I invite you to practice compassion today. Towards your co-workers, your staff, and your managers.
Whenever we experience problems at work, we often point to someone else as the source. Yet as much as another other person might not be doing their job, is treating us disrespectfully, or is just plain behaving in a way we do not understand or agree with, the only thing we can really change is ourselves.
In any work environment there is a finite amount of resources with many people seeking to establish and protect their professional identity. Because of these things, it is easy to loose sight of compassion at work.
It is not uncommon to view our struggling co-worker, our manager with a different communication style than our own, or the person down the hall with radically different cultural perspectives, as being a threat to our resources and identity.
Instead, I invite your to practice compassion today by recognizing the fragility of the human experience we all share regardless of our differences.
By refraining from gossip.
By challenging your assumptions.
By reaching out.
Micro-inequities (also called micro-aggressions) are subtle, sometimes seemingly harmless, comments or actions that devalue others. No matter how kind or aware we may consider ourselves to be, we all have the capacity to harmfully impact others by practicing micro-inequities. The challenge with micro-inequities is they often are not meant to intentionally cause hurt or harm, and they arise from a semi-conscious state. Here are a few examples:
Continuously mispronouncing or misspelling someone’s name
Rolling your eyes even when you think no one is looking
Cutting down ideas before they can be entertained
Sarcasm and disparaging jest
Interrupting or completing sentences for people
Acting disinterested in meetings
Aside from being aware of our own tendencies, the best way to combat our potential to devalue others through micro-inequities is to practice micro-affirmations. These are subtle, but high impact, words and actions that affirm another’s value. Examples include:
Holding the door for someone
Introducing people to each other
Listening without interrupting
Acknowledging and making sure you fully understand someone’s idea or opinion
Acknowledging someone’s good work to others
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most challenging, but keep up! If we continue to become aware of our tendencies and keep practicing positive behaviors then we will begin to notice the benefits we offer others as well as the benefits we receive ourselves. Let’s work together for better outcomes!