Triggering happens, at times through microaggressions committed by transgressors. Recipients carry emotional responses which may include anxiety, frustration, pain, and many others.
Microaggressions are not right…but I doubt we’ll ever be able to eliminate them 100%. Such actions may not violate the law, but they do increasingly run up against a company’s set of policies and core values.
In practice, microaggressions negatively impact work relationships, employee engagement, and company culture. In the same breath, acts of harassment and discrimination are markedly different from microaggressions, and must always be reported, managed, and appropriately enforced.
In your practice of Walking the Ridge I cannot state strongly enough how important the Principle of Charity can be – both as a useful precept and another powerful tool of dialogue at your disposal.
These days it’s hard to read or hear about diversity in the workforce without its widely welcomed and sought-after sidekick: INCLUSION. To that point, many diversity and inclusion professionals, even high level D&I officers such as Verna Myers of Netflix have this to say:
“In some ways, diversity is about counting, so like, we have one of those, we’ve got two of those, we’ve got three of those. But inclusion is about CULTIVATING, and I think that’s the difference.
She goes on to say…
“There’s no way to create this kind of [inclusive] environment that we’re looking for unless every single person is thinking, from their OWN perspective and their behavior and their relationships, how inclusive are THEY being?”
Microaggressions HAPPEN largely from a number of held cognitive biases. They’re formed from our environments and experiences. These biases work like FILTERS that help create the unique lenses of how we see and interact with others.
This is where the PRINCIPLE OF CHARITY comes in. The Principle of Charity is a precept or maxim used within general communication and discourse. It’s when we embrace and utilize a more generous spirit after having received an initial microaggression.
So instead of feeling TRIGGERED, the recipient makes the choice to interpret the other person’s statements in their BEST and MOST REASONABLE intent.
And just I’m clearly understood. In no way am I suggesting that we IGNORE a microaggression or casually provide a transgressor with the benefit of the doubt – and simply move on. However, I’m also NOT suggesting that a recipient snub them – or choose to label their entire character based solely on that single mistake.
Because just keeping quiet but holding strong levels of resentment can be every bit as bad as unleashing a verbal fury on them. So Walk The Ridge has parsed out a 6-min video lesson, taken from it’s WALKING THE RIDGE program, which may be purchased by all organizations.
It explains how to empower YOUR people and even yourself with the Principle of Charity, during a microaggression event. To effectively empower a bridge from triggered to trust. To use an ‘investigation by communication’ to inspire people to use these moments to build understanding and relationships within the organization. Imagine hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of times per year, depending on company size, the scaling power of this SINGLE employed tool.
With pleasure and good intent, here is the link to the page. Please share it widely with your people. Remember that it is just ONE of 23 total lessons in our scalable, remote, and cutting-edge WALKING THE RIDGE program for all organizations.