June 2, 2021

Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn, with Sara Taylor

Episode 85:

Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn: Marginalization in the Workplace

What You Will Learn:

  • How we are genetically programmed to deal with danger situations through the “fight, flight or freeze” response
  • How marginalization in the workplace and minimization of differences cause people to often respond through the same survival mechanism
  • Sara shares her personal experience of minimization and marginalization in the workplace when she was a young woman on a team of otherwise older men
  • How another way people respond is through the “fight” response by pushing back against minimization and loudly calling out the things that make them different
  • How there is often an undiscussed fourth response, “fawn”, where people seek the approval of those who are minimizing them
  • How all four of the responses (fight, flight, freeze and fawn) are natural reactions for someone who is marginalized in an environment of minimization
  • Why feeling marginalized, overlooked, excluded and having your differences minimized makes it that much harder to contribute or to do your best work
  • Why too often, the response to someone reacting with fight, flight, freeze or fawn is to blame the victim rather than recognizing that their responses are natural
  • Why these responses are also the typical responses to trauma, and why a minimization culture dramatically impacts an organization’s bottom line

Marginalization in the Workplace

About Sara Taylor

Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.

Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.

How to Connect with Sara Taylor: