Tackling a Disrespectful Remark
What would you do if a coworker said something that you found disrespectful? Studies show that how people predict they would react in a situation differs from what they actually do. Amy Gallo, contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, outlines a few options.
- Decide if you’re going to say something. If you stay quiet, you might be sending the message that the comment or behavior is okay. If you speak up, you may be able to change the person’s future behavior, but you could also face a harsh reaction or risk your job security. If you’re a manager, remember that you have a responsibility to make sure that your employees feel safe and comfortable at work.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. Try not to assume the remark was intentionally disrespectful. Instead, start out with an assumption that the person didn’t mean to offend you. Usually, the person is just careless and unaware of causing offense.
- Explain how you feel. When you bring it up, don’t label what they said as offensive or mean. Instead, talk about how it made you feel. It’s less accusatory and more personal.
- Ask a question. Asking them to repeat what they said or what they meant by it gives them a chance to take it back and can clear up misunderstandings.
- Take it higher. If it continues, bring it to someone with more authority. Finding other people who have experienced the same issue can give you more sway when you talk to management.
For more tips on dealing with offensive comments, read the full article.