Being Politically Correct at Work Makes You More Creative
If you’re a #girlboss who’s fighting for more women in top positions on the daily, you’ve likely come across those who roll their eyes when you suggest they cool it on the sexist jokes. Or maybe your boss has suggested some guidelines to make sure everyone has a seat at the table, and that sparks protests from people who argue that those kinds of rules block natural creativity. Well, now there’s some hard evidence you can use to counter those arguments. A new study co-written by four US professors found that while “people tend to associate political correctness with conformity,” it can actually maximize creativity at work.
Researchers found that PC guidelines add a layer of safety to the workplace so that everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and bringing their creativity to the table. In other words, when your gender, race or sexual orientation isn’t being casually put down, you’re more likely to know your worth and express it. Shocker!
In this study, the researchers focused on gender, studying how groups that were either mixed-gender or single-gender worked together after imposing a “PC norm” (AKA a guideline for how men and women should interact to avoid sexism). Groups were given 10 minutes to come up with their most creative new business idea. Researchers found that the mixed-gender groups came up with a significantly higher volume of ideas and more creative ideas when a PC norm was imposed. The effect was less significant in single-gender groups, which shows that there really could be an issue with how men and women interact in the workplace.
“What the research findings mean for the state of gender relations… is troubling. The fact that men and women still experience a high level of uncertainty while working together, and that a norm as restrictive as PC provided a safer environment for free expression, means we still have a lot of work to do,” the researchers wrote in a blog post.
At the same time, the study is encouraging, since it shows that companies that are working to set clear guidelines for political correctness could be on the right track. So keep calling out those sexist co-workers, #girlbosses of the world. It’ll pay off soon!
Do you think political correctness stifles or encourages your creativity? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.