Healthy debates on the internet are hard. If you know someone and disagree with her, feelings get in the way. If you don’t know someone and disagree with her, it’s even worse. The whole interaction can become a psycho-social pile of garbage that doesn’t further the debate and leaves people feeling weird.
Every once in awhile, I’m super pleased to come across a writer who disagrees with me and isn’t disagreeable. Colleen Striegel wrote an open letter in Workforce Magazine and called on HR professionals to be less reactive and more proactive when it comes to sexual harassment. She also singled me out by name and disagreed with parts of my original Vox article where I told workers to bypass HR departments when they’re harassed.
I loved it. All of it. The article comes from a voice of authority and experience. The writer is passionate about fixing a systemic problem. And, while she mentions my name, she doesn’t make things personal. There’s no dysfunctional behavior woven into the narrative of the post. No hysterics or shady behavior. There is no mob or tribal politics.
Colleen writes what she writes, and she moves on with her life.
It’s a masterclass in friction and professionalism. She was motivated to write, in part, because she disagreed with me. However, the piece isn’t about me. Instead, Colleen writes about what it feels like to be a 30-year veteran of Human Resources during the #MeToo movement. She makes excellent points throughout the post.
This article was a gift to me. Reminds me that it’s possible to identify someone by name, disagree respectfully, and make important points without being a jerk.
Here’s to more of that in 2018 and beyond!