How to Have Difficult Conversations

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Existing evidence shows that communication among faculty is difficult when the topics are complex and uncomfortable. Such topics could include race, gender, privilege, LGBTQ status, etc. This dialogue event provides a combined training and practice session on how to have difficult conversations with faculty on issues such as racism, sexism, etc.

This approach should facilitate communication across campus.

We are currently planning sessions for the spring semester. These include a conversation on sexism with male faculty, a conversation on racism with white faculty, and a conversation on academic hierarchy with senior faculty. In each of these conversations, the focus will be on the majority or privileged group as this approach allows difficult conversations around privilege in an environment that  removes the burden of educating others from underrepresented groups. Our goal is to create a space to have honest discussion around difficult topics and also learn how to meaningfully engage in challenging discussions using active listening skills.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Klod Kokini at kokini@purdue.edu.