Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dealing With Homophobic Coworkers: Quick Guide

1. Be consistent
2. Remain calm & courteous
3. Keep conversations normal
4. Be direct
5. Be confident
6. No need to change
7. Be genuinely interested in them
8. Remain professional, even when they are not
9. Be prepared to talk to your boss

1. Be Consistent: Make yourself hard to dislike. Make sure that no one around you has any reason to bad mouth you to others (as much as depends on you). Consistency in your character and work ethic will go a long ways in interaction.

2. Remain Calm & Courteous: Do not blow up when someone begins throwing their homophobia around. How you react will often determine how much of the problem you are. Stay polite and courteous even after the fact so that there is never a reason to get rid of you. Be the bigger person, no matter how hard it may be.

3. Keep Conversations Normal: Make sure you are talking professionally. If your talking about getting railed on the dock last night or your last enema session or bleaching where the sun don't shine people will tend to get offended. While this may be normal conversation amid your friends, these are your coworkers and they usually come from a very different belief system.

4. Be Direct: You will almost always know when someone is homophobic or bigoted. So ask them directly, why? Then listen to their answer, fully. No matter how silly you may think it is, for them it is obviously an issue. Often, once they get it off their chest and you don't freak out or judge them or try and change their mind they will calm down. You have to set them at ease that you are easy to be around.

5. Be Confident: Most people will accept you as soon as you accept you. If your uncomfortable with your sexual identity, people will pick up on that. Be confident and own yourself. 

6. No Need To Change: If your flamboyant and limp wristed, don't try and "butch" it up for other people s comfort. Your walk does not determine your professionalism, unless your a model. Remain consistently you and others will come to rely on that consistency, even the ones who are homophobic or bigoted.

7. Be Genuinely Interested In Them: Icebreakers are important. Being a good listener is crucial in these types of situations because they often convey personal things and if they feel you aren't interested in them, then the true problem will be even harder to come out.

8. Remain Professional, Even When They Are Not: Do not feed into the hostility or conflict. Your integrity will go far here. Remember, you have dealt with this before. Thousands of others before you have dealt with this with poise and class. Keeping a professional attitude will go far in career advancement as well. If you can deal with hatred right in your face and not lose your professionalism, you can handle most anything.

9. Be Prepared To Talk To Your Boss: When you have done all these things to resolve and de-escalate the situation, be ready to go to your boss. You deserve a comfortable and safe work place too. You were hired for a reason, your valuable to your entire company and you matter. Explain all you have done up to this point and calmly tell them how this is effecting your job. Your emotional well-being is just as important to them as it is to you. A happy employee is a productive employee.

Evaluate your situation dears, sometimes the best thing to do is go straight to your boss and report the incident. Workplace bullying or intimidation is unacceptable and you deserve better!

With Love
Jeff Utnage

If you would like me to cover something specific, please leave a comment with the idea. I look forward to it!

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