How To Tackle Microaggressions
Microaggressions are very tricky to tackle outside of the workplace because of their indirect or “innocent” nature. Regardless, there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that the issue is properly handled. The first step to handling microaggressions in the workplace is keeping composure. Even though an offense was made, the environment is still professional and should be held as such.
It is natural to want to attack after being disrespected. However, it is much more productive to stay calm and refrain from letting emotions overcome the need to be diplomatic. The second step is to confront the aggression head on. While this can be a bit uncomfortable in the workplace, it is necessary to let the microaggressor know when they are offending or creating an unfavorable environment for people around them. Confronting fellow employees does not need to be rude or pointed.
In many cases, microaggressors do not realize the severity of what they are doing and will correct actions in the future. At the moment of the infraction, calmly ask what they meant when they made the offensive statement. After they explain, you can educate them on why their comment was not okay and how they can prevent offending you from the future.
While this approach tends to work in most environments, there are always cases in which the microaggressions persist, and the perpetrator continues to harass. If that is the case, it is time to discuss the issue with human resources to see what can be done to rectify the situation.
It is the job of human resources to provide and maintain and an accessible and respectful environment in the workplace. They can monitor and discipline in these situations in ways employees cannot. Try to track the frequency and severity of these incidents so that they have a guideline to create a solution that will be beneficial for all involved.
Dealing with challenging work environments is not easy, and adding being a black woman to the equation can make situations even tenser. While it may seem annoying and draining to deal with, there are ways that black women can protect themselves to create a more balanced work environment that facilitates their growth and achieving their aspirations.
How To Deal With Microaggressions In The Workplace Conclusion
Have you ever dealt with microaggressions in the workplace? If so, how did you deal with them? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to check out some of our other articles about working as a black woman here!