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Deal with Workplace Discrimination

Deal with Workplace Discrimination

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

April 08, 2011

Ask a Question


When you encounter stereotypes or other unfair depictions of people, Ask a Question. Choose a simple, non-blaming question such as; “What do you mean?” or, “I’m sorry, what was that?”, the EEOC suggests.

In fact, you can and should practice these simple questions in advance.

Continue to Assume Good Intent and approaching the conversation as if the other person meant no harm.

A few more examples of appropriate questions are:

  • “I’m not sure I caught that. What were you saying?”
  • “Do you mean that?”
  • “What are you saying, man?”


The EEOC says questions are a great tool because they’re so easy to use and they open up conversation in a non-blaming way. Sincere and open-ended questions that avoid blaming the other person work best.

Remember to focus on tone of voice as well. If you ask the question in a sarcastic or accusatory way, the question is not helpful.

Interrupt and Redirect →