Image

10:52 PM / Saturday March 2, 2024

13 Aug 2016

The Cultural Coach: Agree on Standards and Apply Them Equally

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 13, 2016 Category: Commentary Posted by:
Linda Wallace

Linda Wallace

By Linda Wallace

Many of us have special tool kits to size up the people who disagree with us or who don’t share our values. Typically, we use one kit to measure the folks who look and think like us and keep another handy to compute the shortcomings of those who hold opposing views.

I call it the “Diversity Blame Game” and here’s how it works:

Let’s suppose a guy named Alan tells his good buddy a sexual joke in the workplace, and a female colleague overhears the joke. The woman is offended and tells the boss. Alan becomes outraged because his comments were made in a private conversation. He wails against the unjust forces of political correctness that take away his rights. Alan pulls out his special measurement tool used for those with opposing views and determines  that the woman is overly sensitive.

One week later, Alan is sitting in his cubicle when he overhears a colleague telling fat jokes. Alan, who happens to be obese, reports the dialogue to his boss.

I find that almost everyone I meet has emotional scars, as well as identities they guard with pride. Don’t we all have a little bit of Alan in us, in that we favor freedom of speech right up until the moment we become a target?

If clans, groups and factions continue to use different tools in judging insiders and outsiders, a just and fair society will continue to elude us.

Together we need to agree upon the standards.

These rules should address:

•How workers should respond to workplace comments that are offensive or inappropriate;

•To what degree we need to learn how to ignore inappropriate remarks, resolve that we are powerful and stop words from harming us;

•Whether corporate resources are better spent on punishing workers for making inappropriate comments or on assisting them to improve their critical-thinking skills;

•How we find and maintain the proper balance between freedom of expression and cultural competency (the ability to communicate effectively with people who are different);

•Whether insensitivity in our workplaces indicates that employees lack the appropriate skill sets to be effective in global societies, and,

•Whether forgiveness and patience are skills that competent workers need to have in a global economy.

The sooner we begin the discussion, the sooner we can start learning what is needed to create a consistent standard to measure the performance of all cultural, ethnic and religious group members. “One America” demands such a yardstick.

Meanwhile, each of us can do our part by agreeing to hold the groups that we associate with to the same high standards we set for others. The next time we find ourselves mumbling that a particular group is overly sensitive, let’s ask ourselves how we responded the last time we were in a similar position.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Philly NAACP

Philadelphia NAACP News

February 18, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia NAACP news as of Feb. 2 Philadelphia NAACP Branch News...

Color Of Money

Commentary: Carpenters Union’s apprenticeship diversity push can lead to success and job fulfilment in the construction industry

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email By Treyvon Ratcliff Hayes ABOVE PHOTO: Treyvon Ratcliff Hayes, a Philadelphia public high school graduate,...

Health

Six tips to improve sleep quality for overall well-being

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURES Despite a rising number of people searching for the term “sleep” in 2023,...

Sports

Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 2024 

February 12, 2024

Tweet Email The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly beat the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the 2024 Super Bowl champions. The...

Fur Babies Rule!

Dog grooming advice to keep pets clean and healthy

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURESRegular grooming can keep your dog looking and smelling his or her best, but...

Seniors

‘Soaring’ over hills or ‘playing’ with puppies, study finds seniors enjoy virtual reality

February 23, 2024

Tweet Email By Terry Spencerassociated press POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Retired Army Col. Farrell Patrick taught computer...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff