How To Tell If Your Organization Uses Gaslighting

When employees come to us and say they're experiencing gaslighting, it usually looks like this: The employee is doing their job, gettin' shit done, serving the people. Someone else (usually a boss) comes in and says, "I got an email from a client, you ruined everything, and it's all your fault." (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea.) Employee says, "I've never met that client, there must be some mistake." Boss says, "Stop being so defensive and trying to deflect responsibility." Employee says, "I want to take responsibility for anything I do wrong, but I just didn't do that." The employee does some research and discovers that it was the boss who actually interacted with the client. The em

How To Know If Your Company Uses Brainwashing

A lot of businesses we see, especially well-meaning nonprofits and advocacy organizations, use brainwashing against their employees and clients. Most don't even realize they're doing it. But, it is a key factor in sabotaging their efforts to create an inclusive environment. Could this be happening in your organization? First, we need to ask, what is brainwashing? Is it a problem? If it's a problem, why? How do we immunize from brainwashing in our workplaces and create a truly inclusive environment? Brainwashing sounds scary, so you might be surprised to know it's more common than many of us realize. The good news is that just because an organization is engaging in brainwashing, doesn't mean

Introducing the IMPACT Model for Cultural Health

Have you ever heard that our intent and our impact might be different? We mean to be kind, but people take what we say as criticism. We mean to self-advocate, but people still think we don't have confidence. We mean to set boundaries, but people don't respect them. When I work with someone accused of harassment or discrimination at work, they often tell me, "I would never be discriminatory! That's not what I meant." When I work with someone who is in a toxic work environment, they often say, "I meant to tell him to stop, but he took everything I said as permission!" Our intent and our impact is often different. This is the #1 problem that creates workplace cultural health issues. So, how do

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