Protected Groups




Protected Groups :





Protected groups are everywhere today. They are designated by gender, sexual orientation, age, race, national origin, region, position in organizations and so on and so forth.


The vast majority of Americans are in one or more protected groups. To avoid any potential liabilities, pay attention to these six rules.


1. No jokes. Most jokes make someone the butt of them. Also, few people can tell a good joke. Many simply go wrong or are offensive. Many of my sales people have been trying to tell a good joke for 20 years or more.


2. Emails are the most dangerous form of insult because pushing the send button is so easy. Be very careful about sending anything sensitive to anyone via email. You can easily have the recipient forward it to someone who will be offended by the content.


3. Don't pick on any of the protected groups, no matter how much you believe yourself to be right.


4. Avoid code words or phrases perceived as negative by protected groups. This isn't a Supreme Court issue. You don't have to defend the right of Free Speech. Just don't get into these matters in writing.


5. Don't use offensive words in private, in groups, or anywhere else. What you say one place can easily slip out somewhere else. If groups change their minds about what they want to be called, follow suit and refer to them as they wish to be named.


6. Don't use designation words by gender, race, nationality, or any other grouping and you will avoid these pitfalls.


Good practices will purge your vocabulary of most potentially objectionable material. If you are in a protected group, be careful not to offend another one. It is so easy to do.


Be smart. Stay above the battleground. Just don't get into it. And repeat this over and over to yourself. The payback of adhering to these six principles is substantial. The cost for being wrong can be huge. So encourage people in your family, peer group and organizations to follow these simple rules.





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