View Full Version : How to point out someone's prejudice and discrimination without ticking them off?

05-29-15, 10:54 AM
I have a question for you good folks:

There's a hospital in the US that ran an anti-stigma campaign a few years ago, and they did a before and after survey that basically said "Stigma is cured!" Then they took a closer look.

In the post-campaign survey, 95% of doctors said that if someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia presented with chest pain, they absolutely would not assume that it was a symptom of their illness. Then they did a chart review. 75% of the time, those same doctors did, in fact, assume that chest pain was just either delusional or behaviour related to the person's schizophrenia.

SO, onto the question: How do you draw attention to someone's behaviour when they're blind to it? How do you do it in a way that will make them want to seek to change their attitudes and behaviours? How do you avoid ticking off your audience at the same time?

05-31-15, 11:59 AM
First, you need to consider if it's a behavior that the person actually *can* change. If it is, then you need to consider if it's a behavior the person would *want* to change if he could. Then you need to think about how to bring it to his attention in such a way that it's clear that you're bringing it up out of love and concern, rather than being critical or judgmental. Finally, if it's received well, don't leave it at that, offer help, advice, alternatives. . .but if it's not, then just stop talking.

06-02-15, 03:41 PM
What if I AM being critical and judgmental? :-)

Seriously, though, I'm looking for ways to bring attention to attitudes and behaviour that have become part of the culture at a part of the hospital where I work. I'd like to find a way to show them the effect they're having and just how much it erodes the hope for recovery from those they're supposed to be supporting.

Individually they're wonderful, well intentioned, caring people. As a culture, they can demonstrate judgment, prejudice and dehumanizing behaviour.

I'm always a big fan of not just pointing out a problem, but an alternative as well, but how to even encourage the person to take a serious look at how they do their job?

06-02-15, 04:11 PM
What about saying "Would you be interested in hearing how that would make me feel if you were saying it to me?"

06-02-15, 04:18 PM
Maybe, discussing it with the hospital HR director or other hospital exec. would help. I think presenting a case with facts and examples is critical. Try to avoid using opinion as much as possible.

I would lay out all the facts and ask them what they thought. When they come up with your same conclusion on their own, it should be more effective then claiming discrimination and being forced now to prove it. When they think it's their own idea, it's much easier.

The example of 95% of Drs. claiming they would treat chest pain from a psychiatric patient when 75% didn't is a good starting point.

eclectic beagle
06-02-15, 04:46 PM
Social resonance can often be a substitute for rationality.