Tavis Nailed It: What’s wrong with relationships at work?

YAY, good old Tavis – he is great at talking about real life, life between the lines of rigid definitions, and the victimizng impact that can result in either direction, when we have no feedback mechanism  to engage involved parties in conversation, but rely on definitions too rigidly defined.

The real words we need to focus on are not legal definitions, from court cases long delayed, or words defined by any professional system, but more universal, broader standards of respect, kindness, support, gentleness, invitation  – soft skills that can honor learning curves between adults from different generations, backgrounds, races, cultures, gender experiences.

So good,  yes: raise awareness about what is sexual harrassment, that’s important, feedback is needed, to ensure respect, feedback from both sides.

But does the person have to be fired?  Loose their job and reputation?? We seem to get so caught up in contrasting ideas about “right” and “wrong” in this country today, that we pay no attention to the damages inflicted during the arguments. We don’t question what consequences are best to help people grow, small scale, learn new behaviors – teach young women that they can speak up, and will get backup to say “no” – not insist that the person they said “yes” to – should be fired.  A fine? Maybe, pay $50-100.  Do that with any small instance – folks can learn with small but sure consequences.

Many people of all economic levels come from religious backgrounds of relative isolation – and find the process of learning communication across gender to be filled with some confusion, for the only lessons from church are often the “Thou Shalt Not’s.

Sometimes the other gender is terribly shy, and avoids giving any response, or says yest to trying to push themselves forward too fast, to avoid being left behind from experiences they see peers as having, or that seems nice when on a date.   Sex is not a bad thing, it’s a dialogue, a non verbal one, that needs to proceed slowly in mutual responsiveness to the other party.

Today’s fragmented world, with generations separated and living far from each other, village stability replaced by communication by machines – doesn’t help with this dialogue, and so many use substances to ease the anxieties and appear relaxed:

I think this is a catastrophic mistake, for it leads others to THINK you are relaxed, that you mean what you say, but many find what I found growing up with parents who used daily alcohol: the next day, their warmth or promises of the night before, or even battles exaggerated by substance use –  may not even be remembered, let alone honored.

I am very disappointed with PBS, for taking the word of one side in this whole subject, disregarding any effort to develop NEW ways, not just legally-devised ways – to create opportunities for opposing sides to speak back and forth, maybe with third parties, but sort out misunderstandings or disrespect, over many more settings than just once, with people they oppose.

Tavis is right – and it’s great that he is saying it. Monsterizing other people is no solution to any problem. It IS important that a woman can say “no”. But that did not used to be the case, communication was often not expected.

Let’s improve our relationships with respect and a repetitive, considerate process for more communication – among parties – maybe use third parties, not substance use to gloss over the problem. Find ways to facilitate exchange of real perspectives, often very much unknown to the other party. But facilitation needs to be done without the assumption that money equals power in all respects: humans are limited by their backgrounds, and we need to give each other respectful chances to learn.

Today on DiversityInc News: 11 year old black girl terrified by police treatment

Of course, I agree with the outrage – it is absurdly inappropriate, and puts the young girl into a system where she does not belong and leads her to wonder if she deserved it – most children think that way.

And if the officier said, “you’re not going to jail or anything”, he may have been trying to make it less scary for her. But the whole physical apparatus and expectation of total control aspect that police departments cling to as their primary approach – is a poor method to listen and include sensitivity with interactions in communities, particularly of color, with all the history of brutality, threats and misunderstanding that has passed as “normal”.

A point of racial difference to notice, for it matters to understand many pieces. White women have historically given their men the ultimate control authority over teenage behavior. Black women have not done this, they have generally gotten involved themselves, stood up, taken action and control of their children, spoken up, partly because of the terrible consequences historically for black people inovlved with any white military-focused groups – so many females handled issues at home rather than refer challenging behaviors of family members to police, for such referral would result in life changing consequences usually way beyond what was deserved by a minor crime.

I say this partly to defend police – for being given the task of bringing control to a situation, by white communities and particularly within families, they have taken seriously an expectation that they are the ones to protect and apply discipline. They see their goal is to obtain calm and quiet amid chaos, and I think this underlies their reactions to being criticized for this approach.

But culturally, I’ve found, and was encouraged to learn when I drove Black children on my school busses, I learned the value of many voices around, to resolve issues in a group, in black settings. I found proximity valuable, and healthier than the silent compliance I had been taught for generations. For when details of incidents can be aired promptly, and considered by those working on site, to achieve leadership and control of a situation – accuracy is improved, so cooperation is gained. This is a different impact from people (or even animals!) reactions to force applied – no chance to sort out details that matter.

Cross cultural and generational ignorance impair effective delegation of work

I think that when I also have acted like the ROCK, because an observant and competent person can notice when someone is floundering and see the need for someone to decisively step in, when so many others around have words but no plan to help, so we feel that we will not let the person down – and we step up, and manage it. Doing that, teaches us even better skills. So when another crisis arrives, we feel aware, and do what we can to reassure, help where possible – again being aware, we see that if nobody steps up, there is risk for confusion or neglect that can be fatal if someone is fragile.

All good enough, if nature let us step back and develop other interests and ways to interact with others – but when we have been the emergency resolver – crisis resolver – we do have a higher alertness to risks than others around.

Our healthcare systems are very fragmented, each specialty working during work hours and in their own silo of focus – anything outside those lines faces the risk of getting lost, and neglect is a greater risk than harm, even if harm receives the lions share of public focus.

If one part of healthcare refers someone, and the referral falls on the weekend, gaps in care exists until Monday, for direct providers change on weekends, and most administrative planning is done during typical business hours.  But some risks,, cannot wait.  Meanwhile we’ve been so good at catching small signals to prevent them from turning into large risks, we step up, and in the larger schem, others don’t even see the risks we faced, no matter what words they use to call us “angels”.

Major issues in this country and this time of management evolvement in America – of delegation.  We face multiple options for advice, but little training for management, for training to plan delegation and stay involved and observe round the clock process through the transition, continuing to seek feedback and have regular check ins with all involved.

Then on the receiving end of new role delegation – little training estimates a learning curve with weekly check-so that errors or risks are being anticipated and addressed, doubts faced.

Perhaps this gap in management and learning process are the result of a blindness of leadership in the USA – where the focus was on war victories, and in terms of  management, a lot of lip service to concepts on paper – like freedom, like democracy, like checks and balances, and the political systems – but when people involved are new to each other, particularly whcanen cultures differ – important communication gets derailed, for nobody wants to make mistakes that insult the others’ culture.

Without ongoing communication and questions however, with less focus on deciding the “right” format for communication – issues remain, and can show up later,  unexpectedly, during implementation of project goals.

Without understanding of the complexity but importance and understanding of how to manage a fluid process of delegation fo responsibility, the same people are the ones who handle most of the crises, while others are cheerleaders with little experience in specific case risks.

What is passed on is lists for care by interchangeable caregivers, who don’t learn to notice risks to issues not appearing on their lists to watch.

I have seen this dynamic repeatedly, and I’ve been the ROCK so often, that by now I rebel by standing back – but this leaves my many skills without use, a wasteful process.  But I know best how to take on the role of ROCK, when I accept a challenge to “help” I work hard to be available to just watch the situation repeatedly, show up, so I can see what might be best to do.

It can be hard to change our total and overanxious focus, onto building skills to delegate and support and work with new people, because that is not an “on/off” process, even if so many people sellling their services or bystanders, think it is.

NAACP tells Trump stay away from Civil Rights Museum Opening

I think there is no doubt that Trump’s words and actions have fueled racist sentiment and policies in this country – but how on earth can we find ways to help someone like him get more educated, if we don’t let him visit important museums that face African American history?

Major dilemma, of course, since he uses every place he visits as an opportunity to promote himself, and it is an insult for him to continue to do this. Speaking up matters! Maybe even being bold and taking a stand to bar him – I’m not God, I don’t know all the best ways to reach and teach the masses of people in white worlds, who have lived for centuries without recognizing the harm their machines and ignorance and presumptions of guilt and lack in African peoples have skewed the understanding of a wide world, who don’t expect to negotiate with all voices of Africans in planning changes that impact them, and include their views on what impacts the whole world and planet.

I was lucky to learn about African American culture starting without the standard assumptions taught in history books, because I grew up in Canada, and only had been taught British history, for the most part! When I happened to get a school bus driving job in the city, just when Busing Desegregation implementation was new, I was present at a particular time in history of cultural and racial dealing with each other, and the reaction of northern cities was cruel to them – caught up in their own resentment about being told what to do by wealthier classes, groups of whites combined all issues together into the refusal to condemn those in their communities who thre rocks at busloads of children. But codes of silence and fear of discussing topics with assumed antagonists – might delay confrontations, but they magnify them, for issues can be better resolved with prompt attention – and compassion, and the understanding that longstanding changes were needed, not ones that shifted with every political election year. Compassion is needed for the years when white people were so unfamiliar, and separation seemed the best solution to many – so they did not look twice.

An elder white woman told me once, that she could not understand how so much harm and hate could be gathered in Germany without a public uproar – but then she noted, that living in one suburb – she can’t even keep up with events happening in the next towns over. Thus, people can miss realities of others lives – and later, blamed for missing them, can react in resentment for being blamed.

There’s some truth in that feeling, for all of us have areas of ignorance in life, about circumstances that derail others completely, play into historic or family issues that need attention, guidance, support, but are left with only blame. Those who leave home for work, can find themselves on the outside for understanding issues at home.

Our mobile world can benefit from help, greater visibility, with better explanations of history, and ideas of better alternatives. I feel like a preacher, but see there is so much preventable sadness. But instead of realizing that we do not need universal and uniform educational or even legal standards, we need educators to learn how to listen to people whose issues are different, and who can benefit from help in different ways,

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got for now. It’s a sad situation, where Americans have had the debatable luxury of living in isolation from groups different from them – who now find that the others did not disappear, they needed help, and welcome – and instead found blame, mistrust too often without cause, misunderstanding of communication differences, and rocks.

NO – one more thing – MAYBE – if Trump agreed to go to the Mississippi museum opening as a private citizen, without media, maybe that could improve the process of adding perspective to his education.

I’m not Racist – video and conversation

I wrote this today, in response to a great video, called “I am not racist”, where a young Black man and a white Trump supporter talk with each other, each one taking turns, across a table. Brilliant execution, right to the point of conversations that happen in separate quarters for as long as the quarters have been separate: in other words, ever since white leaders met black local people and decided to take over, rob the resources, disrespect local people, but take their culture and mannerisms as if they were our own, as if white people could invent them. They could not, because those mannerisms were invented in a climate that refuses to exclude in the passive ways whites do all the time.

I wrote my my reply – but the conversation is a great one, congrats to the artist, joyner lucas, who designed the video – well done. I drove a school bus during desesgregation, and heard all those comments in white settings, as well as arguments about who can tell who what to do – it is a credit to truth and life that many people in the USA do get a sense of the historic and constant skewing of interpretations and the value and valor of Black young people that work so steadily to build, create new opportunities, speak to views that shut them out so smugly and instantly:

“Great video, great example of letting two people talk, to each other, not to surveys or just their peers, or to the legal system – those things are fine, but they are NOT enough, they result in quick fix blame, instant conversations, arguments, yes/no points. What matters is an effort to talk and LISTEN, study, and reflect – how does it feel to live in a location where the deck has been stacked against you for hundreds of years and you are instantly identifiable and confused with others because of your skin color?

The Black perspective requires study, because the history books we follow were written by white perspectives. Other countries in the Western world have come farther to grips with the prejudice of their founders, who not only traveled to other countries and used machines to impose re-organization – but split up and disrespected local organizing systems based on respect. Yes they brought some improvements, but without love and care. They stole the resources, made deals that left native peoples at odds and broke – and talked about them from afar, making sure they would be looked down upon for generations, as if they were not worth the trouble of getting to know.”

Sent to the Boston Globe responses to the video, I’m not Racist, 12/3/2017 under my pen name there of Castle