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Practical Application: Questionnaire for Detecting Microaggressions in the Workplace

Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

This questionnaire will help you assess the level of microaggressions happening in your workplace. Afterward, we'll discuss how to analyze your results.

Microaggressions

Most people today work with others who are different than they are. With an increasingly diverse workforce, it has become standard for people of different genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions to come face-to-face in workplace settings. But what happens when someone is treated differently than others based on their membership in a marginalized group?

Microaggressions are subtle behaviors that involve treating people differently based on their perceived inferiority due to membership in a marginalized group. Whether it's a verbal comment about someone's race or gender expression, or a non-verbal reaction to someone's gender or sexual orientation, microaggressions don't seem like a big deal, but they can lead to alienation and hostile work environments.

Most of the time, people who engage in microaggressions don't realize that they are offending others. This is because microaggressions are often rooted in assumptions we make. Because everyone makes assumptions, it's easy to accidentally engage in microaggressions.

To understand more about microaggressions, check out the lessons

Use the questionnaire below to assess your own behaviors and see if you engage in microaggressions.

Questionnaire

Take a few minutes to reflect on your workplace and your day-to-day activities. For each question, give a score. Then, in the comments section, list out specific examples of when you (or your workplace) have done those things.

microagressions

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