Size Doesn’t Matter: Discussing Sensitive Issues in the Workplace

I received an email from my boss today commenting on the size of one of the executives screenshots. I was taken aback. Floored.

Here is a man, a professional, talking to one of his subordinates about the size of his superior’s screenshots like it’s not a thing. Even if you take the gender dynamics out of the situation it’s just inappropriate.

I addressed this with my boss. He was a little taken at my offense and said he would never comment on someone’s screenshots if they were smaller than average but sometimes a complement isn’t a compliment.

This made me think, if my boss, who is more professional than I am (I’ve been accused of many things but never of being unprofessional) doesn’t know that discussions* of such sensitive topics is off limits, maybe it’s not common knowledge.

I want you to a think about all of the screenshots you’ve encountered, in person or online and take stock of all those that are big or little, snipped or not, huge with tiny details. Some people are self-conscious about their screenshots so they perfect their angle and edit the thing within an inch of its life.

Now I want you to think about how each of these screenshots has worked for you. Maybe you prefer the big ones, spanning multiple monitors, that barely fit in an email, but does the snip of just a tiny detail on a screen not meet the same need?

If it doesn’t I encourage you to find a neutral time, when screenshots are not needed in the immediacy, to talk to the person whose screenshots are leaving you wanting. Tell them what you would like from them and give them space to process your requests. They may not be open to critique in the moment, but I can guarantee your uncomfortable conversation will yield results.

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