Tolerance in principle and practice can be challenging in the workplace for various reasons due to personal biases, disagreements, and prejudices. Despite its challenges, it does not mean that a tolerant workplace is not fixable. Making the right choices on both the individual and organisational level will facilitate resolutions in helping overcome workplace intolerance.
In the current diverse society and workforce, there is every reason to address and oppose intolerance and promote tolerance. But, in doing so, it is important to clear out the differences in understanding intolerance. Having known each type of intolerance can help HR teams address and build better tolerance initiative among their employees.
Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science Maykel Verkuyten in his interview on the Psychology of Intolerance mentioned that there are three types of intolerance: prejudicial intolerance, intuitive intolerance, and deliberative intolerance.
Verkuyten added that addressing each intolerance might require different approaches. In the case of deliberative intolerance, for instance, there should be a weighing of the reasons for not allowing dissenting practices and beliefs (such as harm and rights principle) that might trump those for accepting freedom, such as religious freedom.
When addressing deliberative intolerance, HR team also needs to make people aware of and inducing them to carefully think about the nature and relative importance of the reasons why and when something cannot be tolerated is central. By doing so, there will be a decrease in one’s reliance on intuition, and therefore can lead to a more reflective than an intuitive judgment about not tolerating something.
On the other hand, addressing intuitive intolerance requires people to reflect and recognise the civil liberties of others and acknowledge the democratic importance of freedom of expression and speech.
Intolerance of disagreements and differences can cause discomfort, but having it managed ethically can be considered intrinsically part of intellectual exchange. In fact, a well-managed diverse workforce helps create a more prosperous company. The differences can be the potential to get in the way of establishing and strengthening relationships in the workplace.
Think of these benefits: when you adopt an attitude of inclusion and tolerance, you can open up more possibilities, such as:
All in all, tolerance is the foundation of all good working relationships that must be emphasised. Encouraging tolerance in the workplace is a foolproof way to prosperity and abundance.
Previously, Verkuyten suggested how to address intolerance based on its types. However, addressing the issue without encouraging and promoting workplace tolerance is fruitless. There is no sure-fire method for each and every situation but the following tips can help get your team moving in to the right direction:
Embracing differences will promote a greater sense of understanding and, in the process, better working relationships; which ultimately higher productivity in the workplace.