Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
You may want to “clean up” your work place because you’ve been told to, or because you’re trying to avoid legal action, or something came to you in the middle of the night saying, “you gotta change that place.” Without putting judgment on any of the reasons, it’s not always easy to tell an employee she better clean up her language or he better stop making comments about women, or they better stop telling jokes about Chinese drivers
It’s even tougher when you know that up until yesterday (or last week) you were guilty of saying the same things. Some people believe that if you’ve ever been part of it, then you’ve lost the right to say anything, ever again. Kind of like, “people who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.” That’s only true if you’re still sitting in that house made of glass. If you’ve stopped saying those things or have decided to stop saying those things, then you have every right, in fact you have every obligation, to make positive changes.
When you talk to the person or persons about changing their language, state up front that you’ve made similar comments in the past. If you’ve been one of the worst offenders, say so right at the beginning. Beat others to the issue you know they’re going to raise in an instant. Explain the reason for the need to change. Be honest. If you realize you don’t want sexist jokes because of how you’d feel if your daughter heard them, then say so and let them know it’s all personal. If you’re concerned about legalities, make sure it’s not about just getting caught, but that legal concerns are valid and we often don’t pay attention until we have to.
How about using these examples or similar language:
“I know I’ve made my share of jokes about ____ (fill in the blank) but it’s 2014 (or 15 or 16) and it’s time we stopped doing that. We should all know better. I certainly have.”
“When the women aren’t around I’ve been known to make remarks that I’d never want my daughter, your daughter, your wife, or your mother to hear. Funny little differences about men and women can be humorous when they’re good natured, but if we wouldn’t say them directly to the person, then I don’t think we should say them at all – or not while at work.” (This holds true if it’s women making hurtful comments about men.)
“I’ve been reluctant to speak up about some of the things we’ve been saying at work, such as _____ because I’ve been just as guilty as anyone – maybe even more so. But if someone like me knows it’s time to make a change, then I feel comfortable to ask the same from you.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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