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Everyone is thinking it, The fans are literally covered in s**t, and it’s hitting everything and everyone!

You think you’re a nice guy? Never said anything inappropriate or laid a hand on anyone with lecherous intent? Yah, maybe have a chat with Garrison Keillor to find out if you feel so certain that you’ll never be called out.

So, now we have no spectrum of common sense and human decency. We have dark and light, demonic and angelic, soiled and dirty or pristine and clean. If it has a smudge, it’s off to the soiled and dirty pile you go. A hug to comfort is immediately construed as gratuitous and groping. But is the tip of the iceberg really the whole chunk of ice? Is the teeny faux pas the only slip, or do others get swept away? Because they’re so small. So insignificant. And really, who did they hurt???? Welcome to the slippery slope.

Here’s where I get confused. I can honestly argue both sides of this issue. On the one side, I feel that calling out minor actions is a disrespect to those women and men who have truly suffered horrid actions at the hands of others. Let’s face it, a light hand on the knee or accidental brush against the skin of your back is not the same as shaming and violent rape, all the while recording and displaying on social media. But, does someone deserve to get a pass just because their actions are not as ‘horrific’ as others?

The other issue with this I have is that we are creating a definite “us” and “them” mindset. Man/Woman, Boy/Girl, Man/Boy, Left/Right, Religious/Not, Straight/Gay, Black/White, the list goes on and on. And gets more segmented each day. When you look around, all you hear is anger. Angry voices, lack of trust, Fake News!!! So, who do we believe? We look to our own sources and find those articles which validate our beliefs. Look no further, we’ve been proven right! Welcome to the slippery slope!

What’s this all doing on my business blog?

We each, as business owners, have a chance to strengthen our cultures faith in truth, compassion, and empathy. When we find someone, even as horrid as a Harvey Weinstein hiding in our staff room, or on our client list – we can do a number of things. We can ignore this and pretend we don’t know (thereby sharing culpability to any future atrocities this person does to others), or we can call them out, publicly shame them and then shun them. Strip them of their human dignity and make sure they never earn another lawful cent. There, that’ll teach them. It matters not the actual behaviour. If it was one of those things we know we all do, out of the norm and not typical of our character, should the lash be so strong that it kills the receiver?

But what if it wasn’t a one-off? There are people who walk amongst us who appear to be lovely, innocent, trustworthy. Those who hold the power of their position over others. Others that are younger, have less power, have less money, need the job, are new to the workforce and really don’t understand their rights. What do we do about those?

Well, hopefully, we don’t have any of those hanging about. But, that’s a bit of a naive outlook, isn’t it? What would make you think you’re the only business in town who doesn’t have this happening at your workplace or your office. Of course, it may not be this way. It may look more like peer-to-peer harassment or bullying.

This could happen all the way from the Manager’s Office to the Sales Floor. Creating a sales quota in a retail business has often been considered the way to go. Do you then watch your staff to see who pushes the meeker staffer away from the customers? Who claims the best ones for their own? Your new guy/gal will not only be punished by their small paycheque but also by you, probably … Yes, do you practice the “low sales 3 x in a row and your gone” methodology? How’s this working for your business, your client satisfaction … Yes, I LOVE to be swarmed on by desperate end-of-the-month-quota fillers. Ewww. It’s the business owner’s job to provide a safe environment for their staff. All of them. Welcome to the slippery slope.

This is only one example of how your business could be impacted with this issue. There are more. A lot more.

Swinging around again … what does this have with the Harvey Weinstein’s and the Garrison Keillor’s of our world? It’s a mindset. It’s a me-against-them mentality that means there’s only one winner. That winning is the thing, the only thing. That whether you’re putting a part of your body where it’s not invited, or you’re subjecting your staff or clients to practices that should have gone out with the Mad Men era, there are no winners. Isn’t that ironic? A mindset that champions only winners produces a whole lot of losers.

Signing off now. I’m not even sure I’m done, but I do know that this war that our society is fighting with itself is exhausting. And scary, and I’d really like it to stop.

My promise to you all is that when I see this I will call it out. If you come to me with your problem and truly want to address it I will do everything I can to help, and if you just don’t know what to do, contact me and together we can make a plan you feel you can do.

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