Category: Addressing Bullying & Harressment

Laurence Harvey

Unconscious Bias - Let's stop and think

TSSA flags at Tolpuddle festival

How could they do that’? Have you ever said this to yourself? The question is, could anyone be saying this about you? Have you ever been driving (or being driven) and suddenly the driver ‘loses it’? Has it been you that has ever lost it? It could be little things. The driver in front on the roundabout suddenly veers off to the right in front of you. The thing is, if you think about it, you knew something was going to happen. You had a ‘gut feeling’ something wasn’t right with the car in front. Your ‘intuition’ was telling you to be aware of what might happen. Did you listen to your gut, your intuition? Or did you carry on and then lose it? Suddenly your behaviour changes. Shouting, screaming, swearing at the vehicle in front. Pointing, gesturing, banging and bashing your hooter! 

You would never do what they did, would you? It was someone else’s fault, wasn’t it?

It’s never us, it’s always someone else.

Have you ever been lost on unfamiliar territory? Have you ever had to veer to the right at the last minute? Have you?

Do you think they meant to upset you? Or did you allow the situation to upset you. The emotions kicked in and it affected your behaviour, in a split second. You were momentarily out of control. Not conscious of what you were saying or doing. It happens. Or, the question is, do you allow it to happen?

Let’s stop and think. Let’s be honest with ourselves. What might you be doing, that you actually don’t mean to do? If you are not aware of what you are thinking, you may not always be aware of what you are saying or doing.

At work do we have a ‘gut feeling’ that something isn’t right for someone. Is our intuition telling us that something is awry for them? Can we stop and think and be conscious of the fact that it might be what you are doing that is affecting them?

Has the conversation and comments at work ever veered of into the world of ‘banter’. Is it then that you (and others) get the feeling ‘I know where this is going?’ Where do you go?

Then there are certain jokes that only happen at certain times, when certain people are, or are not around. Do you laugh and join in to ‘fit in’? Or do you consciously decide to stay quiet and not laugh at something you really do not find funny?

Human beings tend to be good at judging others behaviours and reacting to them. But how good are we at being conscious of how what we are doing may be perceived by others as bullying and/or harassment. Do you mean anyone to feel that way?

Next time you get the feeling that something isn’t right, stop and think and be sure that it is not you that is the cause of it. Don’t let it be your fault.

Let’s manage our emotional reactions and be more tolerant of others.

Let’s consciously manage the little things that happen to us. Let’s not blame anyone. Let’s use our ‘common sense’.

Let’s make the way that we behave be the right way. ‘Behaviour breeds behaviour’. If we could all behave more patiently with everybody all of the time how much better may we all feel?