If you have a problem with rankism at your job, it’s time to do something about it. Whether it’s racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, or another kind of rankism, it’s time to name it.
“To have a name is to be,” said Benoit Mandelbrot, the inventor of fractals. As “sexism” gained a foothold, men’s desire to avoid being labeled “sexist” caused them to modify their treatment of women. Likewise, the desire of perpetrators to avoid being labeled rankist will make them think twice about insulting the dignity of subordinates.
From Robert Fuller, here are 18 ways to demand dignity at work.
18 ways to demand dignity
1. Break the taboo on rank. Make it a safe subject for discussion in the workplace.
2. Acknowledge the roles of others and support equitable compensation.
3. Keep your promises to Somebodies and Nobodies alike.
4. Honor your Inner Nobody and your Inner Somebody alike.
5. Be aware rankism begets rankism. If you’re feeling frustrated, don’t pick on someone of lower rank; and don’t kick the dog!
6. Encourage respect for the other side in sports, debate, and daily life.
7. Think about what you want to pass on. And do it.
8. Show the world dignity through your profession.
9. Recognize that servers are people, too.
10. Try to see outside your position and build a model that synthesizes your outlook with the views of others.
11. Give recognition to someone who deserves it.
12. Bring dignity to law enforcement and conflict resolution.
13. Choose not to participate in disrespectful jokes or conversations.
14. Give your attention to someone you might normally avoid interacting with. Someone with a disability. Someone of another culture. Someone of a different faith.
15. Assist or advocate for immigrants, homeless individuals, the disabled, the elderly, children, anyone who is especially vulnerable to assaults on their dignity.
16. Offer assistance to someone who may not be getting the help or recognition he or she needs – an elderly neighbor, a new mother, a caregiver.
17. Ask questions about people in authority. Do they use their power to help others, or to keep them down? Have they earned their authority or are they just assuming it?
18. Exemplify rather than exhort.
What are some other ways you can think of to combat rankism?
Here are some more posts on Rankism: