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Deal with Workplace Discrimination

Deal with Workplace Discrimination

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

April 08, 2011

Assume Good Intent and Explain Impact


According to the EEOC, it’s all in how you approach it – the key is to Assume Good Intent.

It may be hard, but don’t immediately assume the person meant to offend you. Again, they may not realize how their comment came off.

The EEOC suggest approaching the other person as if that person is a decent human being. When you assume the best, there is no need to blame, shame or insult the person who just said something biased or demeaning. A good start would be, “I know you mean well, but that hurts” or “Look, I know you meant that to be funny, but it hurts.”

There are two parts to the technique: First, acknowledge the other person’s positive intentions; then describe the negative results of the statement or behavior. “I think she’s great. I just don’t want to put her in a situation where she can fail.” “I know you mean well, but now you’re not giving her a chance at all,” the EEOC suggests.

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