Workplace Harassment Affects ALL GENDERS.
“Harassment Policies are important to have, but prevention really comes when the team is able to recognize that a behavior needs to be addressed, and tactfully communicate to end the uncomfortable situation instead of allowing it to grow.”
- A team member wears inappropriately revealing clothes and suggestively asks you for a recommendation at work.
- A customer asks you if you are a man or a woman, and every time they come in, they ask questions about your gender or sexual preferences.
- Your co-worker gossips about you, and does everything he can to make sure you are surpassed for the best projects. He secretly sabotages your best efforts at work.
3 examples of common workplace harassment types, beyond the typical news story male-to-female sexual harassment cases we see so often on the television and internet these days.
Sadly, Workplace Harassment is common, and affects all genders. It can involve co-workers, customers, clients, patients, and others. Harassment can be aggressive (and often passive aggressive) behavior as well as sexual in nature.
Companies put policies in place and do trainings to prevent this type of behavior, but it deals with the behavior after it has already gone to the point of being a reportable problem.
Workplace harassment of all types tend to start small and grow into bigger problems over time. We need to address the “elephant in the room,” and communicate effectively through the discomfort to stop harassment in its tracks in stage 1-2.
Stage 1: Unspoken, except maybe a secret comment here or there. Leering, standing too close, or other direct non-verbal cues. Political positioning (bias work assignments, sabotage), or other unspoken effort to make one feel uncomfortable or ill-at ease. It is difficult to know what to say or when it’s appropriate to say anything, so the situation escalates over a matter of days, weeks, and months.
Stage 2: It progresses deeper, depending on our response, and the above signals and signs that you are headed for trouble are like a big creepy elephant in the room. We continue to hope that someone would say something, but we don’t speak up for fear of being taken as sensitive, whiney, or [put your adjective here].
Stage 3: By the time it becomes a Reportable Problem (or a lawsuit, or a news story), it is difficult to say when the harassment started, which makes it difficult to investigate and discipline based on the policies written to prevent and end the situation.
All of this can be avoided with Awareness and Assertive Communication!
Harassment Policies are important to have, but prevention really comes when the team is able to recognize that a behavior needs to be addressed, and tactfully communicate to end the uncomfortable situation instead of allowing it to grow.
Michele has spent her life working in male-dominated industries, including insurance/finance, security, martial arts, construction, and the seafood business. She has real-world experience with harassment and now spends her life Empowering people through communication and awareness.
If you’d like information on engaging Michele for your next meeting or training, you can Contact Us or visit our website: www.EmpoweredFACTS.com
Be Safe. Be Strong. Be EMPOWERED!