Ron Garfield
PIQue Coaching and Strategy

I’ve Been Guilty of Microaggressions –
This Coaches Perspective

I just read an article in the Harvard Business Review on Microaggressions (When and How to Respond to Microaggressions) . Since our company, PIQue Coaching & Strategy Group does a lot of work in the DEI environment, the article really resonated with me in a most surprising way. And this was the point that stopped me cold.

Get comfortable rethinking much of what you thought to be true about the world and your workplace and accept that you have likely been complicit in producing inequity.

WOW!, LIKE A GUT PUNCH. Me, the open minded, free wheeling, I don’t see color (that is a microaggression by the way) leader who has prided himself on mentoring and promoting outstanding young leaders throughout my career has been complicit in producing inequity. The truth is, I have.

Microaggressions are defined as verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group.

Conversations are taking place in companies of all sizes about race, diversity, justice, equality and inclusion. These are tough discussions, uncomfortable discussions and here I am, the middle aged white guy right in the middle of them. And what a gift that is. I have the opportunity each day to learn, open my eyes wider, sit with my own discomfort and share that with people of multiple different races, genders, and orientations who have experienced that discomfort for much of their lives. It is an honor to be included in these discussions.

So, I’m asking each of you to give some honest thought to the statement above and see how it lands with you.

To be continued…..

Additional Resources

Avoiding Microaggressions in Classrooms and Online

5 Of The Most Hurtful Racial Microaggressions I Have Heard In My Life

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Do White Men Belong in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? (Video)
Aida Sabo, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Parexel International discusses the importance of engaging everyone—especially White men— in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.