Growing from Discomfort: Tools to Practice and Broach Difficult Conversations

60-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S1-A
When: April 17, 2019
Location/Room: 102 ABC
Level: Introductory
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenter: Ann Kowal Smith, Books@Work


We each represent a unique set of experiences, narratives, lessons and core values that both enable and limit our worldviews. Breaking out of our individual mind-sets requires us to grapple with points of view that challenge us to re-examine our assumptions. Although at times unsettling, this process is essential. Co-creating inclusive organizational environments means we need to get uncomfortable.

In this session, we will demonstrate that inclusive cultures demand provocative learning experiences. Grounded in organizational science and principles of adult learning, we will explore innovative approaches that enable colleagues to practice difficult discussions in a safe, low-risk environment. Broaching sensitive and critical issues indirectly, colleagues develop a trusting foundation for higher-stakes work-related conversations.

The work of inclusion hinges on the ability to invite, embrace and grow from conversational moments of discomfort. With time, these discussions offer a means to share personal experience and perspective, and develop sustainable social connections rooted in belonging and mutual respect.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Connect the dots between inclusion and adult learning; transformative discussions make inclusive cultures possible
  2. Experience an interactive exercise to inspire practical application in inclusion efforts
  3. Embrace and practice difficult conversations as an opportunity to grow and connect

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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