How to stop discrimination
Stopping discrimination is not always easy. With this knowledge, some of us choose not to address discrimination when it happens, but rather we sometimes choose to go around the discrimination.
For example, we may avoid disclosing our gender orientation or sexual orientation in order to avoid being discriminated against.
Stopping discrimination can also be time-consuming, exhausting and costly. In this respect, all of us need to make our own decision regarding what to challenge and what not to challenge.
There may be times when you assess that addressing the discrimination at a certain point in time may do you and your family more harm than good. At other times, it may be that you feel you have no choice but to stop the discrimination.
Five tips to help you stop discrimination
If you do decide to stop the discrimination there are a number of things you may wish to consider in order to get the best result. Here are five tips that might help.
1. Set the standard without placing blame
When addressing discrimination it’s helpful to let the person know what’s acceptable and what’s not. Highlight concrete examples where behavior can be improved, and highlight solutions that can address the situation.
When addressing discrimination with an individual use language that lets them know what could be better. At the same time, avoid using language that punishes, blames them or makes them feel inadequate or small.
Making people feel small or inadequate may only work against you. Building people up, despite their discriminatory behavior, may help them feel more confident in their ability to change their behavior, and more willing to work with you to find a solution to the problem.
Also, even though discriminatory behavior might be demonstrated by one individual, it is sometimes the systems, structures and culture of an organization, service or agency that may be allowing this behavior to continue. Placing blame on one individual may therefore not help address the source of the problem, which may be institutional discrimination.
2. Pick your moment
Experiencing discrimination can happen when you least expect it. If you do experience discrimination it is sometimes good to challenge the behavior there and then. But, this is not always the case. Sometimes it’s better to come back and address it later.
Taking time to collect your thoughts can also help you work out what you wish to have changed and addressed.
3. Make a convincing case and know your audience
Some people may take a bit of convincing when it comes to alerting them to their own discriminatory practices. In this respect, you may need to make a convincing case to win your argument and achieve your desired result.
It is easier to make a convincing argument if you know your audience. Knowing your audience and what drives them can help you work out what points you need to make in order to help them change.
4. Work out the best strategy and take your time
You can address discrimination in a number of different ways. Take the time to work out the best strategy to get the best outcome that you need. Think through all of the possible scenarios and solutions. Seek the advice of others in order to understand why the discrimination may have taken place, and how the system and structure can be changed. Thinking laterally may help you in ways that you may not have originally anticipated.
5. Know your rights and seek the help of others
Despite your best efforts the person, service or organization that has discriminated against you or your family may still not be able to stop their discrimination. In these circumstances seeking the advice of a lawyer or mediator may help. They will help you understand your rights. They will help you resolve the matter.