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Thinking about the culture of ‘calling in’ and ‘calling out’...

Thinking about the culture of ‘calling in’ and ‘calling out’...

Mark.Freed / 13 Oct 2023

Reflecting on a recent Men for Inclusion session, I had an interesting realisation during my drive into town the other day.

As I navigated through traffic, I couldn't help but notice how we, as motorists, readily call in and out behaviours on the road. It struck me that when we make small errors, fellow drivers don't hesitate to call us out with a few well-chosen hand gestures. And when we show courtesy by letting someone in, they acknowledge it with gratitude, often using their indicators to say "thank you" a few times.

In our cars, we willingly participate in this unspoken exchange of feedback with complete strangers. We, usually, accept being called out gracefully and warmly respond to expressions of gratitude. It's a dynamic of accountability and recognition that feels natural on the road.

However, it made me wonder why this culture of "calling in" and "calling out" isn't as prevalent in our office environments. When it comes to non-inclusive behaviours or commendable inclusive actions, we often hesitate to speak up or acknowledge them. We shy away from providing feedback, even when it could lead to positive changes.

Perhaps it's time for us to adopt a similar mindset in our workplaces. By fostering an environment where we feel comfortable calling out behaviours that hinder inclusivity and recognizing those that promote it, we can create more inclusive and productive workplaces for all.

Let's take a lesson from our experiences on the road and make it the norm to encourage inclusion and accountability in our professional lives. After all, a small gesture of feedback or gratitude can go a long way in creating a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.


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