The Power of the Group


No different than in high school, there's pressure in a group to conform.

In accepting, pro-social, non-threatening work environments, work productivity is heightened, a win-win, lofty HR goal. But confronting insensitivity is hard, and even criminal behavior can go on indefinitely if unchallenged. We tend to fear conflict, worry about our workplace relationships, and maintain the status quo. Calling out misbehavior, issuing the "ticket" for an infraction, however, doesn't have to mean job loss or the end of a relationship. It is all about communication skill; it's in the delivery. And management support.

The new harassment-diversity training depends upon changing the culture, and revisiting power in the workplace.

The old workshops, sometimes only for managers, were online for the most part, and addressed the law. Guess what? They didn't work. The power is in the group, and it doesn't have to a Me, Too. We can provide the stories, the happier endings.

What works?

We're finding, not surprisingly, that the gems from our profession, social work and psychology, get to the root of what is really going on, and that we can teach them. They will change everything, etch in new cultural norms. It has to be done. Because workplace behavior that is prejudiced, biased, is in any way violent or insensitive, really has to go.