HOW TO STOP RACISM IN ITS TRACKS.
Reading this article made me think about the work I am doing coaching and supervising others in this area.
Racist behaviours within the workplace (and communities) certainly need to be challenged.
Unfortunately it’s not always easy to find the courage. I am coaching a number of applied psychologists (and others) who are facing discrimination within the workplace and many are afraid of speaking up, fearing that it will only make things worse. Balancing the need to speak up and one’s mental health is a huge consideration.
Many feel unsupported, isolated undermined and exhausted. Many do not know their rights or how to exercise these.
Within the workplace some of the racism can be from clients or stakeholders and when the employee raises this with their managers they are left feeling unsupported. A huge issue seems to be weak senior leaders who have a lack of understanding about racism and often are unwilling to have uncomfortable conversations with clients. Often they prefer to hold secret placating meetings with the clients/stakeholders which exclude the employee thus further undermining and perpetuating the racism and victimisation, leaving them to feel even more isolated and unsupported.
This unfortunately results in individual employees being left at the mercy of systems that discriminate and of institutional racism.
These organisations seem to prioritise client relationships over employee mental health. #psychologicalsafety
Part of the coaching process involves being supported to talk about the behaviours you are seeing and the evidence for what’s happening. We use the Prejudice Racism Spectrum to do this and other tools within the Six Stages Framework toolbox.
People make different choices when they experience racism, some decide to speak up and others decide not to. Individuals can be supported to assess how they want to manage the situation and how emotionally resilient they are. Everyone is different and no one should feel pressurised into speaking up.
For those who do decide to speak up talking to someone and rehearsing what you’re going to say can be helpful in helping to callout racism and to challenge what’s happening to you. We offer other processes and strategies to help you in this area.
Should you decide not to speak up then talking to someone can help you manage the situation on a day-to-day basis and protect your mental health.
Either way talking to someone
reminds you that you’re not alone and that your feelings and experiences matter.
Don’t suffer in silence there is help out there.