Many of you know me as funny. As flirtatious. As outspoken and occasionally outrageous in my one-liners and “tell it like it is” attitude. And usually, as someone who doesn’t take life too seriously.
However, today I need to write about something I take very seriously. And that is basic human dignity, safety and respect.
As someone who has made it my life’s purpose to foster authentic civility and respect in boardrooms, classrooms and otherwise, I find the recent, highly publicized and degrading commentary from Donald Trump nothing to laugh about.
In the course of my personal and professional life, I am proud to be seen as “one of the guys”. I have many close male friends and colleagues and the best dad, brothers, nephews and (most amazing) son a woman could ask for.
However, Trump’s disturbing comments – which continue to be condoned by many others – remind me that I am not – nor will I ever truly be – “one of the guys”.
The men in my life don’t ensure they finish their “neighbourhood run” before sunset, they don’t let others know the specific path they’re taking on their way home, they don’t pretend to talk on their phones as they walk through a poorly lit parking lot at night and they do not constantly monitor their surroundings with heightened awareness and vigilance to ensure they get home safely. They don’t worry about “stuff like that” because they don’t need to … because men like Trump have not created or condoned a culture of joking about, leering at, bragging about or grabbing for their testicles. That is why.
I have been repeatedly asked about Trump during each of my recent training courses on “cultivating respect”. I will not attempt to explain the inexplicable or excuse the inexcusable. I am as disheartened as many of you. I simply encourage each of you – men and women alike – to use Trump’s apparent leadership practices as a clear model on how NOT to cultivate credibility, civility and respect. Listen to how he speaks to and about others, observe how he behaves towards and treats others … and then do the opposite. Don’t let his “lessons” in dysfunction go to waste. I certainly won’t.
Learn more about cultivating respect with Marli’s book “The MIRROR Method: How to build productive teams by ending workplace dysfunction.”