Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 96 of 115

sit and listen to them. "We hold team meetings monthly and keep in close contact via Slack, which are useful tools for making sure we're all on the same page," says Sarah of Trade & Lore. Sarah also points out that communication doesn't start after a barista is hired. "The Waking Life incident taught me the importance of a workplace where language and communication are key," she says. "The best way to achieve this is by having a solid team. We do a three-step interview process: In the fi rst interview, we stress the importance of creating a space for our guests and team members where harassment, of any kind, is met with a zero-tolerance policy. Our entire crew stands by this value, and everyone's empowered to make decisions that ensure this value is upheld." 4. Encourage your staff to be active bystanders. The way harassment gets further embedded into our culture is by us seeing it happen and not doing anything to stop it, which further val- idates the harassing behavior. Encourage your staff not just to stand up for themselves, but to stand up for others—coworkers and custom- ers included. Most of the techniques outlined above focus on creating a safe workspace for baristas, but by teaching baristas and manage- ment to be active bystanders, managers can create safe spaces for guests, as well. The Accompany Project and the Arab Amer- ican Association of New York (AAANY) host bystander-intervention trainings all over New York, including one that took place at Everyman Espresso in June. "Bystander-intervention in- volves a series of tools that can be consciously employed to defuse volatile situations," the AAA-NY says of their workshops. "Participants will identify verbal and nonverbal techniques and tactics to de-escalate confl ict. Participants will also learn the four Ds of bystander inter- vention—direct, distract, delay, and delegate." Many of the AAANY's workshop techniques will be familiar to veteran baristas. "The main lesson I took from [the training] that I can imme- diately begin to practice is tied in to something we are already doing—reading the room," says Christian Brown, a barista at Everyman Espres- so. Reading the room, he says, means "always being aware of what is happening, and [in] the event of an altercation, being able to de-esca- late the issue." 5. Create an environment where harassment is not tolerated. Does this point seem obvious? If so, ask your- self, "What am I actively doing to ensure that I communicate this message to my baristas and clientele?" If you're not doing anything, then the message that your shop is a safe place for everyone isn't being effectively conveyed. Simply saying you don't tolerate certain be- haviors isn't enough to ensure they don't hap- pen or are handled appropriately when they do. Conversations about harassment start before harassment happens, and as the boss, you have to always demonstrate to your staff that harassment will not be tolerated in any form. Creating a safe environment means having ongoing conversations, as Lindsay and Sarah do with their staff in their effort to reinforce the idea that you are there to make their work enjoyable and safe. "I try to let baristas know I have their back," says Rachael Garrett, an educator at Irving Farm Coffee in New York City. "If they aren't comfortable address- ing it, I will. If they are, I let them know I'm with them." Think critically about what you can do as a leader to handle harassment. There are certain things, like setting a tone of respect or implementing monthly meetings, which might take some time. There are things you can do today—right now—to communicate to your staff, coworkers, and customers that they should feel safe in their environment and that harassment will not be tolerated. Just start the conversation. 97

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Barista Magazine - OCT-NOV 2017