Stand up and lead!

After a week filled with hate and persecution based on race, religion and political leanings as a leader you may be wondering if you should discuss this with your employees or not touch it with a 10-foot pole. I implore you to address it! Silence is the worst thing you can do. The old adage of leaving things at the door when you come to work is antiquated and untrue we work with people not machines. If you did not make a statement to your employees after Charlottesville here is your opportunity to get it right. Hate is not political so if you thought that was a way to safely avoid dealing with this it is not. If you are a CEO write a simple heart filled statement to all of your employees letting them know that last week was sad and horrific, people were targeted based on their race, religion and political beliefs. Remind your employees that regardless of the hate and vile behavior that exists in the world they are valued and appreciated for who they are and they will never be treated with disrespect at work because you and the organization value all dimensions of diversity (you can add EEO statement or keep the legalize out it with a personal touch). You can also give out the EAP number so employees can reach out and get help to deal with the trauma. While I believe the CEO sending out the message will be the most impactful to the overall organization first line leaders have the most personal impact with your employees. Talk to your employees and let them know you care about them and hope everyone is ok after such a horrific week. Check in individually as some employees may not respond in a group. Reinforce their value to you and have the EAP number handy. Leaders lead even in times of discomfort. Your employees need to hear from you this morning do not let them down.

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