Does Productivity Matter if You're "Marginalized or Discriminated" Against?

Image courtesy @EV

Image courtesy @EV

This morning over a “not large enough” cup of hazelnut coffee I pondered why some things are so hard for people to grasp. Then I recall a few of my own biases I have forced myself to admit to. As I read through hazy eyes an article in SHRM on workplace discrimination it seemed puzzling to me that each ultimately related to the legalities of sexual harassment and discrimination. As though, an organization was to be only concerned about passing muster as far as the law went. In so many words to protect the company.

But what about marginalized people whose voices are stifled by managers whose biases are unconscious? Some whose biases are placed in a safe place by consultants who claim we all have biases” As though such thinking and behaviors are acceptable because we all may do so. For example in the New York Times a story on how we do just enough, “How to Succeed When You’re Marginalized or Discriminated Against at Work.” has numerous applicabilities for us today..

To me, productivity isn’t just about getting things done — it’s about spending less time on the things you have to do so you can spend more time on the things you want to do.

But it was running headlong into someone who held me and my expertise in such low regard — for no other reason than his preconceptions about who I was — that forced me to reckon with the notion that so much popular productivity advice, including some that I’ve dispensed, is accessible only to people who have the option to use it in the first place.
— Alan Henry

Can we answer as leaders, the call to do more than we are expected to do? The just enough factor for which we excoriate employees for? I feel like the character in the movie “Company Men.” Employees and c-suite officers had been permanently laid off so the company could show profits for a significant payday. The leader slowly inebriated with power over the years lamented how the company had paid the employees for what they deserved. “We did all the law required.:”

A former executive made a statement worth pondering, “I thought we were seeking something higher.”

Does it really matter if one is productive if one is continually biased against it as unworthy? I would appreciate your thoughts. Jim

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About Jim Woods

Jim is President of Woods Kovalova Group located in Denver, CO. Working globally on every continent, Jim and his team have advised and trained Fortune 1000 companies, U.S. Military, Government, small businesses and individuals seeking performance improvement. Jim is a former U.S. Navy Seabee and earned a master’s degree in organizational development and human resources. He has taught leadership and human resources at Villanova, Colorado Technical University and Dickinson University. To have Jim work with your organization schedule an appointment here.