Set boundaries and cut discrimination, if you’re a “nice” person, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
Have you felt rude or cruel when confronting someone regarding their discriminating attitudes?
Let me share with you a recent experience. A couple of months ago, I was working a multi-disciplinary project. There were many of us there, some with advanced degrees, some fresh out of school, and some others who may or may not have finished high-school. We were all crucial to the success of the project. Team work was demanded, not an option, an obligation. Basic activities like driving, cleaning, and keeping the workplace clean and running properly were just as essential as communicating with people worldwide, using computers, and high-tech resources.
However, I have often witnessed that we tend to attack each other in these settings. Long hours… Many things in stake… I understand we are probably not all at our best. Not our best behavior, not our best patience, and definitely it does not lead to our best manners. So what happens? We blame each other. And we start with the basics: “That was so simple, how could he miss it?” Then we move to: “He obviously wasn’t ready. He is so lazy!” And eventually we start throwing biases and discrimination:
“That’s just how those people are you know?”
Before you know it, instructions become commands. Requests gradually turn into yelled orders. And we don’t see it. We just think everything is “fair game” because we are under a lot of stress. Boundaries are gone!
How about that? We allow, endure, and encourage even this “authority” or “leadership roles” even when we are destroying all decency and humanity for the sake of a project.
How would you feel about it?
We have normalized cruelty as a way to enforce the rules of the game, or keep “control” of a project. And we just can’t endure it anymore.
We have talked about soulpreneurs and how we are trying to make things different. So let’s!
Soulpreneurs understand stress, but we know that no outcome justifies rudeness. Every team-member demands and deserves the same respect. If you would not feel good about your client or boss yelling at you any command, then you shouldn’t do it to those people working under your command.
You can enforce rules. You may also demand respect for the workplace and other team-members. Sometimes you may even have to speak up, stop someone’s behavior, language, or step out of a room to show that what they’re doing is not ok. You may have to step into that zone that you would usually consider “cruel” to be KIND.
There is no other way to break the cycle, other than acting according to our values. ALWAYS. No exceptions allowed.
If you’re ready to set boundaries and cut discrimination I really think you should read my other blogposts:
If you are not aware of your discrimination habits and patterns, check this out: