That’s not what I meant!

Have you ever been shocked that somebody took what you said in a way you didn’t intend?  Perhaps your comments struck a hurtful chord or provoked a negative response you didn’t expect?

Intention: That’s not what I meant

I would personally never intend to harm someone or be disrespectful but am sure there are times when what I have done or said has been taken that way. When we address civility and respect just from the perspective of those who are intentionally rude, we miss the bigger opportunity of helping the rest of us be more mindful of how our actions might be perceived.

Perception: That’s not how it felt

In many cases the line between what is considered a breach of civility and respect in the workplace and casual dialogue are blurred by what experts like Sharone Bar-David refer to as “intention vs. perception”. When we are vulnerable, due to stress or other mental health issues, our perceptions may be skewed. Managers and employees often want to do and say the right thing but lack the rules and tools for ensuring that behaviours don’t cross that line.

I sat down with Sharone to discuss her work in this area and if you want to learn more, check out our on-demand webinar which can help you address civility and respect in your workplace. Get the Webinar.