or photographs of said interview, and that such media or transcripts may appear in print, online, or in any manner or media, including but not limited to promoting the podcast or streaming audio program.


I have no right of approval, no claim for compensation, and no claim (including, without limitation, claims based upon invasion of privacy, defamation, or right of publicity) arising out of or in connection with, any use, alteration, or use in any form hereunder.

I enter into this agreement and I grant the rights granted to NAME OF BUSINESS. I agree that during the course of the interview, printed work and publishing I have not violated the rights of any third parties, including copyrights, rights of privacy, trade secrets, and non-disclosure agreements, and that in the event of any breach of any of these warranties, that I will defend and hold NAME OF BUSINESS  against any such claims.

This release shall be binding upon me and my heirs, legal representatives, and assigns.


original written by the one youfeed:



Hopefully this helps. And in no way is this meant to replace getting contractual legal advice for copyright permissions that are more complex than a simple collaboration.

Amanda Viviers

Grow your public speaking capacity with these ten easy tips

The Boardroom Retreat was designed to help you grow in capacity. Public Speaking is one of the top fears of any leader. Ask a leader to send out a meeting request no worries, stand them in front of a crowd and we begin to shake.

Brene Brown released her latest book this week Dare To Lead and she begins the introduction with her own fears around public speaking. 

Amanda Viviers from The Boardroom Retreat gives her top ten tips in growing your public speaking capacity. Let’s start a conversation below in the comments and let’s grow together.


Begin with your story

No matter what topic you are speaking on, refine and define your own story to bring authenticity and courage to the platform. The more you rumble with your own story. The more you collect personal examples and applications of these stories in your own life, the more accessible you are to the audience.

How do you collect your own stories for public speaking?


Lighten up

One of the greatest connection points in public speaking is the capacity to laugh at yourself and with the audience. When you lean in to see who is in front of you are they enjoying themselves? Each and every time we communicate in front of a crowd, own the space by lightening the mood. A simple joke, a story or an opportunity to allow the audience to see your backstory.

What makes you laugh?



The media saturation of our current age means that more than ever we have become visual learners. Unfortunately, most speakers then move to “death by powerpoint”stealth stance. Rather than hundreds of slides, what if you used a visual, a picture or a prop to help bring your story to life. In every point that you are trying to make as yourself this question:

How can I visualise this point?


Less is more

The best way you can improve your presentation is to cut it in half. Fewer points, less information and half the quotes.  Beef up your time, with stories, examples and applications. When we focus in on the subject and create moments that take our audience to places where they can remember the main points, we have achieved our goal.

In one sentence what do you want the audience to say your talk was about?



Often the most distracting things about a speaker are the things they have no idea they are doing. It might be the repetition of a word. It might be how loud or how soft their voice is. Maybe its the microphone and its bugs, that is stopping the audience from hearing them. A spelling mistake in their slides. The best way to check for distractions is to do your presentation in front of a friend. You could record it and ask someone to give you feedback. Take the time to eliminate distractions.

What do you do that is distracting?


Be unique

Do your best to bring original content, that has been applied in your own life. Don’t copy someone else’s talk, style or story. Don’t rehash a book you have read. Sink into your own experience and bring something unique. Find the gold within your own life. It will make all the difference to bring your unique to the platform.

What makes you different from others?


Be interested

The best way to be interesting is to be interested in others. A public speaker can collect stories and insights from an interesting life. However, if we spend our days in a narcissistic pursuit of our own self-interests, we lose sight of the perspective gained through others. Be interested in the audience. Ask them what they are looking for? Stand and talk with people before your presentation gaining insight on the room. Look into their eyes and seek out who is in the room and what they are needing.

Who is your audience and are you interested in them?


Help people hear

There are four ways that you can improve the way people hear your voice. One the speed at which you speak. Play around with it, be as natural as possible and bring light and shade. The volume at which you speak. Ask a friend whether you are a loud talker or a soft speaker, is there clarity in the pronunciation of words. Thirdly your high inflections at the end of your sentances or low inflections. This is when your sentences are like a dance. The movement within them either brings height, depth, emotion or disconnection. Lastly, how do you take a deep breath and highlight words that are imperative to your overall presentation. Moments of rest. Moments of silence. Speed.

What one of these traits do you need to work on as a speaker?



Never go over time. Ever. Use a stopwatch or your phone. Practise your timing and if possible try to keep your talk to less than 18 minutes. The attention span of our culture is increasingly decreasing. Hold their attention. Leave them with an application and get off the stage!

How can you deliver on time?


Be yourself

The best presenter is the one who is most like themselves off stage. Don’t use a different voice, a different accent. Try to find a way to magnify the person you are in your everyday. Don’t mimic or copy what others are doing. Sink into your own story and be you.

How can you learn more about yourself so that you can be you onstage?

Hope these tips have helped you. Apply them and tell us below how you go…

Let’s grow together

Amanda Viviers

Do You Have Social Media Overwhelm?

Social Media has completely changed the way we communicate. There are many great aspects to social media, but one of the worst is how much time we waste there, trying to find the right people to connect with.

We have created a simple and easy tool, to help you plan out your social media posts for your not for profit, community project, business or passion project.

Download your free resource here and take one hour to plan your social media for the week.

When you plan to produce well in this area of our life, it will make such a difference to our overall productivity!

Download here

And use our hashtag #theboardroomretreat and let us see your photos to join our community.

New Course Launching

We are so excited about the launch of our new course at The Boardroom Retreat!

Our desire is that you would be the best leader you could be. The reality is, as leaders some of the issues we struggle with are often internal – issues like anger and insecurity. Anger can certainly be a powerful tool, but often we try to shut it down or remove ourselves from its fury. Likewise, insecurity can be debilitating in business or leadership.

And so we put together this course with the intention of helping you to flourish. We really believe that these courses will help you overcome these internal roadblocks, help you move closer towards wholeness, and allow you to become an emotionally healthy leader.

We can’t wait for you to get a hold of these courses!