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3 Logical Steps to Avoid a Workplace Debacle Like Lizzo’s Recent Disaster

Picture of Lizzo

Another celebrity might have partaken in self-induced career sabotage.

            American rapper Lizzo has been sued by three former dancers for sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. The allegations were explosive, to say the least; you can watch the video below to get specifics if you desire.

            It’s critical to remember these are just accusations; we do not know the validity of these claims.        

            However, the more vital point is what we can learn from the incident. Many people immediately assume misbehaving among their colleagues would be beneath them.  

            We are all human beings. Therefore, none of us is beyond reproach.

             A simple adage explains what most already know; trouble is easy to get into but hard to get out of. Thinking about it differently, preventing a disease is far cheaper than treating it.

            This article’s goal revolves around ensuring we become the best at stopping the poor treatment of people before it starts.

            Here are three steps to avert drama in your place of employment:

1.         Follow the policy and procedure manual

This might seem rudimentary, but how many of you read the manual?

This reference book lets you know all the do’s and don’t’s of where you work. I admit it’s very dull to study, but this isn’t about entertainment. One needs to protect themselves from their nature at times.

It outlines exactly what behavior will be tolerated.

I not only read the guidebook when I start a job, I reference it anytime I have a question to which I need to know the answer. If you view all the assertations in Lizzo’s lawsuit, what went down was outside of policy; at least, I hope it was.

The first thing to do when starting a job should be to learn the standards.

But, if your employer lacks a policy and procedure manual, that’s a bad sign.

2.        Establish firm boundaries

While getting along with co-workers has its place, we’re not working to make friends. If we do, fine, but the goal revolves around getting our job done. One does not have authority over who gets hired or fired, but our behavior does fall within what we can control.

You should set clear lines regarding behavior, especially if you’re a CEO or supervisor.

Values of mutual respect, maintaining integrity, and using appropriate language are just a few guidelines that need mastering. You should follow the strictest personal code of conduct you can, within reason.

On a side note, I took a psychology of women’s class in college.

In our textbook for the course, the author suggested men should never comment on a female colleague’s appearance, stating it was sexist due to a man would not treat a male associate similarly.

An individual could argue the accuracy of the statement, but I did not bother to, and it has served me well.

Since college, I have always followed the advice of never acknowledging any difference in my female or male, for that matter, colleague’s appearance, and it has always kept me out of trouble. Even if asked, I politely declined to say anything.

Reiterating the idea of going above and beyond regarding manners keeps everyone safe.

3.        Keep socializing to a minimum

Some of the worst claims against Lizzo came after work festivities in the Red-Light District. Hanging out with work associates comes with risks, but going to a Red-Light District together is next level.

This example ends up on the extreme side of the spectrum, but it shows how things can get inappropriate quickly.

Therefore, keep spending time with co-workers outside of work to a minimum.

It might seem I’m suggesting to become a loner, and in some ways, that’s probably true. Ultimately, one needs to prioritize what’s most important to them. Making sure nothing or no one compromises your paycheck or having buddies at your job?

Gossiping and other negative attributes, which could cause staff splitting, can occur outside of work hours.

It’s interesting how people forget what they said behind someone’s back but remember what you added to the conversation. In the end, you find yourself in a drama trap that you participated in setting up.

One should get their companionship needs met by individuals besides those at work.

In the majority of cases, once you leave the job, those people rarely contact you again. They usually aren’t your friends, just individuals who work under the same circumstances. Change the situation, and they’re gone.

Invest in maintaining genuine relationships in the appropriate settings and leave work to completing the task.


All of us do have power within our lives. The choices one makes have a direct impact on their journey. As human beings, it’s essential to have self-awareness. Without that clarity, we will find ourselves consistently in stressful predicaments.

If you think what happened to Lizzo cannot happen to you, think again.

We’re all capable of acting disrespectfully, depending on the situation. To safeguard ourselves against disaster means setting up barriers to prevent destruction beforehand. Waiting for the moment will lead to failure.

Having a plan of action mitigates the likelihood of doing something you’ll regret later.

These three simple steps have kept me from making huge mistakes. Take them with a grain of salt but consider developing something specific to your personality. At the end of the day, we’re going to be our best protectors.

Vertis Williams is a Positive Habits Life Coach and a Mindfulness Trainer. He is a regular presenter at employee and team development events. Contact him to request more info on his Workshops or on his Coaching Services! Click HERE to Request a Complimentary Habit Coaching Session!

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