Why banter needs to be redefined

To make workplaces more inclusive, banter needs to be redefined

Banter is defined as: the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks. The dictionary says; “There was much good-natured banter”. Banter typically takes place between peers with witty and equal repartee. Whether it’s at school, at home between siblings, in the locker room or in the office, there will always be comments thrown around in jest. Humour is vital to the work experience and life in general after all  But banter needs to be redefined, so that it no longer is no longer an excuse for hurtful or politically incorrect dialogue.

Banter has a dark side. It can easily tip over into verbal abuse or bullying. Those who make the comments might believe that what they say is a joke and not intended to cause harm. Those who do speak out are ridiculed for not being able to take a joke, for being spoil sports, thin skinned, sensitive or aggressively derided for being tiresomely politically correct.

 

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