I recently initiated a discuss where I talked about the importance of directness. But when I thought about it, as with most things, I realized that once you put the same issue into the workplace, the rules changed.
Is one to never bring up anything from current events at work? "Never" is a big word. But it is important to stay vigilant on the effect your opinions have on others. Notice whether they are getting irritated, emotional, impassioned. Notice when a usually talkative or effervescent person gets quiet.
In conversations over the years with people about discrimination, I find that people quickly downplay whether bias is as the root of the problem. More specifically, when the discrimination addressed is racial, I find that many whites reject the possibility of racism before they’ve fully considered the situation.
Recently I read an article on how to deal with toxic people in the workplace. Frankly, I found the advice to be, well, toxic, at least when it comes to workplace diversity. I don’t fault the writer of the article; she was getting most of her advice from a book written by a psychiatrist. But psychiatric advice has its limited place in the workplace.
As strange as it may seem, Black History Month is one of the hardest topics for me to speak about. It’s a complicated topic about a still necessary educational tool. In the workplace, honoring it has always been an awkward addition, in part because it’s not an “ethnic celebration” revolving around food and fun.