The Importance of Anti-Bias Training in the Workplace: Microaggressions as a Ton of Feathers.
A microaggression is like a feather brushing your skin: you feel it, it has an effect, you remember it but, with effort, you can look past the impact.
But the weight of a ton of feathers is the same as a ton of bricks. Every feather makes an impact. Over time, the impact of microaggressions in the workplace leads to low morale as well as feelings of being undervalued and frustrated. What steps would you take if microaggressions like these or these were happening in your workplace?
Facilitated trainings on implicit bias in the workplace foster mutual understanding and show employees that the organization or company cares about morale. One of the foundational concepts that I start my seminars with is the difference between impact and intent. This is not a novel concept but one that takes time to put into practice.
Almost all of us never intend to hurt one another. Yet, we undeniably have impact on each other. Even without intending to hurt someone we must still take responsibility for the impact of our words.
When we inadvertently commit a microaggression, many of us get stuck on how to repair it. All we have to do is show that we recognize that we are responsible for both our intent and our impact. Repairing the relationship lies in recognizing the impact of our language.
This is easier said than done, which is why in these trainings we collaborate on forming a language that addresses microaggressions that fit the culture of the company.
Don't let the feathers of microaggressions in your workplace turn into the weight of a brick. Implicit bias trainings in the workplace provide a collaborative opportunity for all employees to not only build trust but also a mutual understanding of the power of our language.