Creating stuttering-friendly cultures ...
... enables employees who stutter feel a greater sense of belonging.
Our identity is linked with how we speak and are heard. When people listen and hear us, we feel like we belong.
But in many workplace cultures, the pressure to speak quickly and smoothly means that people who stutter often feel like outsiders.
Stuttering friendly cultures
Stuttering friendly teams:
Change comes when employers, allies and people who stutter work together to create a culture where stuttering is accepted and respected.
This includes understanding the experience of both the speaker who stutters and the listener who doesn't - understanding that "it takes two to stutter".
Speaking with a stutter
For people who stutter, even though the frequency and variability of our stutter will fluctuate, our stuttering is a reality of how we speak.
Stuttering is complicated and difficult to understand, even for people who stutter. To learn more, please see our section ‘What is stuttering’.
Listening to a stutter
Most people don't hear stuttering voices very often. When we do, it can feel uncomfortable and awkward.
Acknowledging this difficult reality of the listener's experience is an essential part of creating a stutter-friendly culture.
Helping listeners to understand stuttering and be patient and respectful when a colleague stutters rather than impatient and interrupting makes a world of difference for both. It enhances the quality of the conversation, the enjoyment of the moment and the benefits that flow.
Imagine if people hadn't listened to famous stutterers from the past - the prophet Moses, the philosopher Demosthenes, or Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Our world would be very difficult today.
In this short video Sally Bibb, founder of Engaging Minds and author of the best-selling book ‘Strengths Based Recruitment’, shares her listening experience as an interviewer on our Practice Interview pilot.
Hearing stuttering voices
These short educational films give an opportunity to:
- Hear different stuttering voices
- Appreciate some of the benefits for employers when they embrace stuttering
- Understand some of the challenges for people who stutter at work
- Consider changes in your working environment for the benefit of all.
Check Your Prejudices
With many thanks to La Fundación Española de la Tartamudez in Spain, this powerful 2 minute video follows the interview process for a person who stutters applying for a hotel head of reception role.
It shows his professional communication skills in action, dealing with an angry member of the public as well as the prejudice in the boardroom.
Also available captioned in Spanish
With many thanks to John Ampiah-Addison and the Ghana Stammering Association, this 15 minute video (2018) features adults in different professions, from lawyers to government agency employees, talking openly about:
- Cultural attitudes
- Growing up in Ghana with a stutter
- Stuttering in adulthood at work.
If you would like to receive a written transcript of this video, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org