How to Live Core Values by Using Correct Pronouns

Posted By: Ylana Nelson Articles, Industry Trends,
Did you know that by using someone’s chosen name and pronouns we can live our core beliefs? Yes! We can empower associates and put people and partnerships first.

You may never have to worry about which pronouns other people use for you. But if someone you know is frequently misgendered, they may feel excluded, hurt, angry, and unacknowledged.

Correct pronouns help people feel respected and included. You cannot always tell someone’s gender and pronoun by looking at them, so it’s important to:
  • Ask what pronouns people prefer
  • Use those pronouns correctly

How can you approach that conversation without offending someone? Don’t overcomplicate it. Begin the conversation by sharing your pronouns, which normalizes discussing pronouns or gender and helps to foster an inclusive culture.

Introduce yourself. “Hi, my name is _____, and my pronouns are (he/him, she/her, they/them). What are yours?” Create an ice breaker, if you’re in a group. “Tell us your name, role, and if you’re comfortable, your pronouns.” Be up front and sincere. “May I ask your pronouns?” or “Can you remind me which pronouns you use?” Use gender-neutral language. Instead of “Hey guys” or “Welcome ladies!” use “Hello folks” or “Hey everyone!” Use “they or their” wherever possible rather than “his/her.”

You can communicate respect and courtesy by:
  • Using the person’s pronouns often with them and even when they aren’t present
  • Correcting someone if they misgender others, simply by repeating what they said with the appropriate pronoun
When you make a mistake:
  • Acknowledge that we all make mistakes or forget sometimes. Don’t dwell on the error – that may make things worse.
  • Say, “Thank you for reminding me” instead of “I’m sorry”
  • Don’t get angry

You don’t have to be perfect. Just make it a habit to practice. You may not get it right the first time, but take this crucial step in the right direction to be more inclusive.