Being treated unfairly in the workplace can make you feel about five inches tall. It is humiliating, degrading and completely unacceptable. The first thing to understand is this. No matter how petty or insignificant it might be, if it’s making you upset, it is a problem. It is something that needs to be addresses. No one deserved to be treated badly in the workplace, no matter the reason.
Discrimination or unfair treatment comes in all shapes and sizes in an office environment. It could be offhand comments. It could be jokes at your expense. At the worst level, it can be sexual harassment. It is important to address unfair treatment as early as possible. The longer the problem breeds and develops, the harder it is to change. You don’t immediately have to find a new job, it can addressed. A culture of discrimination can grow quickly in the workplace if it is not stopped.
Don’t Retaliate Immediately
We completely understand how much anger and rage can build up inside you. Ill treatment can fill you with emotions and this is certainly not the best time to react. Your retaliation could end up looking petty and over the top. Reacting angrily in front of others will make you look unprofessional. It certainly won’t help the problem. Take a day to cool down, reflect on the incident and prepare your response.
Write Everything Down
When emotions are running high in your head, it can make things much worse. Your brain is cloudy and it can be difficult to organise your thoughts. Take the evening to get everything out on paper. Put down all the things you want to say in response. Write down the logical and ethical reasons why you are right. Explain why they are wrong and begin to craft a response.
This will help you organise your thoughts. It will help you attend to the situation in a reasonable and controlled manner.
Talk to the Person Directly and Discreetly
Making a big scene and humiliating your harasser might be exactly what you want. Unfortunately, this will make things much worse for you. In order to resolve this amicably, you must be the bigger person. Calmly speak the person privately. Explain that what they did, or said, was hurtful. In most cases, they may not have realised how their actions affected you and they will apologise. If you can’t bring yourself to speak directly, try an email or phone call.
If it is Still Unresolved, Take it Higher
If speaking directly does not yield any improvement, then it’s time to speak to a boss. A good leader will understand and respect your view. They will be able to oversee the situation and diffuse it. If the problem is on a bigger scale, you could suggest a training scheme. Programmes like Spearhead training offer management training that instils workplace behaviour.
There is absolutely no excuse for ill treatment in the workplace. If it makes you feel uncomfortable or upset, it needs to be addressed. Follow these steps and ensure that you put a stop to it immediately.