As TD professionals, we encounter a lot of different people in the workplace. As we know, diversity in our employees sets us on the right path to being innovative and finding the right solutions whenever issues arise. We never want to limit ourselves when finding the best talent out there.
We need to go even further than this in the training of new employees. Keep in mind that respect for everyone is of upmost importance. On this theme, whenever you’re facilitating a class, don’t touch the participants! Those of us with an HR background know that even the seemingly most non-threatening touch on the shoulder can be taken as inappropriate by the person being touched – and sexual harassment laws do not concern the intent of the actor, but on how it impacted the person being acted upon.
But we also need to think of it this way – we don’t know each individual’s story. What if, just what if, the participant that we touch on the shoulder is a survivor of abuse, and that touch psychologically triggers them? We can never know – unless we’ve been told – so it’s best that we just avoid this altogether.
I know that it can be hard for some of us who are touchy-feely individuals, but as professionals, one of our mantras in the workplace should be, “Keep your hands to yourself.”