Background: Medical student and health-care staff bullying remain international concerns. Our understanding about what might solve such problems is still developing. A common approach suggested for bystanders to bullying is that they challenge or “stand up” to the bully. At the same time, the considerable risks should they act (eg, verbal rebuke) are rarely acknowledged, and neither is the potential for considerable cognitive dissonance should they choose not to. Methods: Drawing on a substantial literature review, we developed an interventional program, initially with medical student bullying in mind, that generally employed a discourse for values cultivation. We implemented and evaluated this program through 6 cycles of action research methodology in 6 different departments of one tertiary teaching hospital. Data include individual interviews, discussions with key participants plus freehand comments from wider staff’s workshop evaluations. Results: Alongside others, an early serendipitous finding was the “IMO” [Indirect, focus on Me, focus on Outcome] framework, intended for bystanders to student bullying. From using this framework, participants reported developing confidence in tackling negative behaviours, that interactions had better outcomes and that the workplace atmosphere felt more relaxed. It’s use also significantly reduced cognitive dissonance. Encouragingly, participants went on to use IMO for staff–staff bullying incidents, and other common negative behaviours. We attribute IMO’s utility to its memorability, simplicity and for catering to the many possible causes of bullying, including values issues, without perpetuating or creating conflict. Conclusion: The IMO framework is offered as a widely usable framework for all staff in a clinical environment – a useful addition to popular frameworks used in the clinical workplace, ideas from which might also help these be further refined. Further evaluation would establish whether IMO invites long-term change and its utility in other contexts.