– It costs too much.
Potentially controversial conversations in the work place are not worth it. Historically speaking, attempting to mediate or develop conversation has been shut down by direction or authority. “They” usually win because violence is the most efficient means of obtaining results (not the best just the most efficient). On the other hand, if it’s not the company culture to shut down these conversations all it takes is one employ being visibly emotionally upset to an HR person that the conversation is disrupting and BAM – no more talk allowed about that subject. Period.
On the other side, if an employer wants to promote something controversial the subject matter is promoted with nonverbal passive aggressive behavior (unless they have taken a direct open approach to the controversy.) Passive aggressive behavior is extremely difficult to address and resolve. It can be done but the immediate question everyone asks is, “Is it worth it right now?”.
Even if it’s not that then the HR person simply says to you, “What does that topic have to do with you being able to do your job?”. “Nothing, stop talking about it and get back to work.” This may be said directly or INDIRECTLY to you. If you don’t go along or have master level communication skills then you are fired for some other reason.
It takes far more skill and upfront costs to foster, develop, and maintain a culture of growth and real dialogue. Most companies simply can’t afford it. Sure, those companies will eventually fail (or maybe not) but that is in the future. They have to stay in business today in order to even get to future profits.
Utopia is simply not attainable. I have spent decades working to be able to achieve a utopia but no such luck. I never found any way possible to have one. But we can get a little closer to it today. It is the cost that slows us down. Here is an example of what it would take to grow more. Far more financial success, far more free time, and more education about communication and win/win relationships. The vast majority of people simply don’t have the time, money, or opportunity to delve deeply into the levels of communication skills required to get the healthy society done today that we already know how to do.
This problem is far more difficult to achieve than most people would like to think. Even though we have the communication skills (see true dialogue as an example) readily available almost everywhere.
Just one example of what you have to do before you can even start a potentially difficult conversation is getting permission from the other person to bring the subject up. It becomes a catch 22.
Is it important to have these conversations? At certain times, under certain conditions, absolutely. But what you have to do to pull one off is far, far more than the other person that only has to say, “I do not think this is appropriate.” Because they don’t want to listen to you or hear about the problem.
If you want to bring it up, then you have to ensure the other person’s comfort to be able to listen to you. Otherwise you lose.