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The political arena has been interesting to watch.  There has been a significant increase in the use violent rhetoric as well as vicious personal attacks.  Even more disturbing is the complacent and docile acceptance of this by Americans.  With this kind of behavior publicized and tolerated, is it a wonder that there is increased aggression in the workplace and more workplace bullies?

 Politicians have always criticized one another.  However, until recently some superficial civility was exercised when confronting one another.  This is not the case anymore.  Any communication etiquette that we once had is now gone.  There are no limitations as to what one can say to another human being even if it promotes hate. 

The atmosphere of today’s world is that people say whatever they want to one another without any barriers including using language that is racist, sexist, heterosexist, ageist, ableist, and etc.  The use of derogatory language and rhetoric aimed at humiliating and shaming others is now normal and may even be expected.  The media and our current political candidates avidly reinforce the acceptability of disparaging and belittling of others. 

We have developed the understanding that our own thoughts and feelings are the only thing that matters and we can express those however, we see fit.  I no longer have to worry about the impact of what I am saying on others.  Self-expression and free speech are important because we operate under the assumption that “I am the only one that matters and my words take precedent over others feelings.”  However, this thinking is extremely flawed and problematic.  It encourages hostility and resentment that overflows into the workplace causing workplace aggression and violence.

What we say and think affects the overall environment we live in.  We are all interdependent in society and in the workplace.  As such, how we treat and communicate to one another matters.  We need to remember to think before we speak and most importantly, we do not have to speak everything we think.  We can communicate our thoughts and feelings in a way that is not offensive and that does not promote hate.  We still have the right to free speech, but saying what we want in a respectful and considerate way is the right thing to do.

Today, I challenge each of us be kinder and more thoughtful in how we use words and to call out people who are using offensive language.  All of us need to start doing more of the right thing. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com or at (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at jankircher.com. Help is out there.


 


Comments

08/23/2016 12:59am

Thank you for posting this blog because this has been an eye-opener to everyone. Freedom of speech does not mean insulting everyone as you wish because it's just your opinion. Let us all be responsible on every word coming out from our mouths and let us be considerate on the feelings of other people. Sometimes words can cut the deepest wounds.

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Jan
09/13/2016 12:54pm

I agree and we have a responsibility to make the workplace better. I am a true believer that we can say things without being mean. This is a communication skill that many people have not learned.
Thank you for your comment.

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04/11/2017 3:49am

Respecting everyone from their own opinions, as well as for being just who they really are, is probably one of the significant things that need to develop in a workplace. We need to understand that we all are different from one another and that we can't just judge someone for something that we don't have. Our differences make us who we really are right now and that's also the thing that makes us unique from everyone else. So, bullying or doing any negative things to them wouldn't really make any difference in this world. We just need to learn to appreciate the little things that makes everyone unique about themselves for us to develop a positive and effective workplace to work on.

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