Mindfulness at Work: Micro-inequities and Micro-affirmations

Micro-inequities

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

Micro-affirmations

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

Saying hello

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!

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The Wandering Yogi