Creating workplaces free from harmful behaviours


Watch part three of the Dignity Matters video series.

Dignity Matters Part Three

The Law Society has created a Dignity Matters Video to bring awareness to Dignity at Work issues in the solicitors’ profession. The video was created to offer some reflection on the psychology of behaviours such as bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment in the workplace. It also looks at the impact of these behaviours on individuals and teams, and shares ideas about how we can build positive work environments.

In part three of this video series Maeve Delargy, Council Member, Cian Moriarty, Guidance and Ethics Committee Member, Hannah Carney, owner of Hannah Carney Associates and Noeline Blackwell, CEO of Dublin Rape Crisis and Human Rights and Equality Law Committee Member, address how individuals and organisations can create work environments that are free from harmful behaviours. You can watch it below



Individual Responsibility

“When those around you are dedicated to ethical conduct, that’s contagious and so is the reverse.”

Cian Moriarty shares a quote reflecting how each individual has the ability to significantly influence the workplace as a whole with their behaviours and actions. Individuals need to take responsibility to develop better awareness of how their behaviours may make someone feel. Maeve Delargy explains that small things like answering emails in a meeting or not acknowledging someone in the corridor may seem trivial but some may experience these acts as uncivil behaviour and so the impact needs to be thought about. Self-awareness is the starting point for all behavioural and cultural change.

Creating a Culture of Respect

Define it, communicate it and live it. Hannah Carney draws on the importance of senior leaders taking the time to define what respect means within their own firms and to not only communicate this but to enact respectful behaviours in all day to day activities. Leadership take ownership. When organisations take responsibility to not accept these negative behaviours then trainings, awareness raising initiatives, communications with managers and anti-bullying and harassment policies will follow closely.

Commitment to Protecting the Dignity of All Employees

Noeline Blackwell and fellow speakers stress that having up to date anti-bullying and harassment policies and procedures are essential to preventing and tackling negative behaviours. These frameworks provide organisations with a consistent approach to preventing and managing any dignity at work issues and create a space where employees can feel safe to voice their experiences, be acknowledged and be listened to and supported.

Cultivating Positive Behaviours 

Maeve Delargy highlights that it is equally important for organisations to notice collegial actions, model positive behaviours and reward those. Organisations should have collegiality on their performance review forms and commit to integrating positive behaviours into their business values.

Law Society Psychological Services

Find more information about the Dignity Matters Project, the Professional Wellbeing Charter and information on supports available on the Law Society’s Psychological Services Page.

LegalMind and Trainee Counselling Services

LegalMind is an independent and confidential mental-health support available to solicitors and their dependants and to those trainees who have completed Professional Practice Course II (PPCII). It is a 24/7 service, and can be contacted at 1800 81 41 77. PPC trainees are invited to  contact to access free on-site/online counselling while attending the PPC.

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