Applied Humanism - in Business

What's Humanistic about Humanistic Management? Clause Dierksmeier has an excellent article in the Humanistic Management Journal that I think is worth reading. It's a LONG article, but worth the time and effort to read.

It is wonky - but the final section is about practical application for this philosophy with the emphasis on understanding the role ethics plays in how business decisions are made.

Here is a link: 

Even if you aren't interesting in business, economics impacts you. The philosophies and ideas of economists impact our politics. Understanding what underlies those philosophies - in many cases - different opinions about what freedom means - will help you make sense of the arguments being made in the political sphere and that are driving business decisions.

This article is fascinating because, while it is rather wonky, the discussion about the difference between quantitative freedom and qualitative freedom is fascinating and underpins debates between libertarian, liberal and conservative politics. This article really does a good job of breaking down these arguments to their core basis and clarifies what is being debated and why.

From a Humanist perspective I found the section on using the unconditional dignity of humans as the foundation upon which the philosophy is built - to be spot on. Clause covers the history of the concept of human dignity. Humanists, of course, based on the concept of human dignity on autonomy of freedom. And again, the discussion of this is fascinating.

In the section on deep ecology - he coins a term I now love. One of the complaints about Humanism has always been that it seems anthropocentric. While any Humanist will tell you isn't true, it is something we have to repeatedly explain. Clause makes the case that Humanism is anthroporelational not anthropocentric and I really like that concept.

Finally, he addresses the globalist nature of the humanist project, discussing research on the global nature of ethics and talking about the benefits of cosmopolitanism.

This is a seriously meaty essay and well worth reading.


Your perception is flawed.

Before you get upset, you might want to consider that you might have misunderstood the situation.

I have been reading a book I grabbed from my father’s house. It’s called Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar (

The book is a way to teach philosophy using jokes to explain the concepts. If you want to learn about philosophy and don’t want to read an academic book – this is a great way to grasp basic concepts.

I obviously teach a Humanist approach to solving problems, meaning my philosophic approach is to be compassionate, ethical, and rational when trying to solve problems.

A large number of our problems are interpersonal, meaning they involve other people. We don’t like what they did or said. We are right and they are wrong. The problem is that our thinking is biased. We only know what we experience and how we personally experience interactions. We won’t know how the other person does. And their experience might be quite different than ours.

One of the jokes in the book is this:

A man is worried that his wife is losing her hearing, so he consults a doctor. The doctor suggests that he try a simple at home test on her: Stand behind her and ask her a question, first from twenty feet, next from ten feet, and finally right behind her.
So the man goes home and sees his wife in the kitchen facing the stove. He says from the door, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
No answer.
Ten feet behind her, he repeats, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
Still no answer.
Finally, right behind her he says, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
And his wife turns around and says, “For the third time – chicken!”

Don’t assume you know what the other person is experiencing. When you are tempted to get mad and upset and righteously angry. Pause, step back from your moral opining and consider whether or not you are the one at fault!

At the very least – try to approach these problems with compassion so that if it turns out that you were being the idiot – you don’t compound the problem by being an angry idiot.

Workplace Bullying in the Construction Industry

It's bullying awareness month. Workplace bullying effects every industry. Nurses, academics and construction workers. Learning how to stop it is good for you and good for business.

I was contacted recently from the folks at Worksafe British Columbia.  They help companies across the province keep their employees safe from workplace injuries. One of the things they do – is help protect people from bullying, because bullying isn’t just an interpersonal annoyance. It’s a health and safety risk as well.

Worksafe BC has a great set of videos for workers in the construction industry in particular – talking about bullying. It is rare that I see content that is actually useful – so I am including links to it here.

Even if you aren’t in construction – I want you to watch this video.  It is about the work impact and the safety impact of bullying. It’s about what it means to be a good manager getting good work out of your people. Bullying is NOT a valid management technique.

To see all their videos and content on bullying go to:

If you don’t currently offer harassment training that teaches your employees how to get this behavior to stop – start. Don’t just offer them a training that says harassment is against the law. Give them a training that gives them the positive skills to stop bullying for real.

If you are in Canada – be aware that Ontario employees now have to provide sexual harassment training (see: And all Canadian employers have a legal obligation to make sure employees are not harassed. If you aren’t already providing this training – it’s time you start.
I can provide this training for you – in a way that covers the law AND how to make it stop. I have generic versions and state & province specific training (CA, ME & CT in the USA all require harassment training).

 Employers who have used my training report dramatic improvements in the moral and working environment.  You owe it to your staff and to your company to provide a training that can really help.

Details and information at:

This level of violence doesn’t just happen!

It’s October which means its bullying awareness month. As I teach how to get bullies to stop using operant conditioning I wanted to share this story here.
This article has 2 stories. The first involves a 5-year-old girl who was beaten up in a bathroom by an older girl who has been charged as a juvenile with false imprisonment, aggravated assault and battery. Which is a good thing because that’s exactly what happened. This wasn’t bullying, it was assault and battery.

The other story involves a high school girl who was literally beaten to death in a high school bathroom.  The student who did that was charged with criminally negligent homicide.  Again, appropriate because – this wasn’t just bullying, it was criminal level assault and battery.

What we should all understand is that this level of violence doesn’t just happen. It means they’ve had a festering problem that they haven’t dealt with that made these kids feel like it was acceptable to do this.  Either that, or the offending kids have severe mental health problems that weren’t being addressed!

I often say that if things escalate to violence then the adults failed the kids. We have to start taking bullying behavior seriously. Because it is serious.  It’s habitual behavior meaning – it’s going to happen again. There is usually more than one victim. And it escalates over time and gets worse. You can’t wish it away. If you don’t stop it – it will get worse!

If you don’t know how to get it to stop – learn! Behavioral scientists have known for decades how exactly to get unwanted behavior to stop. It’s time we start teaching that! If you are an educator – you have an even greater responsibility to learn this information.

Get my book:
And take one of my online courses (many of them are free -

Learn this, share it and pass it on!

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