Words matter — especially in high-stakes moments. However, it is very hard to always get them right. You won’t always, but how you respond when you harm others is crucial.

Sometimes in your efforts to be inclusive and call out injustice, you accidentally cause harm to others. Perhaps you use words that some find offensive, or you neglect to name all of the groups that are suffering the injustice, or you make some other misstep you don’t recognize until someone brings it to your intention. This is to be expected, and what matters is how you respond. 

It’s essential to welcome difficult conversations and give people the grace and space to stumble over their words. Saying something and showing care is always better than saying nothing. HR leader and DEI expert, Daisy Auger-Dominguez shares her experience and offers guidance for how to respond you’ve been called out for making a mistake that hurts others. She suggests that you own it (rather than getting defensive), you create a space for dialogue, learning, and humility, you model courageous conversations, and call in a friend for feedback. Most importantly, don’t let your fear of making another mistake hold you back.

Read the whole article on the Harvard Business Review website. 

Source: Harvard Business Review