It must be about a decade now since I gave myself the mantra, maybe tenet is better, in the title. It has been highly useful and I have shared both the tenet and my thoughts behind it with many along the way. The question, posed to myself, helps to formulate my communication methods in a way that should diffuse any P.C. traps.
Most of us live and work in communities that are no longer composed largely of like-background and like-thinking individuals, hence the birth of political correctness. Because when there are too many sensitivities, and they are often in conflict with each other and potential objectives, they can easily get trampled on the way to something else. And the idea of political correctness is honorable, meaning to offer equal respect for the make-up of all the individuals in any particular group at any particular time. But, whew, P.C. can act as a wall which prevents that group or community from ever actually resolving the real issue. (Talks between countries that never happen because the preliminary how-the-meeting-will-go-down discussions break down over the shape and size of the table and the placement of the attendees.)
Back to my question. If we each look into ourselves and determine the answer to our intent – resolve an issue, say how best to configure new office space – then we can better craft our method of resolution, down to approach, consideration of any objections or risks and how we will address them before we even gather. Deciding that our intent is to work together to create a pleasant and productive office space, thinking about what we know about potential pit falls and how we can handle them reasonably would go a long way toward mutual benefit – a place that doesn’t need P.C. to be effective.
Now this question works best when all involved are asking the same question of themselves, but it is still effective when used by one individual, me. Because I also turn the question and ask myself what the intent of the other individuals might be, how it might differ from mine, how it might affect the encounter or project. Then I can be prepared with persuasions to keep things on track toward plan, and away from anything that could lead to non-P.C. territory.
I won’t claim that this is easy, or that I am always successful; but I have gotten a lot of mileage from this one simple question. I invite you to try it out. Let me know how it works.
(This post is written in response to Daily Prompt: P.C.)
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