The First Workshop
I taught my first Bystander Intervention Tactics Workshop yesterday, to a group from the Society of Women Engineers in the Sacramento Valley. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this class, because they were engaging and willing participants in this two-hour training.
Workshop participants were challenged to consider what it would be like to be a minority in our society. They were asked to feel the fear that comes with being harassed in public. They practiced putting themselves in another’s shoes, and learned that it takes a measure of self-awareness. These participants showed courage and trust.
We teach the adult learner to be an ally, not a hero. The story is not about you. In fact, the targeted person would rather there were no story at all. Respecting the wishes of the targeted person is the first rule of Bystander Intervention. Let them take the lead. Give them a voice.
This workshop does not – cannot – teach you how to deal with situations involving weapons or physical violence. What it can do is give you tools to de-escalate harassment or bullying, possibly avoiding violent situations entirely. Non-violence requires courage and trust.
If you are interested in hosting a Bystander Intervention Workshop for your team or group, please contact us and we will gladly send a trainer to you, for only the cost of travel.