August 6, 2020

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses the importance of reaching out to Black employees and colleagues in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Read MANAGEMENT MATTERS: DON’T BE SILENT.

George Floyd’s senseless death on Memorial Day has caused many people of all races to find their voices. Protests are happening around the United States in communities of all sizes. While most of these happen at nights and on weekends, they impact normal work days, as well, as we work with people who are distracted and may be emotionally and perhaps physically empty.

While colleagues of all backgrounds are impacted, as a manager have you reached out to your black colleagues to see how they are doing? They are certainly the center of attention right now. Do you recognize how your black colleagues are being treated on a daily basis? Are you intentionally holding conversations about racial biases in the workplace with your coworkers?

What are your African American colleagues feeling right now? Do you know? Have you asked? If so, good for you! Only by asking will most people share. And if you haven’t asked, why haven’t you? Do you ascribe to the mindset of “if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not happening?” The frustration and weariness among our black colleagues is real. If you don’t know that, it’s because you just aren’t paying attention. As a manager and leader, your job is to serve and support each of your subordinates, not just the ones who share your same ethnicity. Read more.