Are you aware of common behaviors that could be considered sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment involves any behavior, that is sexual in nature, and can reasonably be understood as unwelcome or unwanted.
Here are a few behaviors to avoid:
- Rating another person on an attractiveness scale (“They’re a 10”). By doing so, you are actually discussing a person’s physical appearance with romantic undertones, which adds up to comments of a sexual nature.
- Discussing the nature of one’s personal life with references to sexual activity; you are referring to (personal) sexual activity while in the work context.
- Sharing sexually inappropriate photos/videos/emails with colleagues; content of a sexual nature has entered what should be a neutral, sex-free environment for work or study.
- Using terms of endearment such as honey, dear, or sweetie. Terms of endearment denote affection toward another person. This affection can reasonably be perceived as romantic in nature, and even sexual. Even though the person may mean nothing to you, it is the impact the behavior has on others that matters.
Harassment is always about the IMPACT of your behavior and not about your INTENT.
As soon as comments/actions of a sexual nature become unwelcome by someone in the work context, the behavior falls into the sexual harassment bucket.
Following some basic communication rules will help you to avoid walking on eggshells.
Learn more about developing your capacity to think impact and avoid harassment by going to our website!