Here’s a topic that might get your blood boiling, one way or the other: political correctness.

According to Wikipedia, political correctness means “using words or behavior which will not offend any group of people.”

Regardless of which side of this issue you stand, it can be polarizing. Some hate it, some embrace it.

It does have its place, but like most things in life, going to extremes is counter-productive.

I remember listening to a radio program that discussed words and terms that should be stricken from usage because they could be seen as politically incorrect. I can’t remember if it was intended as satire or not. I hope it was.

Here are a couple of examples I remember. Brainstorming shouldn’t be used because it could offend those with mental illness. Terrorist shouldn’t be used because it could be offensive to those who are fighting for what they believe in, regardless of their tactics. It does seem a bit much, doesn’t it?

Kate Lorenz offers some points ( that can apply to training as well as work:

  • Examine and reject your stereotypes
  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Be careful about humor in the workplace
  • Ask questions
  • Be aware of different communication styles
  • Be respectful of differing opinions
  • Follow the “golden rule”

Some look at it as tyranny, while others see it as being a form of freedom and inclusiveness. Regardless of your view point, if you are training others, isn’t it in your best interests to refrain from insulting them? You need to have respect for your students, it’s as simple as that.

So to keep your training from being considered a ‘non-traditional success’ make sure you are not ‘factually unencumbered’ of all the ‘overly structured trivia’ you need to present this ‘idea re-shaping session’. *

* Non-traditional success – failure; Factually unencumbered – ignorant; Overly structured trivia – information; Idea re-shaping session – training