Quick reminder, nothing I say as I tell this story is meant as legal advice. Please seek legal advice if you face or witness something similar. There we are in a meeting, the junior executive comes in, gives us information, walks out, and someone tells an LGBTQ plus targeted joke. Sorry if you had any faith in my backbone because I did nothing. Why? A lot of reasons. As the newest member of the team, the only female in the division, not a clerk or secretary, and the person most reliant on others' collaboration to get anything done because my position had a huge span of accountability in a tinny span of authority. I was afraid to speak up. I didn't want to come into work and hear everyone go, here comes Alyssa, be very careful what you say, she's very sensitive. How would I get anything done? I'm ashamed to admit I said nothing. I didn't laugh, I tried to use non-verbal cues that I didn't appreciate the jokes but I've learned over the years that that does nothing to diminish or prevent harassment. After a few months though, when I really could not stand the way the man was treated I decided to say something, but what? To whom? When? At the time, I thought I had two options to deal with the group harassment. I could say something to the full group making it clear to everyone where I stand or I could pull aside the ring leader. Looking back on it now, I wish I had recruited allies, such human resources help a legal counsel. I wish I had said something to the full group, but I was a different person then, with different knowledge and resources and I chose to talk to the person I perceived to be the ring leader. Maybe if I could get them to stop everyone would stop. The next meeting in which we called in this particular junior exec, he gives us info, he leaves, someone tells a gay joke, everybody laughs but me, the meeting continues. After everyone leaves the room I go to the ring leader's office, let's just call him a ring leader and my plan was to use a negotiation tactic I picked up somewhere, where you get the other party to agree to say yes. I said, boy, business is going well. "Yes," ring leader says. I think we're going to have to promote one of the junior guys soon to keep up with the work. "Absolutely," ring leader agrees. I put in for a salary jump for someone to get promoted in the next budget cycle. Great, I think I got him saying yes, so then I say, so someone still seems like the best candidate, doesn't he do great work? "Yes," ring leader says. I think so too my plan was to put his name and I'm so glad you agree. Now I'm thinking, I've got him saying yes it's all good, and I say, well, I was thinking if he's going to be in a higher position probably we should stop making jokes about him now. " Why?" ring leader asks. Genuinely confused, because it seems like it sends a message we don't think highly of him, people will respect him. You can't do these jobs without respect, "No don't worry about that," ring leader replies, " Everyone respects him, one thing has nothing to do with the other." Well, I just think it would be hard for him to do his job if he knows people are laughing at him. Ring leader says, " He doesn't know." Like if every time you walked out of a room and it erupted in laughter you wouldn't know you are the target of the joke. Now I'm just lost and it totally exasperation. I say, well, I just feel uncomfortable when you make gay jokes. The ring leader says, genuinely surprised, " We'll stop." They did. That was the last time anyone told a joke targeting LGBTQ plus or any other group at least in my hearing, and I was in that office all day every day. I do use the iMessage. I didn't know it at the time, I had never heard of it. Have you heard of or learned the iMessage? If you have stay tuned anyway. There are a few things you should know that often do not get taught yet have a huge influence over the value of it. The iMessage is just a statement that here's the impact another person's words or actions had and a suggestion of a different way of expressing the same ideas if possible. I feel, when you, I would prefer. Unfortunately, it has been so misused that people often assume it is not the valuable communication tool that it is. In the next video, I'll share some ways you can use the iMessage constructively.