Resources & Guides

Empower your team to tackle discriminatory behaviours

5 minutes
5 minutes
Mostly the respectful sharing of individual views is beneficial, interesting and welcome. However, we are all different and discriminatory comments or behaviours can surface any time, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Situations can escalate in any communication. e.g. face to face, over email or on a WhatsApp chat etc. They have the potential to damage your organisation and cause personal distress.

Empowering your team to tackle situations as they occur will pay dividends in the long run. Start by considering the facts, get as much information as you can, then tackle it using the approach “I realise, But, So” (recommended to us by Housing Diversity Network).

I realise, But, So Approach

I realise….. this is where you demonstrate you’ve understood and listened. You are not agreeing with the other person but you are showing yourself to be rational.

But…..  this is where you state what the issue is.  For example, it’s offensive or it’s against company policy or it’s against the law.

So….. this is where you tell the person the consequences of their actions or what you expect to happen next.

Use it for different severities of situations, it’s flexible enough be used by anyone. Example situations:

Close up of Crucifix necklace


You’re a practicing Christian and you’re fed up with your colleague saying ‘Oh my God’ 5 times a day when she knows you take your Faith seriously ”You tackle it;

  • I realise you’re not intending to offend me and it’s a general term to you.
  • But I am serious about my religion and it hurts me to hear you say that.
  • So please don’t use that term when we’re in the office together.
Muslim female working at a desk


You’re a Museum manager and you see a comment on the volunteers WhatsApp chat , “I don’t trust Asian or Black people lol.” You tackle it;

  • I realise that is your opinion
  • But our organisation has fair values, we don’t tolerate racist views.
  • So we’ll be unable to continue to give you a volunteer opportunity.

Gender Reassignment

You’re on an interview panel with another manager who refuses to employ the best candidate for the job because that person is a trans female.

You tackle it;

  • I realise you think there could be issues with the appointment.
  • But she is clearly the best candidate and would be a great asset to us.
  • So let’s take some time to understand the facts, look at the benefits she brings and reflect on any bias or risks before we make a decision.
close up of person with clasped hands holding rainbow ribbon

Sexual Orientation

A Housing Association tenant spray paints a homophobic slur on the plumber’s van. You tackle it;

  • I realise you thought that was a joke
  • But it’s seriously offensive and you’ve caused damage to our van
  • So I am reporting this to the police and the Anti Social Behaviour Team will be in touch.


If you'd like to empower your team to become confident in tackling discriminatory behaviours please contact us for course details or book a call with us.

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