Tim Field's Obituary
Tim Field – The Gentle Man Who Battled The Bullies
(24.4.1952 – 15.1.2006)
Tim Field, pioneering world authority against bullying died on January 15, aged 53, following diagnosis of cancer late last year.
Tim was born on April 24, 1952 in Eastbourne. He graduated from Staffordshire University in 1975 with a First Class Honours degree in computing science, after which he spent nearly twenty years at the forefront of computing in programming and systems support and development. He specialised in designing and delivering training programmes for users with little or no knowledge of computing and became a regular speaker at user group conferences around the world, including UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and USA. During this time, his life was irrevocably changed when he personally experienced workplace bullying in 1994.
After recovering from a stress breakdown, Tim became passionate about identifying, understanding and dealing with workplace bullying and became a self-taught and recognized authority. His dream was of a bully-free world.
Tim set up the innovative UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line in 1996, and then established the world’s most extensive and widely used information website, Success Unlimited (later ‘Bully Online’). He published the regular Bullyting Times electronic magazine that reached thousands of readers and formed his own publishing house where he published Bully in Sight in December 1996. Tens of thousands of copies have been sold in thirty countries and the title has become Amazon’s highest–selling book on the subject. In January 1998 Tim type-set and published David Kinchin's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Invisible Injury; with revised editions in September 2001 and October 2004. In January 2001 he co-authored and published (with Neil Marr) Bullycide: Death at Playtime, an exposé of child suicide caused by bullying. He also wrote countless articles and training programmes and regularly featured radio and TV.
Tim kept up an exhausting lecturing and conference schedule throughout the world, speaking about bullying to groups including educationalists, police, medics and prison officers. His clients included thousands of individuals from every walk of life as well as institutions such as the BBC, trade unions, local authorities and other public bodies. He worked personally on over 5,000 bullying cases. This casework highlighted the lack of support and understanding for the victims of workplace bullying displayed by many organisations. He revealed patterns in how Trade Unions often failed to give effective representation to their members.
Tim believed that bullying was the single most important social issue of today – costing industry billions a year in lost work hours and society an inestimable loss in ruined lives – and that intensive study could provided insight into the behaviours which underlie conflict and violence. His work inspired and influenced anti-bullying organizations all over the world, while his personal energy, commitment and knowledge restored sanity and saved lives. In recent weeks, many of those he helped and whose lives he touched have recorded their gratitude.
Tim was well-known for his aphorisms. These included: “the adult bully is often charming, verbally confident and can be adept at using language to make his or her actions seem plausible”; and “good leaders and managers include, motivate, trust and empower people; bad managers and bullies exclude, disempower, control and undermine.”
He was deeply committed to development of self-esteem and positive ways of living and acknowledged a spiritual quality in his own life that assisted him greatly in times of enormous stress and hard work, especially through his own illness. Always a gentle and unassuming man, it would have been impossible for his close family and friends to have predicted the change of career direction that became his vocation and resulted in his phenomenal contribution to this poorly acknowledged area of abuse.
Tim received two honorary doctorates for his contribution to society, and for his considerable effort on initiatives to stamp out bullying.
His selfless work for the well being of others will never be forgotten and will live on in the continuation of his websites, the Field Foundation, his published works and those individuals and groups he inspired.
Tim’s passion for life was infectious and his interests wide ranging. Most notably, he was an accomplished pianist, scholar and author. The fun-loving side of his character was expressed as a popular karaoke singer, science-fiction enthusiast and devout *Trekkie*, traveling to the USA last year for a Star Trek convention.
In the coming year, Tim had intended to focus his energies on writing and publishing his next book (on serial bullies and psychopaths) and complete a co-authored film script, ‘Pure Poison’.
In the last few weeks of his life, he was able to spend time with his family and friends. He said that his most profoundly happy experiences had been travelling the world with his wife Susan, after they met at university; and the birth of their two children, Michael (16) and Fiona (12). Tim died with his immediate family present. He leaves a sister Rosemary, a large extended family – and a body of achievement and work that will inspire generations to come.
Jennie & Phil Chesterton, Will Messenger, Keith Munday and Helen Reed, with material from David Hinton and Neil Marr