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What to Look For

You may notice a range of disruptive behaviors such as inappropriate actions, disrespectful behavior targeted at another person, intimidation, bullying, stalking, or domestic/intimate partner violence that has entered the workplace. While not all disruption leads to workplace violence, these behaviors have been recognized as precipitants when looking back at an incident of workplace violence. The path towards violence is often progressive with cautionary signs along the way. And, we’re learning the cautionary signs fall on a spectrum of workplace violence that includes:

  • Behaviors of concern (inappropriateness, disrespect, and mild bullying)
  • Stalking, bullying, threats, domestic violence
  • Physical injury
  • Death

The Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work includes eight categories of concerning behavior. Awareness means understanding that concerning behaviors left unchecked can escalate into violence. If there is a behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it. Take action well before the point at which violence might occur. If you sense something, say something. If you don’t, maybe no one else will.