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You are a Bully

Posted on 29 January 2014

An officer’s behavior affects the performance of the crew. What you say and do is being watched and processed by crew members. When what you say doesn’t match your actions, the crew notices. Many officers will work on their weaknesses through training and further education. Striving to be better officers with a return on creating competent future leaders inside their crew. Yet a few officers will find other ways to offset what crew members perceive. Some of those actions include:

• Taking all the credit for the crews work.

• Seeks out faults in crew or individuals, making crew feel inadequate.

• Often times will become very random and impulsive.

• Might omit pertinent information setting crew up for failure.

• Can become dangerously aggressive on fire ground to prove worth. (this one scares the heck out of me…you know it happens)

We can go on all day with possible characteristics of a “Bullying Leader” and how much possible destruction they leave behind. The tough part is: What do you, as a crew member, do about it? I wish there was a clear all definitive answer to that question, but each situation encountered is not the same. Many say go talk to the Officers immediate supervisor. Which could work in a lot of cases but there is always the possibility of the “Kiss Up and Kick Down” chain of command. Some suggest, as a crew member, to ignore it and keep a positive attitude for the rest of the crew. Even a few say sit down and have a talk with them.

There are a lot of right and wrong things to do when handling this situation, but one thing that is certain a “Bullying Leadership” style will not sustain. Be the change!

We would like to hear your thoughts on handling or how you were directly affected by an officer or even a crew member who likes to be a bully. Comment on our facebook page or shoot us an email.

Remember...Fireman Up, it's an attitude!

Darrell Fitch


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