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Microaggressions Response Checklist:
Microaggressions are comments, actions or environmental conditions that negatively impact a marginalized group of people. Note that this term is a microaggression because it assumes that the offense is ‘small’ when it may in fact have a significant impact on the person receiving it.
This checklist is designed to bring awareness to the impact of these comments, behaviors and conditions. This statement raises awareness about the impact of microaggression and provides the owner with a range of appropriate responses to them.
1. The Look: sometimes facial expressions are the 1000 words needed for an awkward situation.
2. “Ouch”: is a widely accepted term to express when someone has said something that ‘hurt’ you. Ideally, the person realizes the offense and issues an apology.
3. Email: the first level of follow-up could be an email to address what occurred. In addition to the offender as the recipient, the email might be copied to others present, HR, a leader and/or others as appropriate.
4. Follow-Up Meeting: depending on the severity of the incident, the person offended, the offender a bystander/upstander may call for a follow-up conversation to discuss the nature of the offense and its impact on others.
5. The Exit: there are some instances where silence is the best statement. Again, depending on the severity of the offense and many other considerations, an offended person may choose to exit an interaction rather than engage any further. Over time, the collective effect of microaggressions may cause someone to exit that workplace.