What makes brilliant people become concerned–to the point of paralysis–about simple common sense issues, just because they involve race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion or physical ability?
Today, we are afraid of workplace- or business-related incidents where a casual comment, remark or question can invoke profound misunderstandings and consequences. People have grown afraid to voice their opinions and communicate honestly. Words are chosen with care and meticulousness that often border on the absurd.
Having said that, I define the paralysis of political correctness (PC) as:
- The fear that keeps us from communicating in culturally and linguistically awkward situations.
- The fear of using sensitive words or communications because they might embarrass or hurt the sender or receiver.
- That tongue-tied, stomach-churning sensation that makes us avoid those employees who may need us the most.
Have you ever been paralyzed by political correctness? What happened? Were you able to recover from the incident or did the PC police issue a life-altering indictment?