Step 1 – Direct Response
Be proactive. Try to resolve the problem on your own. Do not wait until a recurrence or assume the problem will go away. Approach the person who made you feel uncomfortable, explain how it affected you and ask them to stop. Do this calmly, respectfully, and in confidence. Often, they may not be aware that their behaviour is offensive, and most will change the behaviour once they are aware of the problem. If another employee approaches you regarding an issue of respect, then careful listening, respectful discussion and honesty will often lead to a resolution.
Step 2 – Help from Your Unit
If you have attempted to resolve the problem without success or if you are not comfortable addressing the problem on your own, discuss the problem and possible solutions with your immediate supervisor. Confidentiality considerations should be discussed and agreed upon.
If for any reason you are unable to discuss the problem with your immediate supervisor, other avenues are available to help you resolve the problem. You may contact another appropriate level of management up to and including the Head of your unit.
Step 3 – Formal Avenues
If you have attempted to resolve the problem, as outlined in Step 2, and it has failed to correct the situation, then assistance through Human Resources, Faculty Relations, the Equity Office or your union/ association may be necessary.
Adapted from Respectful Workplace Program, Newfoundland Labrador Public Service Commission