Talking Taboo: Making the Most of Polarizing Discussions at Work | Sessions

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Concurrent Session
Talking Taboo: Making the Most of Polarizing Discussions at Work
In-Person Monday 06/13/2022 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM   Add to calendar

Competencies: Business (Behavioral), Interpersonal (Behavioral), Leadership (Behavioral), People (Technical)
Workplace Application:
This session discusses a framework for all managers—HR and people managers—to use to constructively and respectfully manage potentially divisive and derisive workplace conversations. 

Why are our employees talking about that? All HR professionals have had situations occur that require immediate action and attention because a workplace conversation on a taboo topic just took place. Politics, religion, social injustice, aging, sexual orientation: individuals sometimes move from polite conversation on these topics (and more) to entrenchment in their viewpoint. And sometimes, words become weapons and bad behavior occurs that needs fixing as a next step. This session discusses a useful framework with four touchpoints to manage words, interactions and behaviors differently so respectful and acceptable engagement is the outcome. Leave the session ready to address and manage these types of issues if they arise in your workplace.

Learning Objectives:

  • The science behind polarizing viewpoints, entrenchment in them, and the regrettable use of words as weapons in the workplace.
  • How to use the Me + We + Wo +RK framework to navigate through tricky and complex discussion toward positive resolution for all.
  • Understand how empathy and culture are affected by opinions and what to do about it.
  • Hear about case studies in workplaces around the globe where polarizing, entrenched or weaponized viewpoints were managed (some well, some not so well).

In-person session offerings are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP Photo
Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, Chief Knowledge Officer,