I was reading a training module last night on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, and I became engrossed in the content and ended up reading all sorts of articles accessible through links in the training course.
There is a very broad range of examples of discrimination, unfair treatment, harassment or other areas that could essentially end up in one very unhappy person.
But as I was reading it, I could not help thinking of how complicated situations can become because of the continuous flow of human interactions.
You have an employee who perhaps requests a reasonable adjustment from their employer due to a factor – it could be illness or injury, it could be parental or caregiving responsibilities. Their employer is happy to make those adjustments and the person is able to reduce their contracted hours.
However, the person starts to notice that other colleagues are making a lot of mistakes that are resulting in added pressure. So they speak directly to the individuals making these mistakes, in an effort to make sure they understand what is expected of them. The recipients of this feedback feel undermined and harassed. They display a clear dislike of the individual and amongst other colleagues spread the ill feeling towards them, accusing them of being a bully.
The person has to go home due to an injury. The colleagues who have formed a dislike express how pleased they are about the absence of this person.
As I was reading through the training module last night, I could not help thinking how complex human relations can sometimes become. Those receiving negative feedback about mistakes they have made interpret the situation as if they are victims of bullying. In turn they speak maliciously about they person who gave them the feedback.
Before you know it…it is a right mess!!! These situations are so often not clear-cut. Different personalities, characters, ways of communicating, different attitudes towards receiving negative feedback, different views of acceptable speech.
Remind me never to go into HR!!! What a headache that would be!