It’s been all over the news. Marcos Ambrose has punched Casey Mears after the race. These are role models to many people. And the racecourse is their workplace.

What makes people think that it’s ok to bring violence, of any kind, into the workplace? At what point does a person ‘lose it’ and lash out at another? This happens all too often. Violence and aggression is rife in many workplaces. As to why this happens, well that’s the topic of another blog. In Australia, in most workplaces, overt violence is not tolerated. That’s appropriate. But what about other types of violence? Most of us have been on the receiving end of ‘passive aggression’ at some point. The irony is that there’s nothing passive about it. Yet, in many workplaces passive aggression is either tolerated or nothing is done about it.


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Sadly, some people are really good at it and some others are remarkably good at it to the point of sociopathic behavior. But these types of behaviours can have a deep impact on the psychological wellbeing of the workplace and its members. How many people need to be harmed before it impacts on your team?: only one. That can be the start of the downward spiral into workcover claims, low morale, low productivity, etc. In circumstances like this, it’s important to rip out any roots of distress and discontent asap. Leaders need to send the clear message that these types of aggressive behaviours will not be tolerated. There is no room for aggression in a highly productive team. Commit to stamp out all aggression or violence from your teams. Where do you start? ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is a good rule of thumb.

If you want to check out the Marcos story go to

Author: Peter Diaz

Peter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organizations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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