Being the very best you can possibly be at all times, in every way, in every situation, under every circumstance. A jammed pack statement right. Think about this. At all times. In every way. In every situation. Under every circumstance. Simply put, you control every decision you make and every action you take. Imagine the impact of diversity when everyone decides for themselves. Well, the world is full of “follow-the-leader” individuals. You know how it goes. Friends, groups, clicks even that create an elite club that excludes those they do not like for no reason. Maybe they don’t drive a nice car or they bring lunch every day instead of going out. The bias is sometimes unconscious and naturally displayed as normal practice.
You are always an intricate part of “we” in society. Although you cannot control the actions of others, you can control how you respond to discrimination that you may witness. Many times standing by silently is providing your stamp of approval. Further, the person committing the act finds comfort in your “lack of action” and will continue to harass others. Below is a self-test to see where you stand when faced with a challenge to stand up for others or what you may believe to be wrong.
Experiencing Discrimination Self-Assessment
How many times did people say things that were untrue about people of a different race, gender, or age group in your presence? How many times have you experienced hearing bias remarks about another coworker in conversations? How many times have you seen peers joke about or joked at because of their appearance or look?
Self-reflection usually provides thoughts of unrealized truths usually dismissed as no big deal. Sadly, you may be the person enduring this awful reality of discrimination. Use this same self-assessment tool in Figure 1 considering you as the victim. How different was your experience – just thinking about the answers? Additionally, are you guilty of discriminating against others? Yes, you could find yourself on different sides of this scenario. The real question now is:
Which side of discrimination will you work towards – perpetrator, victim, or problem-solver?
The uncomfortable reality is that we all have experienced some form of discrimination. Finding a healthy solution to co-exist respectfully is challenging and can be exhausting as well. But it does start with you . One person, at each moment, to change one situation, you have the ability to change many.
A number of influences affect individual behaviors in the workplace. Get rid of the toxicity in your life. Negative friends should become associates from a distance. The behavior associated with social influences on individual decisions is considered peer pressure. These influences shape who you become in the shadow of others. Exercise your freedom to choose when the decisions are tough.
Healthy solutions to diversity start with one individual decision. If we reflect on the true definition of diversity, we will find that many underlying influences are contained within. Specifically, gender and age rank at the top of the list creating biased individual opinions. I challenge you to encourage relentless execution of the existing diversity policies and become courageous in your personal actions. Be the best you can be.