Outlined in the tabs below are some of the comments and feedback received from participants in the Active Bystander training.
Using the 4Ds Model
Have you used the 4Ds Model (Direct Action, Delegation, Delay, Distraction) to intervene in your work life or personal life since receiving the training?
"Used in general day to day"
"At a workshop dinner the CEO of a company we work with made derogative comments about a female member of his team, who was my main contact with the company. An Imperial colleague who was also present and myself both felt we couldn't intervene at that point as it would likely make things worse for her, but we made sure to praise her work and attempted to change the subject when the CEO made another poor joke. The training helped me understand better what the options were in a very uncomfortable situation"
"Where someone in a group said something I felt was directed at the only older member I spoke to the potentially affected person after to check they were ok - which they were. They felt glad to be supported if they had felt it was inappropriate. I also spoke to the person who made the comment a few days later that it could potentially have upset someone."
"Male colleague talking to two female staff plus myself after a social event. A sexist comment was made towards one of the female members of staff, causing the other to challenge his comment directly. He then challenged her, so I backed up the original challenge to ensure it was clear such language was unacceptable."
"We have had a few issues reported to me and I have taken direct action relating to the individuals who were responsible for the issues arising."
"I have used this in my personal life in order to resolve some conflict between friends. The direct action has come in handy, but also the distraction technique has been helpful when trying to steer a conversation away from awkward or unhelpful conversations!"
"Used delay/delegate - to support a peer at college who was verbally abused- contacted course administrator about incident after the event to support my peer".
"Advice to teenage children on how to deal with issues. Advice to colleagues on procedures to follow if bullying is alleged".
"A couple of PG students were having a conversation where one party was being more than overly sarcastic about the others project development and timescales."
"Long-running issue with borderline behaviour on part of one of my current line-managers. Tend to use a combination of delay and delegation."
"Sexist comment made towards a friend whilst at a music gig - in the past when such things have happened, I've frozen, but in this instance, thanks to the training, I evaluated the situation, decided to go with direct action, and then said something."
"I was made aware of some changes in facilities for staff that had not been transparently communicated on purpose. I informed a senior person of this. He has agreed to address this without breaching my confidence. I helped a homeless person this weekend- bought food/ gave money and gave them my gloves. The Liverpool Street station video I think has made me much more aware of my surroundings and being more empathetic to take direct action where I can"
"Delayed action - will be speaking to my line manager in 1-to-1 about derogative language used by a team member and the manager about others not present in a meeting. Creates toxic atmosphere and accepted custom to put people down."
"nothing serious, but starting to challenge the culture, i.e. swearing"
"In a work situation, I noticed that colleague was uncomfortable with what was being said by a person in a position of power. I chose to try and distract and take direct action with my interactions with that person. Generally my awareness has been raised by the training and I feel more likely to notice and intervene when I feel I am witnessing unacceptable/inappropriate behaviour."
"I came to understand that a member of staff has been unprofessional towards students, and I raised this with the person's line manager."
"Reported behaviour of a colleague to the HoD and the matter has been dealt with."
"Delegation: I reported some unacceptable behaviour to my line manager. - Direct action: I ensured that a stranger who had just been in a row and was clearly distressed was okay."
"I can't really give precise details, but I intervened in a student dispute last week. I would describe this as a direct action."
"I attended a safety training course where the external trainer was unprofessional and offensive to some of the other attendees. Several of us walked out of the course and contacted the organiser straight away to complain and the external trainer will now no longer be used."
"I have considered using the 4Ds to check in when I observed a colleague who perhaps was a target of unacceptable behaviour. I think I should have checked "did that make you feel uncomfortable" - and though I didn't (yet?) the 4Ds did come to mind after the situation had passed. In my personal life i have used the 4Ds model."
"Distracted a colleague who was making comments that may have been making someone else uncomfortable."
"Not an example of the success story per-say, however I have been more confident in requesting that some individuals manage their expectations of colleagues, including myself. I suppose that since this training I have also felt that I am more aware of my surroundings and notice (for example) when people need help with a buggy on the underground etc, and am more likely to step in and offer help."
"Another colleague who hadn't received the training confided in me that they were being bullied by another member of staff (who has had Active Bystander training). I asked questions about the situation and asked her to give concrete examples of the bullying. I encouraged her to speak up about it to her line manager and the head of the department. Whilst she did this, I don't believe that any action has actually been taken. I think one of the issues with bullying is that a member of staff can be good at their job, behave appropriately around the majority of people, and then bully/use their power over only one other person privately. That way no-one else will believe the individual being bullied."
"I've always taken direct action when tackling problems as i've always found talking directly resolves issues quicker. Sometimes the best approach may be to use a combination of the 4Ds depending on the situation. Example being when someone was over-spoken abruptly and i checked and ensured what they wanted to say was heard."
"I have used Distraction when in a group conversation (on campus, but in a social situation) that I felt some participants might have felt uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation as dictated by one individual."
"Direct action - new smoke-free policy Delay - before following up on in appropriate emails"
"I was copied into an email (about 8 people were copied in), and one person (a senior academic) humiliated another, writing a command in capital letters. It was highly inappropriate. I replied to request that me and my colleague are removed from the email chain."
"I offered assistance to a blind man who was struggling up the stairs and onto the train on the Underground."
"Just before Christmas, I intervened on the underground when noticing a woman being harassed by a seemingly quite drunk man. He wasn't physically threatening her, but she did express to him that he was making her feel uncomfortable and that she just wanted to be left alone to read her book, on more than one occasion. I went over to the man and, as politely as possible, asked him to respect the woman's wishes and wished him a Merry Christmas. Fortunately he agreed without a huge amount of persuasion."
"I have taken direct action when I felt that credit was not being given to participants of a particular programme. I wanted to encourage a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment- particularly of female staff that may not shout as loudly about their achievements. In the first instance I noted the behaviour to my manager as not being something that would help develop such a culture. However instead of dealing with it directly- he noted that he understood my perspective but left me to deal with the issue. I would have really admired it if he had questioned the behaviour directly- as opposed to me having to deal with it."
"I took Direct Action with a friend who was being unreasonable to others in a social situation (something which has happened many times and makes people uncomfortable) to ask her to stop."
"Member of staff describing an absent College colleague as a waste of space. Gave feedback immediately that this wasn't appropriate professional behaviour."
"More conscious of bullying as a type of behaviour in my role as a XXXXX"
"Delegation method was used when encountering a career issue"
"Following the roll out of Active Bystander training within my department a number of staff have spoken to me, as Head of Department, confidentially on the poor behaviours that they have witnessed or experienced.
"It was only having attended the training that staff felt empowered to do so and as such I would recommend attendance on this short but highly effective workshop."
"A member of staff reported feeling very uncomfortable about the conduct of a meeting. Although initially they did not want to take any action for fear of negative consequences, we discussed the 4D options and how situations may happen again if the person is not made aware of the impact of their actions on others. The member of staff decided to discuss the situation with the person and felt better for doing so. The person wasn't aware of their impact and apologised.
"I was on the train when a chap was watching a film without headphones. A number of passengers asked him to switch this off/turn the volume down. The individual had been drinking and was responding rudely.The situation looked tense. I had some spare headphones and decided it was safe enough for me to do a 'direct' intervention, so approached the individual and gave him the headphones. He was grateful and the other passengers smiled and gestured a thumbs up to me. Before the Active Bystander training I would not have bothered to intervene."
"I received a very curt email from a superior who used language that attacked me both personally and professionally. In the email this superior also used language that was threatening and questioned whether I should be in my post. The superior also cc&'d in a senior level College official to further intimidate. I utilised the skills I learnt to respond to the superior, who responded with a short email essentially ending the exchange. The course provided me with the training and confidence necessary to directly address the bullying, which seemed to show the superior how the actions were inappropriate."
From a Head of Department in Professional Services: "The Active Bystanding training has had a significant impact on the Division. At work, staff have felt empowered to address issues using the tools provided on the course, and several have brought matters to my attention. Some staff members even collectively intervened in a situation outside the College involving a distressed member of the public."
"I've noticed that my team are more likely to pick up on issues and raise them immediately rather than festering on them.
"This has heightened my awareness of circumstances or scenarios where some kind of intervention might be needed. I may have intervened anyway but this has empowered me to do so."
"I feel that it has allowed my team to have a voice and not be intimidated to tackle issues or situations using the 4Ds. Staff feel empowered by this and know that if something isn't acceptable then it need to be raised."
Colleagues usage of 4D Model
Are you aware of any colleagues who have used the 4Ds Model to intervene following receipt of the training?
"there has been some reporting and delegation"
"I am aware that following the training session a senior manager helped a colleague who felt they were being bullied by talking through the 4Ds to help them decide what action to take. They chose direct action which I understand has stopped the bullying behaviour."
"Almost intervening in a situation on the London Underground when a member of staff was being shouted at by a passenger. Someone else got in there before them but the colleague said that she would have said something and would not have thought to do so before the training. Also some researchers stood up to a senior colleague who was saying something rude to someone else and others stood up and joined in by saying the behaviour was unacceptable".
"An example was mentioned in a meeting".
"When a senior PI was talking with a junior researcher in inappropriate voice tone, for example"
"After the training session, colleagues have reported several minor behaviour incidents to the HoD"
"Unacceptable behaviour was reported to the Head of Department who spoke to the offender."
"I think that my colleague would be more appropriate to describe the event and their intervention. What I wanted to say here is that I totally disagree with the way it was done."
"My line manager helped a lady on the train who was being harassed by a drunk"
"At a recent training course, facilitated by an external trainer, it was felt by some attendees, including a colleague of mine, that the trainer was using inappropriate language and behaviour. Attendees took direct action by leaving the course and informing the appropriate colleagues of the situation."
"My colleague intervened when faced with a friend whose behaviour after a number of drinks was causing distress to a number of people. Historically, people had turned a blind eye to this."
"I know of a colleague who also took Direct action when using public transport and witnessed a form of harassment"
"Senior member of male staff commenting on how attractive a female member of staff was. A colleague called this out as inappropriate behaviour. The senior member of staff acknowledged that and apologised."
"Yes - but I don't want to disclose details to retain confidentiality"