Bystander intervention strategies are ways we, as members of a community, can step in to prevent problematic behavior we witness and help the situation from getting worse.
Asking for assistance from another person when intervening.
- What to do: Reach out to a supervisor, a colleague, a friend or ask help from people around you.
- What to say: “Hey, did you hear what that person just said? We should do something.”
De-escalating the situation by drawing attention away from the problem.
- What to do: Drop something on the floor; people will turn around and look. Start a conversation with the person who is being affected or causing harm to create a distraction from the situation.
- What to say: “Sorry to interrupt, my phone just died. Do you happen to have a charger?”
Putting yourself into the situation and confronting the problem.
- What to do: Get involved. Ask the person who is causing harm what they mean by their comment.
- What to say: Ask the person who is being impacted: “Hey is this person What to say: bothering you?”
There is not a single right way to intervene. Find the style that works for you, given the situation. The 3 D’s of bystander intervention are adapted from Green Dot: https://alteristic.org/services/green-dot/
View the Be-an-Active-Bystander (PDF)
MSU Prevention, Outreach and Education Department, poe.msu.edu
Return to Well-being at Work guide – Workplace Bullying page.