Unintentional Minimisers in the workplace

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People can do things with the best of intention, yet they can have a minimising effect on others. For example, This can inadvertently cause ill-feeling and assumption-making in the workplace.

Examples of Minimising behaviours can include:

  • The confident speaker who may often find themselves taking the lead in speaking, discussions or presentations, while others remain silent.

  • The quick-thinker who can immediately promote their thoughts, which can often influence a collective decision.

  • The ‘knowledge-holder’ who can often be looked-to for ideas, which can often stop other possibilities.

  • The ‘helper’ who can stop people from helping-themselves.

For those who experience minimising behaviours, it requires a gentle conversation. A conversation that asks for the person’s support. This may go something along the lines of:

“I love the way you are so confident when you speak, I would like to develop that in myself. When we present together in the future, can I ask you to support me to step-forward and take the lead, then give me feedback afterwards?”

Or

“It takes me a little longer to process my thinking and sometimes a conversation can be over before I get an opportunity to offer my thoughts. I would appreciate it if we could table points for conversation before the meeting. This would give me (and maybe others who also experience this) prior think time”.

Or

”You have so much knowledge in this area. I notice people looking to you for this when we are in group situations. I wonder how we might “draw-out” their knowings as well.

Or

”I really appreciate your help. I am mindful that I need to learn to do this for myself. Next time, can you coach me through the process so I can learn it myself”.

Alternatively, when we ‘play’ to our strengths, we also need to be careful that these strengths are not minimising others from developing themselves.

This requires us to become aware of the impact our communication and behaviour can have on others. This might include taking time to view ourselves from third person perspective, or to seek feedback from others.

So as you step-into this coming week, consider when you might unintentionally minimise those around you. Consider also where you are allowing yourself to be minimised by others, and how you might step-into your power and address this with aroha.

Go well :-)
Mary-Anne

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