Pay attention to messages you're overlooking
Contributed by: Brigid Moynahan
"Microinequities" are small, subtle signals we send other people through our words and behavior that cause them to feel discounted, excluded, or devalued. These little put-downs and acts of exclusion pile up, reducing productivity, communication and job satisfaction. Like water over a rock, microinequities have the power to slowly and methodically erode employee motivation and sense of self-worth. The end result costs agencies millions of dollars in lowered productivity, absenteeism and the loss of valuable team members.
Making sure team members are fully engaged is absolutely critical to any team's mission. The good news is that we can accomplish this in simple ways, just by teaching people the power of the little things they do.
Do's and Don'ts to eliminating microinequities:
- Ignore, dismiss, interrupt, or talk over others
- Get distracted with multitasking
- Critique with nonverbal behavior, like rolling of the eyes or checking ones watch
- Let stress undermine relationships
- Fail to respond when others seek input
- Take the time to listen with attention and respect
- Seek input and credit people’s contributions
- Share the floor using inclusive meeting procedures
- Use micro-affirmations often; these are valuing, not devaluing behaviors