Instead of getting defensive, try to take a moment to calm down and recognize that it probably took courage for the other person to bring this up to you. What physical characteristics automatically trigger your brain to make an assumption about the person? As a leader, you hold a position of authority and power. Also, remember that your team will keep an eye on you for cues of how to react, so building in quarterly conversations to keep these challenging topics from being lost in the shuffle is important. For many people in minority groups, this simply isn’t the case. “The process is normal and we all engage in it; it only becomes problematic when we get stuck in it,” Kanter says. No one wants to be that person. “I believe we can get better at this by slowing down during interactions and using what we’ve learned from social science to … September 3, 2020 Valerie Rogers 88 Shares Recent events, like the murder of George Floyd, brought racial inequity into the global spotlight. Try not to act defensive. Micro-aggression Research. Before getting into why microaggressions happen and how to stop them, it’s important to note that this isn’t just about being kinder to people. Reducing Unconscious Bias & Microaggressions at Work - Chapter Summary. Minority You have to recognize that, no matter how different your own truth is, what they’re going through is true for them. Title: LGBTQ+ Microaggressions in Health Care. That’s important, of course, but microaggressions have a bigger impact than that: They can actually interfere with someone’s health. But I continue to remind myself that it is important not to lose sight of the challenges encountered by many of our colleagues on a daily basis. In fact, the bottom line and cultural impact of ongoing microaggressions in the workplace is similar to that of a company that has turned a blind eye to overt discrimination and harassment among its ranks. This is where empathy comes in. Kanter recommends coming up with a list of things you can do (and not do) that will get you closer to being the best version of yourself. For instance, asking a colleague based in India if they ride elephants to travel, telling a black colleague that they sound so professional when they speak, or asking a mother if she misses her kids while she’s at work. 1 https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/microaggression, 2 https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206313506466. The RHW aims to reduce microaggressions and increase interracial connection. In Kuczynski, A. M. (Chair), Discrimination and microaggressions: CBS research findings and a call to action. Organizations can reduce microaggressions in the workplace through these actions: Leading by example, facilitating honest discussions, building a supportive culture, and committing to lasting change. “When people call you out, they’re pointing these other processes out and showing you the bigger picture, not saying you’re lying or expecting you to say you’re a bad person,” Kanter says. You may not know exactly how the other person feels, but you can put yourself in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from. Some people counter this by claiming that people of color and other people who experience microaggressions are just being too sensitive. Measuring microaggressions in White individuals I: Self-reported microaggressions predict prejudice and racism. If your team is not as comfortable discussing topics like racism, sexism, or ableism, start by holding informal small-group discussions about the topics. Microaggressions Theme Microaggression Message Alien in own land “You speak good English.” You aren’t American. Having said that, you may want to explain and engage in a dialogue about why something is a sexist microaggression. Many factors contribute to a healthy workplace – high among them is a sense of belonging. But it doesn’t change the way your words or actions impacted someone else. Keywords: career development, coping, phenomenology, professional Black women, racial microaggressions The increasing diversiﬁcation of the global economy has resulted in unprecedented market growth and economic opportunity. If you’ve unintentionally offended someone, take it as an opportunity to assess and reflect. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/microaggression. Can we help you? People of color have experienced this fatigue for generations. Microaggressions aren't just innocent blunders, and new research links them with racial bias. Copyright © 2020 University of Washington, What Microaggressions Are and How to Prevent Them, What to Know About Firearm Safety If You Have Kids, 5 Ways to Safely Support Small Businesses During COVID-19, Home Birth or Hospital Birth? Many studies have shown that experiencing microaggressions has a negative impact on mental health as well as physical health. • White students in the RHW showed decreased likelihood of microaggressive thoughts. • White students in the RHW showed decreased likelihood of microaggressive thoughts. Find out how to reduce microaggressions and improve engagement, retention and performance. Counter microaggressions with micro-affirmations. We have therefore devised a training package to tackle the issue of microaggressions in the workplace and the training sessions have received great feedback. Microaggressions are about every day seemingly ‘harmless’ comments or behaviours that are wrapped in prejudice, bias and discrimination that marginalised groups are often confronted with. You can’t fix it, and they know that. This can open up opportunities for growth and compassion. The program also provides recommendations on how to reduce the prevalence and influence of microaggressions on recipients. These actions can include offering an authentic apology to the person or persons who were targeted, being more mindful of their actions in the future, and guiding them to resources on implicit bias and microaggressions. It’s an automatic process that happens instantly, so many people aren’t aware of it. I engage in microaggressions every day, and I am grateful when I am given the opportunity to talk about why what I am doing is harmful and how I can rectify it. The tip of the iceberg is overt racism, sexism or homophobia, which is visible and unmistakable. People in targeted groups may develop depression and anxiety, leading to absenteeism. Learning Objectives 1. Once category activation and fear team up, your brain is primed to go into stereotype mode. That’s because of intersectionality, a concept that recognizes how all of our intersecting identities — like race, gender, sexuality, class and more — interact. Microaggressions – a term first coined in the 1970s1 – are comments or actions that subtly express a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group. Increased Absenteeism. February 8, 2019 by Sana Rahman Leave a Comment. If a team or organization tolerates microaggressions or denies their existence, employees will notice and may decide to leave for opportunities elsewhere. Microaggressions and Bias in the Workplace In this virtual training, learn the definition and impact of microaggressions, and how to recognize and reduce them in your workplaces. Research by Nadal et al (2014) researched over 500 racially underrepresented groups in America and it was found that higher levels of microaggressions were related to poorer mental health and depressive symptoms. Take the example mentioned above asking a coworker where they’re really from. Practice a culture of inclusivity, respect, and appreciation, and make the team understand that microaggressions don’t belong. Most of us want to be kind to others and show that we care, but that might seem harder to do when you don’t personally relate to what someone else is going through. However, the colorblindness approach also refuses to recognize the dramatically different experiences people have because of race and racism, and in doing so negates those experiences. By looking and understanding what racism means will give a basis for understanding what microaggressions are. But it’s important to believe that people are telling the truth when it comes to what they experience — even if that means leaning in to the scary realization that what they have to deal with is worse than you thought. It can sometimes be difficult for white people and others from a majority group to recognize this because they haven’t lived it. Maybe you joked to a friend of color about them acting like a white person. But these small slights compound to the point where they have a bigger impact than their original intention. Your brain is going to pick up on these differences instantly, so if you’re aware of that process you can prevent yourself from getting stuck in it. For that reason, and to avoid the targets of microaggressions from developing a sense of being a victim (and without power), a better solution might be to develop strategies to reduce prejudice and the larger underlying structural problems that lead … This may leave you wondering what can I do as a leader to minimize microaggressions within my team? Maybe this person is someone you already know, or not. I view this consciousness on my side of the communications stream as my effort to reduce microaggression. This can include a range of actions designed to address the harm that has been done as well as to reduce future harm. Seek support and talk it out with someone you trust. 1. The term microaggression has been used increasingly within everyday language but what does it mean? We identified some of the most common, and what to say or do instead. Start by imagining you’re going to have a conversation with someone who is different from you. She is so excited to have a little more power and autonomy at work! Most importantly, this blog provides educators with the successful pedagogical practices designed to reduce racial microaggressions within their educational institution. Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or … Restoring wetlands near farms would dramatically reduce water pollution. Microaggressions in the workplace can have severe consequences. Although most microaggressions research focuses on adult populations, there is ample evidence that students in pre-K-12 settings may experience microaggressions from other students, from adults in the school, and through the school environment. One of the best things you can do is to use your power for positive change! The first step though is unlearning these 5 persistent, nagging microaggression myths. 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