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In the U.S., most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Our experience of the workplace is largely shaped by how we are treated by our leaders, managers, and coworkers.

Leaders determine the culture — their style and the way they treat people who report to them trickle down to shape the way your manager treats you. The kinds of behaviors that are punished or praised, the humor they use, even the words they say all trickle down.

For instance, I had a leader who used the word “noodle” to mean “think” and “color” to mean “detail”…


I have encountered many team-building and leadership exercises that aim to help people understand themselves and others better by categorizing people based on a set of behavioral or preference questions.

People with a background in research and science understand that you can’t just make up a quiz and results based on your opinion or feelings and say it’s true. However, that is essentially what a lot of these team-building and leadership activities/books/guides are doing.

Have you heard of MBTI, DISC, and the concept of “multipliers” vs “diminishers”? What do these three things have in common?

All are a) not valid…


My last article on Changing the oppressive culture of sexism in Corporate America got some unexpected attention, and as such I want to explain a few things for those who may be new to thinking about sexism at work.

Sexism is real. It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to you (yes, even men). Gender roles and stereotypes have been deeply ingrained in our society since ancient times. These learned roles and ways of perceiving others have been honed over centuries, but they are largely social constructs and are not truth. The fact that you have biases isn’t your fault.


I‘d like to make one thing unequivocally clear: sexism in the workplace is real, it’s still happening, and we have all probably perpetrated it or been complicit as it happens right under our noses. Maybe we don’t even realize what’s happening is sexism.

Sexism in the workplace does not have to take obvious or overt forms (e.g. hitting on a colleague, cat calling, men getting paid more for the same job). Neither does it require a conscious belief that one gender is better than the other. We’ve learned from the Black Lives Matter movement that the standard dictionary definition of…


It’s sometimes hard to know what you can and can’t do at work in terms of advocating for change, because the rules of normal human interaction don’t apply the same way.

At least, where I work, we have a fairly staunch culture (especially for a startup) where people are expected to have their game face on at all times. It’s difficult for me to navigate on a good day, let alone during times of important societal change. Having a conversation with people about anything meaningful is rare.

Even the person who I would consider my closest work friend was unwilling…


I will be the first person to criticize social media for the ways in which it promotes narcissistic, self-aggrandizing behavior and only tells half the story of what is going on in a person’s life.

Many people don’t post every single thing they think or do on social media (myself being one of them), but I also see people still posting self-promotion without lending their voices to the anti-racist effort.

If you have the time to post pictures of yourself at the beach or promote your small business, you have time to post a line coming out in support of…


A few years ago, I worked in a place that always wanted their employees to be positive and happy. What this actually means is that they always wanted their employees to act positive and happy. It was a stereotypical Seattle startup with a trendy office space in a trendy neighborhood — you know, the kinds of companies that get parodied on shows like Parks and Rec (think Grizzl corp) and Silicon Valley. This may sound great to some people — but let’s do a quick reality check.

I read an article recently that said that “happiness” comes from the word…


Uber has been in the news a lot in recent months, and much of is hasn’t been positive. So I thought I’d kick ’em when they’re down and add my two cents about something that currently isn’t getting much attention — the fact that drivers can rate passengers on the same 5 point scale on which passengers rate drivers. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it makes absolutely no logical sense and serves to enable those who are already predisposed to discriminate. Let me illustrate.

About 7 weeks ago, I ruptured my Achilles’ tendon and…


Are you self-aware? Do you think critically about and reflect on what happens around you, the actions you take/are asked of you, and why?

Do you act ethically and stand up for what’s right, even when there’s a risk, or do you do what you’re told and not ask questions?

Do your actions bring you closer to the values you hold?

Who are you when no one is looking?

Do you genuinely like the person you are, or do you like reactions to the image you portray?

Did you have intrinsic purpose in going to that protest, or did you…


http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2015/11/05/3719701/pretty-little-liars-socality-barbie-essena-oneill-and-being-real-on-instagram/

Ok, this article is complete garbage and I need to share my two cents on the internet. First, it pits two women against each other who are essentially promoting the same message. Cisneros does it in a satirical, clever way, and O’Neill does it by getting swept up in Instagram culture and then somehow coming to her senses.

The author of this article sounds like one of the snooty PNWers Cisneros likes to make fun of. She attacks this Insta star at her most vulnerable, choosing to pay attention to the wordy and disorganized way she is trying to…

Kara J

Writing evidence-based, thought-provoking content to spread knowledge and ideas that help people. I hold an MS I/O Psychology and BA Philosophy.

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