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  • Writer's pictureTaChelle Lawson

Respect and Regulation

Every living creature is deserving of respect. Invade a rattlesnakes space and be taught a lesson on respect and regulation

To further my point on respect and regulation, I want to explain why carte blanche authenticity in the workplace is bad. No, it's a terrible idea. 

Authenticity means to be genuine or real. And I can tell you, as someone authentic before it was a trend or buzzword, that the average person is not equipped to handle or engage an authentic individual in social situations, let alone the workplace.

Years ago, the rule was that you didn’t discuss politics or religion at work, and for a good reason--you got an authentic response. 

In 2024, when we hear or say things like “be authentic” or “bring your whole self” to work, we invite individuals to do that. Depending on who's receiving the message, it can be interpreted as being free to throw things, scream if angry, cry uncontrollably or express a controversial (and often emotional) opinion on politics or religion. 

In my family, we have traditional Sunday dinners when our schedules allow. I’m a conscious capitalist, and one of my sisters is a socialist. During every meal, for the sake of peace, my Mom intentionally places herself in the middle trying to see and respect both of our perspectives.  

Now, this is my sister, so I don't hold back on my thoughts; neither does she. And it is often unpleasant. We authentically express ourselves, and at the root of it are passion, values, and beliefs—fundamental expressions of who we are and what matters to us. Tears roll, voices rise, doors slam, etc. And next Sunday, there's a new article to debate so we do it all again.

Would you encourage this authentic expression in the workplace? It can be uncomfortable for those not involved in the discussion and can affect one's ability to perform. 

What we really mean is that the capitalist, socialist, neutralist, Catholic, Atheist, vegan, carnivore, pianist, heavy metal lover, rock climber, animal activist, volunteer, grandpa, side-hustler, wig-wearer, bald guy, ex-offender, trans-woman and whatever else applies to you is welcome in the workplace. That's it! That's what we mean, so that's what we should say.

When you get to work, we trust that everyone can work well together and respect each other despite our differences. Since this is what we actually mean, authenticity should be removed from the HR and team vocabulary and replaced with RESPECT. 

In doing so, everyone is held accountable for their actions and how they show up. Anyone who divides the workplace with negativity and toxicity is then regulated according to the established rules of respect.

This might terrify you. It shouldn't.

There may be some backlash, pushback, tears, etc., but eventually, it will balance out, and people will adjust. The environment will be better for it.

Remember that words matter. Choose wisely.

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