In today’s polarized climate surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging with people whose opinions and ideas diverge from our own has become even more critical. Individual differences can result in arguments rather than productive interactions, draining us of mental and emotional energy. Many people have found themselves ill-prepared for these interactions and, as a result, avoid challenging conversations or feel overwhelmed when they must have them. This workshop equips participants with skills that will allow them to manage their own emotions and understand the various dynamics of polarizing conversations so they can more confidently turn them into productive and respectful interactions.

About This Workshop

Some of the Topics Included

  • Appreciating the Impact of COVID-19
  • Understanding the Dynamics of Polarizing Topics
  • Our Natural Responses to Challenging Interactions
  • Understanding Other Perspectives
  • Preparing for a Challenging Conversation
  • How to Deliver Bad News
  • Depersonalizing the Conversation
  • Utilizing Empathy and Validation
  • How to Help People Feel Safe

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop applicable to a wide variety of settings where people are involved in challenging conversations around COVID-19.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, experiential practice, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the psychological impact of COVID-19 on themselves and others
  • Identify natural emotional responses to challenging interactions
  • Explain workplace roles and how they impact the spheres of influence
  • Demonstrate how to make people feel safe and set up conversations for success
  • Practice skills for having a challenging conversation