Workplace micro-aggressions are subtle behaviours that affect members of marginalised groups but can add up and create even greater conflicts over time. These are often comments or actions that subtly and often involuntarily or accidentally express a prejudiced attitude towards a co-worker. According to Baker College’s blog, there are varying categories of workplace micro-aggressions and the most common are micro assaults, micro insults, and micro invalidations. Each type can have a lasting effect on the target’s ability to experience belonging or social acceptance at work and home, which is a fundamental part of reaching their full potential and feel validated as a valued member of society. When it comes to dealing with such, businessman Ernest Mugisha says everything starts from human resource management, as they are the ones concerned with the wellbeing of the workplace; if employees or employers are happy where they are and the relationship between is good or not. He says something like that happened at their workplace and it had a very negative impact on both the company and employees. “We faced challenges like discrimination, such micro-aggressions went unnoticed and it negatively affected the company because we ended up having financial problems, and the relationship among employees and employers was shaken,” he shares. Examples of micro-aggressions Experts say that micro-aggressions come in different forms; Micro assaults- which are commonly described as “old-fashioned racism” because the person behaves deliberately in a discriminatory manner. Micro insults, that occur when people unintentionally or unconsciously say discriminatory things or behave in a discriminatory way, and micro invalidations which are actions and behaviours that deny racism and discrimination. Invalidations occur when a person undermines the struggles of target groups. How to confront micro-aggressions Lina Mbabazi an assistant secretary says these ‘simple things’ that are done unknowingly can cause a lot of negative impact, like on the mental health of someone. “Such attacks affect people’s wellbeing even though they are provoked by those who are not even aware of what they are doing,” she says Dr Kevin Leo Yabut Nadal a psychologist from Columbia University created a helpful list of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to confront the microaggression: If I respond, could my physical safety be in danger? If I respond, will the person become defensive, and will this lead to an argument? If I respond, how will this affect my relationship with this person (e.g., co-worker, family member? If I don’t respond, will I regret not saying something? If I don’t respond, does that convey that I accept the behaviour or statement? Simone Iliza who works in a management department says that every little thing that can impact negatively any employee should be evaluated. “We encourage employees and employers to speak up whenever they hear something that is unpleasant to them. Because when swept under the rug, later on, it can create bigger issues,” she says. Mugisha says when dealing with micro-aggressions, it’s important to aim at strengthening relationships between employees and employers. Improve the mediation spirit in the company. Also, encourage weekly self-assessment, to give employees the platform to explain the challenges they are facing and a safe place for them to provide confidential information about what’s not working. Establish evaluation survey, these are done by managers to know what members don’t like and which employees are behaving badly.