Friday, March 17, 2006

Word discovery: microinequities

Citation: “Why your boss may start sweating the small stuff,” Time magazine, p. 80, Mar. 20, 2006. Online version.

Usage: Article subhead explains: “New sensitivity training at the office focuses on all the little ways a tone-dear manager can demoralize a staff.”

Meaning: “…puts a name on all the indirect offenses that can demoralize a talented employee.”

Examples: A team or meeting leader who becomes less and less interested in what someone is saying… someone important who keeps glancing at his watch during a meeting… someone who interrupts a colleague to answer the phone.

Comments: This can cut both into productivity and general employee attitudes, which can even affect customer relations. Working in a large corporation, I’ve seen it in action. It isn't an intentional slight, but it sends an unmistakable message, often a non-verbal statement that others can read as easily as the person who is slighted.


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