September 2022

Don’t Get Along in the Workplace

Yes, that maybe what I been told by a senior leader of your small company I was talking to who was discussing morale issues within his office. He proceeded to say that “men will not have the same issues in enabling along with the other person and that itrrrs this that happens when you would like to office filled with women”.

Whoa! As an author on women’s empowerment issues, and also my years of Human Resources experience, I was shocked and saddened as of this gross generalization and the assessment in the problems he was having as part of his office. It was shocking in my opinion that his first response would have been to blame a complete “gender” for his company’s work-related issues. Of course, I could not resist probing further and asked him the fact that was specifically causing these morale issues and incredibly delve into what those reasons were. In other words, what were the exact behaviors which were being exhibited, how, above all WHY? “Well”, shortly fater he began, “one individuals managers was wanting to address performance difficulties with her employee and she or he blew up at her and desired to walk off of the job now wants to quit”. He took to say, “This never might have happened when it were men involved, since they are more reasonable.”

Hold up now! Talk about a controversial statement! Maybe I should have retorted “well, whether or not this was men, they might go home and have a gun and shoot the one who gave them the feedback!” But that you will find wrong. Equally as wrong because generalized statement about women, inside my humble opinion. But fighting derogatory comments along with other derogatory comments is not the answer. What is the more logical approach was that I begun to peel back the layers in this onion, and lo and behold, apparently the manager showcased was newly promoted into her role along next to no experience of providing constructive feedback to her subordinates. Secondly, those she was providing feedback to had only been using the company for just 60 days and was battling learning concepts of her job. Long story short, we were holding both feeling overwhelmed using new responsibilities this also combination made a perfect storm that manifested as tension on both accounts. After assessing the main points behind the “why” this happened, it became clear that from an HR perspective, that this root cause was because of lack of training and proper onboarding for both employees, within their respective roles. The bottom line was how the company neglected to provide the manager while using tools and foundation for my child to be capable of deliver feedback successfully, and she or he floundered in attempting to “figure it out” without the proper guidance and support. Additionally, this company also failed the staff member by not doing continuous check-ins to view her a higher level competency and comfort in her own new role. They were both feeling unsuccessful and this also was manifesting outwardly, which had been creating low morale through the entire office. I would believe that anyone, male or female might have had some kind of your reaction to this not enough support.

This situation really resonated beside me however, because as congratulations, you know, sooner or later it had NOTHING to try and do with “women to not get along”. But sadly, this really is bona fide sexism which is something that can be quite real and clearly still pervasive from the workforce in 2018. Interestingly enough, when I shared this scenario by incorporating of my female colleagues, some of them too, echoed back exactly the same sentiment as being the senior leader did. This was essentially the most surprising observation for me, that females (even younger ladies) have purchased into these gender stereotypes and believe that ladies are irrational, emotional, competitive and cannot get along. I did my part on that day to educate that senior leader and I helped him implement a basis for both new and newly promoted employees forward motion. But I feel as if that wasn’t enough.

The whole situation forced me to be realize that sexism can be a topic that must be discussed more broadly and I feel a duty to raise awareness that it kind of thinking still exists in workplaces everywhere. But awareness isn’t enough. It’s time to demonstrate an unwillingness to tolerate these outdated generalized statements and proactively address them once we hear it, in both and out from the workplace. We all need to complete our part to both educate men that it mindset is not really acceptable and empower women to square up and grow vocal advocates within their quest for equal rights. Only then will any of us be able to crush these outdated modes of thinking and move within the right direction.