The Respectful Workplace: You Can Stop Harassment: Opening the Right Doors. Taking Responsibility

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1 The Respectful Workplace: Opening the Right Doors You Can Stop Harassment: Taking Responsibility Statewide Training and Development Services Human Resource Services Division Department of Administrative Services 155 Cottage Street NE, U-30 Salem, Oregon (503) Page 1

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3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Quiz: Workplace respect and harassment...5 Discussion starters...6 Two rules and five guidelines...7 The respectful workplace: Opening the right doors...8 Training video scenarios: Discussion questions...8 Discussion notes...8 Diffusing hostile situations: The respectful workplace checklist...8 The nature of conflict...9 Conflict as an opportunity...9 The consequences of conflict...9 You can stop harassment: Taking responsibility...10 You can stop harassment: The responsible leader...11 Giving feedback respectfully: The DESC acronym...12 Receiving feedback appropriately: The LAST acronym...13 Awareness/action spectrum...14 What you need to know about workplace harassment...15 Quiz: Workplace respect and harassment...16 Training Goal: To promote respectful relationships in support of a harassment-free workplace. Learning Objectives As a result of participating in this course, you will be able to: 1. Explain your rights, roles, and responsibilities in a respectful, harassment-free workplace. 2. Identify key elements of State Policy , Harassment-Free Workplace. 3. Describe guidelines and tools for contributing to a respectful, harassment-free workplace. Page 3

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5 QUIZ: WORKPLACE RESPECT AND HARASSMENT T F 1. In a respectful workplace, harassing behavior is not tolerated. T F 2. It is the policy of the State of Oregon to provide a work environment free from behavior, action, or language which may be perceived by others as hostile, intimidating, or abusive. T F 3. Harassment must be intentional to be illegal. T F 4. All harassing behavior is illegal. T F 5. A person can feel harassed even if harassing behavior is not directed at them. T F 6. If employees feel harassed at work, or are aware of incidents of workplace harassment, they have a right and a responsibility to confront the harasser. T F 7. It is illegal to retaliate in any way against an employee for complaining about or reporting workplace harassment. T F. 8. If an employee complains about harassment, but asks that you do nothing about it, you should respect their request. T F 9. When an employee complains to you about harassment, you should assure them that a prompt, fair, and completely confidential investigation will be conducted, and that appropriate corrective action will be taken. T F 10. If you feel comfortable handling a harassment complaint all by yourself, there is no need to contact the Personnel Office. Page 5

6 DISCUSSION STARTERS 1. List some of the ways people might experience disrespectful or harassing behavior at work. 2. People who are treated disrespectfully or harassed (the offended ) can help stop the behavior by 3. If I see disrespectful behavior or harassment in the workplace (the observer ), I can help stop the behavior by 4. If a co-worker tells me I have offended him or her with disrespectful or harassing behavior (the offender ), I should 5. The policy on harassment is Page 6

7 TWO RULES AND FIVE GUIDELINES The Whitfield School in St. Louis has just two rules for its student body: - Be nice. - Do the right thing. I really like this. I love ideas that are simple and make so much sense. The two rules reminded me that, as common practice, most effective groups have established guidelines for themselves. The most useful and valuable guidelines for an organization bring together ideas that are straightforward and common sense. Without such guidelines, these practical ideas are often missing in the organization. And if they are missing, everyone is deprived of their value. Here are five guidelines that could be at work in YOUR organization: Listen, really listen. Pay attention when others speak and allow them to finish their thoughts. Listening in this way lets people know you care about them and value what they are saying. Say what you are thinking. If you have something to add to the discussion, always be willing to speak. Leaving things unsaid doesn t work. You are the only one with your view of the world. Use X by Y and then deliver. Give your word and keep it. That s how things get done between people within an organization. Take care of each other. Check in with people, look out for the interests of people who are not present, be courteous and civil. Sometimes, these seem to be lost arts, but they are easily within your grasp. Acknowledge people. Tell people what you appreciate about them. Let them know when they contribute to your work, your life, and the organization. Don t keep this to yourself. Source: Paul Axtell, Page 7

8 THE RESPECTFUL WORKPLACE OPENING THE RIGHT DOORS Training Video Scenarios: Discussion Questions 1. What are the issues in the scenario? 2. How is respect, or lack of it, displayed by the people in the scenario? 3. What could the people in the scenario do differently to show respect and achieve greater effectiveness and satisfaction? Scenario One: The Truth is Discussion Notes Scenario Two: The Parking Space Scenario Three: Crossing the Line Diffusing Hostile Situations: The Respectful Workplace Checklist 1. Acknowledge all individuals respectfully. 2. Listen to a person s concerns as you expect others to listen to yours. 3. Don t try to impose your values and worldview on others. 4. Paraphrase and reflect on statements that are confusing to you or which you don t understand. 5. Acknowledge your own feelings honestly. 6. Verbalize your concerns and let the other person know your boundaries. 7. Don t get involved in an abusive situation. Step away. 8. Don t tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ism. State how uncomfortable it makes you feel and how inappropriate it is. 9. Get help in a situation when you feel you don t know what to do, or you feel threatened. Page 8

9 THE NATURE OF CONFLICT Resolving conflict requires you to move from a point of view to a viewing point a higher, more expansive place from which you can see both sides. --Tom Crum, The Magic of Conflict 1. Conflict is natural: it is neither positive nor negative, it just is. 2. Conflict is dramatically different depending on what you do with it. 3. Conflict is used by nature as its primary motivator for change. Without natural conflict we would be without mountains, valleys, and canyons. 4. Conflict is not a contest. Winning and losing are goals for games, not for conflicts. 5. Conflict is hard to resolve when it is about who is right. It is easier to resolve when it is about acknowledging and appreciating differences. 6. Conflict begins within. As we unhitch the burden of belief systems and heighten our awareness and understanding, we live more fully, and life can be more interesting. Conflict as an Opportunity The Chinese word for conflict is made up of two characters. One character implies that conflict can be a crisis, while the other indicates that it can be an opportunity. Conflict is all-pervasive in our lives. It appears in our personal life, exists in our communities, and is present at work. It is 100 percent inevitable that a person will have to deal with it. Conflict is positive when it is about growth. This growth can be personal, organizational, or in the relationships of which we re a part. It is in this growth that we find opportunity. It is by seeing the opportunities that we grow. The Constructive Consequences of Conflict as an Opportunity Conflict taken as an opportunity can have the following constructive consequences: 1. Increases the motivation and energy available to do tasks. 2. Increases the innovativeness of individuals and the organization because of the diversity of viewpoints and a heightened sense of necessity being presented. 3. Helps each person develop an increased understanding of his or her own interests and examine those interests in light of opposing interests. 4. Helps each party involved in the conflict achieve a greater awareness of self and how we impact others. 5. Gives the individual involved in managing the conflict an opportunity to examine and resolve his or her own internal conflicts. Source: Adapted from The Respectful Workplace, Quality Media Resources, Inc. Page 9

10 YOU CAN STOP HARASSMENT: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY This 26-minute video is designed for viewing by all employees (including supervisors). It shows different kinds of workplace harassment and provides guidelines for stopping it. The basics Video Outline Scenario 1 - Who do you think I am? When..... I feel..... I need (or want)..... Respectfully set boundaries Get help from management Offender Offended Observer Scenario 2 - Slave Day Setting boundaries - Communication style - Relationship and power issues - Offending behavior - Offender s response Scenario 3 - Silent treatment Retaliation Scenario 4 - Let us pray Page 10

11 YOU CAN STOP HARASSMENT: THE RESPONSIBLE LEADER This 25-minute video is designed for viewing by supervisors. It focuses on the supervisor s responsibilities in stopping workplace harassment. What s your responsibility? Video Outline Race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation Harassment can lead to Lost productivity - Emotional distress - Work group conflicts - Damaged careers - Public embarrassment - Disrupted personal lives - Retaliation incidents Scenario 1 - It s no joke Modeling appropriate behavior Scenario 2 - Heads up Handling a complaint Scenario 3 - She s the boss Summary: The Responsible Leader (1) Be aware of the issues (2) Model respectful behavior (3) Communicate and enforce a No Harassment policy (4) Handle complaints immediately and seriously Page 11

12 GIVING FEEDBACK RESPECTFULLY: THE DESC ACRONYM The Letter To Remember What the Letter Stands for An Example of Words to Use D Describe the behavior When you tell those jokes about old people E Express your feelings using I statements I feel hurt and isolated because I m the only person here at work who is over 50 S Specify what new behavior you want or what you would like I like your sense of humor and I don t mind hearing jokes, but just not jokes at other people s expense. I would appreciate it if you didn't tell jokes about old people anymore. C Consequences if you don t get the behavior you want If the old people jokes continue, I m going to have to take the issue up with our supervisor or the personnel office. Source: You Can Stop Harassment, Quality Media Resources, Inc. Page 12

13 RECEIVING FEEDBACK APPROPRIATELY: THE LAST ACRONYM The Letter To Remember What the Letter Stands for An Example of Words to Use Listen first L A Apologize I m sorry I offended you with my behavior. I never meant to hurt your feelings. S Say what you will do Now that I know that those kind of jokes offend you, I won t tell them anymore. T Thank the person for giving you the feedback Thank you for being open with me about how I m making you feel. I need to know how I m coming across with people, and I appreciate that you were direct with me. Source: You Can Stop Harassment, Quality Media Resources, Inc. Page 13

14 AWARENESS/ACTION SPECTRUM People can be at different levels of awareness and action when it comes to disrespectful behavior in the workplace. Naïve Person A person at this level lacks awareness or knowledge of disrespectful behavior and its impact on others. Perpetrator A person at this level has awareness of disrespectful behavior and its impacts, but displays such behaviors anyway. Avoider A person at this level knows what disrespectful behaviors are, and doesn t display them, but chooses to ignore such behaviors when others display them. Change Agent A person at this level is a model of respectful workplace behavior, and takes appropriate action to address disrespectful behavior when it s important. Fighter A person at this level is always on the lookout for injustice, and confronts and attacks all disrespectful behavior in the workplace. Page 14

15 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKPLACE HARASSMENT 1. Harassment is a form of discrimination where a person is subjected to threatening, intimidating, embarrassing, or other offensive behavior because of his/her gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, or some other distinguishing characteristic. 2. Harassment usually occurs when there is a disparity of power between the harasser and the target of his/her behavior. 3. Harassment is not always intentional, and doesn t have to be intentional to be illegal. 4. Men can harass men, women can harass women, women can harass men, and men can harass women. It s the behavior that counts not the gender of the participants. 5. A person can feel harassed even if he or she is not the intended target of the behavior. 6. While not all harassing behavior meets the standard of illegal conduct, any workplace harassment is inappropriate and should not be tolerated. 7. If you feel harassed at work or you are aware of incidents of workplace harassment, you have a right and a responsibility to confront the harasser if you feel safe doing so, or to report the harassment to a manager or an appropriate human resources person. 8. If you report an incident of harassment, the organization will conduct a fair, discreet investigation and appropriate corrective action will be taken. 9. It is illegal to retaliate in any way against an employee for complaining about or reporting workplace harassment. 10. There is no room for harassment of any kind in a workplace where people value and respect each other. Harassment is the opposite of respectful workplace behavior. You have the right to work in an environment that is free of harassment. Source: You Can Stop Harassment, Quality Media Resources, Inc. Page 15

16 QUIZ ANSWER KEY: WORKPLACE RESPECT AND HARASSMENT T F 1. In a respectful workplace, harassing behavior is not tolerated. TRUE. Harassing behavior is the opposite of respectful behavior. There is no room for harassment of any kind in a workplace where people value and respect each other. T F 2. It is the policy of the State of Oregon to provide a work environment free from behavior, action, or language which may be perceived by others as hostile, intimidating, or abusive. TRUE. This is right out of the policy statement. T F 3. Harassment must be intentional to be illegal. FALSE. Harassment is not always intentional, and it doesn t have to be intentional to be illegal. It s the behavior and its impact that counts, not intent. T F 4. All harassing behavior is illegal. FALSE. While not all harassing behavior meets the standard of illegal conduct, any workplace harassment is inappropriate and should not be tolerated. Any derogatory, abusive, disparaging, bullying, threatening, or disrespectful behavior, such as yelling obscenities, can be misconduct and a cause for disciplinary action. T F 5. A person can feel harassed even if harassing behavior is not directed at them. TRUE. You don t have to be the intended target of the harassment to be harassed. For example, you can be a passerby and overhear something that offends you. T F 6. If employees feel harassed at work, or are aware of incidents of workplace harassment, they have a right and a responsibility to confront the harasser. FALSE. They don t have to confront the harasser. If they don t feel safe doing so, they can report the harassment to a manager or to the Personnel Office. But they do have the responsibility to do something. We all have the responsibility to stop harassment in the workplace. In a way, doing nothing condones it, and probably makes it worse. Page 16

17 QUIZ ANSWER KEY: WORKPLACE RESPECT AND HARASSMENT T F 7. It is illegal to retaliate in any way against an employee for complaining about or reporting workplace harassment. TRUE. In fact, an employer can be held liable for retaliation even if an investigation showed that harassment didn t occur. T F. 8. If an employee complains about harassment, but asks that you do nothing about it, you should respect their request. FALSE. If you are a manager who does nothing about harassment you are aware of, both you and your organization could be legally liable. Try to convince the complaining party of the wisdom of positive action. And let them know you are bound by policy to proceed with an investigation. T F 9. When an employee complains to you about harassment, you should assure them that a prompt, fair, and completely confidential investigation will be conducted, and that appropriate corrective action will be taken. FALSE. This statement is true except for the part on complete confidentiality. You cannot guarantee this. An investigation will require disclosing facts on a need to know basis. So instead of complete confidentiality, assure the complaining party that information will be disclosed only on a need to know basis with appropriate parties. T F 10. If you feel comfortable handling a harassment complaint all by yourself, there is no need to contact the Personnel Office. FALSE. It s best to get guidance and help from the Personnel Office with any kind of harassment complaint. Often Personnel will have information about the situation that the supervisor lacks, and this information needs to be considered. Also, as an outside, third party, it can be easier for Personnel to resolve the situation. PLEASE CONTACT US. Page 17

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