The Science Of ...

Have South Africans become too scared of giving offense?

Shock is all in your head.

Marylin Manson

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Marc Kahn, Investec’s Global Head of Human Resources, for his weekly “The Science Of” feature.

This week’s theme? The science of being offensive.

Whitfield also played a clip of a scene (a very offensive layoff) from The Office (UK) and another of Loeries CEO Andrew Human talking about being offensive in the ad industry.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

People are very risk-averse.

Andrew Human

By not offending anyone you take the well-worn road of mediocrity.

Andrew Human

You end up with very boring, sanitized communication.

Andrew Human

We’re becoming a world of scaredy-cats.

Marc Kahn

The Orlando attacker felt offended and was prepared to kill for it.

Marc Kahn

I’m often dumbstruck by how sensitive people are.

Marc Kahn

If someone says something that offends you – too bad!

Marc Kahn

We are living in a society with deep wounds and deep hurt.

Marc Kahn

It’s very confusing to work out what people mean and what they don’t.

Marc Kahn

In London and Sydney it is twice as politically correct in the workplace as it is in South Africa.

Marc Kahn

Race is the real hot potato in South Africa. People are terrified to engage with it, because they’re scared they’ll step on a landmine.

Marc Kahn

People are politically correct when they don’t want to be. This reduces authenticity.

Marc Kahn

Sensitivity brings more awareness to the vulnerability of others.

Marc Kahn

I tip my hat to a brand like Nando’s.

Marc Kahn

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Article brought to us by Old Mutual.

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