Disrespect Diversity: How You Unknowingly Show It #PeopleSkills

Do you respect or disrespect diversity? It’s important to know yourself and what you believe. Disrespecting diversity impacts your personal and professional relationships. In other words, it affects your life and your career. You may be showing others that you disrespect diversity and not even know you are doing it. Here’s how you can tell and how you can fix it.



Disrespect Diversity: Image is under sea feather stars.

How You Unknowingly Show That You Disrespect Diversity. Image by NOAA via Flickr Creative Commons License.

image by NOAA via Flickr Creative Commons License.


How You Unknowingly Show That You Disrespect Diversity

In one of my previous blog posts, Change These Business Words to Be More Inclusive, someone wrote to me privately saying that my points were baloney. They showed me that they disrespect diversity. They also showed the common reasons why people dislike diversity.

Reasons Why


They …

  1. See it as a threat to themselves.

  2. Don’t want to learn and evolve.

  3. Want to keep thinking and speaking the way they always have.

  4. Are afraid to make mistakes that others can see.

  5. Are insecure and keeping things the same makes them feel safe.


How You Show You Disrespect Diversity

  • When someone tells you that your words or actions disrespected them, you defend yourself. Is it human nature to do this? Yes. But not all human reactions are helpful. So instead of reacting that way, ask them to help you understand. Listen without reacting to their words or emotion. Thank them for helping you. Apologize unconditionally for your words or actions.

  • You make jokes about people, their ethnicity, their race, their physical traits, their challenges. Or you laugh at other’s jokes about these things. If someone objects to this, you say “I was only joking.” So instead of joking this way, make jokes only about yourself. Remember, that for other’s to accept your jokes about them, they must already trust you in a big way.

  • You claim that the list of things we shouldn’t say just keeps growing and growing. You want their to be a finite list so you can’t make sudden mistakes. Yet there won’t be a finite list. So instead of holding on to this wish, stay aware of what words are rooted in bias. In other words, keep learning.


Recent Example

Just the other day I read that Whoopi Goldberg apologized for using the word ‘gypped’. I thought to myself, what’s wrong with that word? So I looked it up. As it turns out, gypped comes from the word ‘gypsy’. It disrespects the Roma people (also known as gypsies) in suggesting they are all cheaters. So instead of using the word gypped, use the word cheated i.e. “I was cheated” vs. “I was gypped.”


Main Message



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Post:
Leadership: How You May Be Showing Your Discomfort w/ Diversity

©2023 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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