Have you ever felt like walking away from a conversation, or screaming, “WHAT did you just say?” My HR colleague, Randy Woehl, provides another communication option, which I follow up with a second challenging communication step.

When Randy hears a limiting statement like, “Latinas do not belong in the board room because they are just not that business minded,” he invites the person to substitute “Latina” (or Human Resource professionals, or women or whatever group is being targeted) with their own cultural identity.

So if Randy’s counterpart is a white male, he would say, “White males do not belong in the board room because they are just not that business minded.” This builds empathy, a key ingredient for success in our diverse, interconnected world.

Randy has just demonstrated four of the IMPACT steps from my Breaking Free from Bias book: Identify, Manage and Communicate about bias, with Accountability. Randy, you demonstrate high CQ (cultural intelligence) through your communication technique, and use your higher rank for the greater good.

Want an alternative, or to take your communication a step further without crossing the line?

You can pull the person aside and say, “When you talk about ____ (cultural group, in this case, Latinas) in this way you can decrease our profitability by up to 35%.(1) I have been remiss in not addressing this with you earlier, and I want to resolve this.”

This step’s direct communication success formula* is:

  1. This is the effect of your communication
  2. Here is what my part has been
  3. Intent to resolve
  4. Listen to their response

The next time you feel like walking away or exploding with, “WHAT did you just say?” experiment with one or both of these challenging communication steps instead to decrease costly conflict and talent loss; increasing prosperity.

Leaders, HR professionals, are you committed to improving communication in your organization, leading to decreased conflict and greater prosperity? I invite you to apply for an #unlockpotential strategy session with me to explore your best approach.

Coaches, ready to transform your communication for greater impact? Sign up for our How to Directly Communicate without Crossing the Line 7 hour, ICF and BCC core competency credit class to master this least understood and underutilized competency!

I look forward to your comments including the results of your experiments with these two challenging communication steps. They combine two of my favorite speaking, writing and coaching topics: How to Be Direct without Crossing the Line as well as Breaking Free from Bias.

Did you notice my experiment? I included both the video and audio files of this message!

To our success, we are in this together!

See you next week!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MA, MCC

Culturally Intelligent Executive, Leadership, Team and Mentor Coaching; Supervision