This is the part that terrifies everybody. We want to be very clear: Everybody makes mistakes, and that doesn’t make you a bad person. What matters most now is how you respond.
The specifics will depend on the severity of the report and the reporter’s desired outcome, but we do not act as prosecutor or judge in trying to determine who is right. That means you aren’t the defendant – we are telling you how your actions were perceived, not arguing their intent.
What we’re asking of you is that you be receptive to feedback. Once again, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. There is no need to insist you didn’t mean it “that way.” We aren’t ascribing intent to you, we’re talking about the effect.
We also may have cases where a report is a jumping-off point and you may never know about it. It could mean that we add a talking point to our messaging because we don’t think an expectation has been communicated clearly, and checking in on the situation again once we’ve changed our messaging. It could also be a conversation prompt, something we use to bridge a topic with you.
Eg. We receive an anonymous report that somebody often seems like they’re leering at people. The reporter wants us to be aware, because it made them a bit uncomfortable and they’re concerned others may feel the same.
At an event, we notice what seems like the behaviour the person was reporting on. It looks unintentional, but easy to misinterpret. So a member of the Core Team finds an opportune moment to start a conversation with you, see how you’re doing, and if needed, slip a comment like “Oh yeah, everybody’s costumes are so great, I always have to stop myself from staring so I don’t make anybody uncomfortable.” into the conversation.