There’s Nothing Micro About Microaggressions!
Day 2Session Code: S3-B
When: March 11, 2020
Track: Critical Employment Practices
Presenter: Dr. Michael Baran, inQUEST Consulting
People are increasingly becoming aware of the term microaggression, though they often don’t quite know what a microaggression really is, why it is a problem or what to do about it. Leaders, managers and employees often commit these microaggressions in their efforts to bond, to be funny, to show familiarity or to show curiosity. The microaggressions then contribute to feelings of exclusion for marginalized people—in terms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, etc.—affecting internal workplace culture and also impacting employees interacting with customers.
But the term itself can be off-putting to everyone. Those committing the microaggression get defensive. (“I wasn’t being aggressive!”) Those who were affected feel minimized. (“It doesn’t feel micro to me!”) This session will provide a way forward with a new term (subtle acts of exclusion), deeper understanding, and more productive ways for addressing these subtle acts of exclusion.
- Replace “microaggressions” with the more effective term “subtle act of exclusion” (SAE)
- Practice an accountability system for responding to SAE
- Visualize how addressing SAE can be part of an overall D&I strategy