Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace

Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace

Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace

Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, December 5
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Top consultant Sarah Beaulieu offers a five-part framework that enables employees to have difficult but necessary conversations about sexual harassment and violence and develop new, better ways of working together.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, employees and leaders are struggling with how to respond to the pervasiveness of sexual harassment. Most approaches simply emphasize knowing and complying with existing laws. But people need more than lists of dos and don'ts—they need to learn how to navigate this uncertain, emotionally charged terrain. Sarah Beaulieu provides a new skills-based approach to addressing sexual harassment prevention and response in the workplace, including using underdeveloped skills like empathy, situational awareness, boundary setting, and intervention.

Beaulieu outlines a five-part framework for having conversations about sexual harassment: Know the Facts; Feel Uncomfortable; Get Curious, Not Furious; See the Whole Picture; and Embrace Practical Questions. By embracing these conversations, we can break the cycle of avoidance and silence that makes our lives and workplaces feel volatile and unsafe. Grounded in storytelling, humor, and dozens of real-life scenarios, this book introduces the idea of uncomfortable conversation as the core skill required to enable everyone to bring their full talent and contributions to safe and respectful workplaces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523087402
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 02/25/2020
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Sarah Beaulieu is a speaker and consultant who trains workers and advises leaders on skills-based sexual harassment prevention and response. She has been featured by multiple organizations, including Fox News, Harvard Business Review, the Associated Press, the US Chamber of Commerce, NPR, AskMen, and Boston Business Journal. In 2018, Beaulieu cofounded An Uncomfortable Conversation, a nonprofit YouTube channel that helps people engage in meaningful conversations about sexual violence through short videos.

Table of Contents

Foreword Len Schlesinger xi

Preface xiii

Part I Getting Started

Start Here

Why We Need More Uncomfortable Conversations at Work 3

Imagining a Workplace of the Future 3

Glossary of Terms 4

The Value of an Uncomfortable Conversation 6

Breaking the Silence Habit in Today's Workplace 9

What You'll Learn and Why It Matters 11

A Special Note for and about Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault 15

Get Help If You Need It 15

Chapter 1 A Skills-Based Approach to Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response 17

Skills vs. Rules 17

A Step-by-Step Approach for Teams and Organizations 20

The Rationale behind a Skills-Based Approach 26

Chapter 2 Your Conversation Experience and Why It Matters 29

Case Study Shouldn't This Be Obvious? 30

The Challenges and Opportunities of Diverse Experience 31

Introducing the Conversation Experience Assessment to Your Team 33

Conversation Experience Assessment 35

Part II The Uncomfortable Conversation Framework

Chapter 3 Know the Facts 43

Why Use a Framework? 43

Facts You May Not Know 45

Staying Open to Facts 48

The Role of Facts in Uncomfortable Conversations 50

Chapter 4 Get Uncomfortable 55

The Inevitability of Discomfort 55

How to Respond to Discomfort 59

Chapter 5 Pause the Reaction 65

Why Take a Pause? 65

How to Get Curious, Not Furious 65

To Those Who Are Understandably Angry 68

Big Reactions, Big Pauses 70

The Blame Game 73

A Pause for Male Survivors 74

Chapter 6 Embrace Practical Questions 77

What Is a Practical Question? 77

The Art of Asking 79

What If I Get Called Out? 82

Chapter 7 See the Whole Picture 85

The Whole Incident Picture 85

The Whole Gender Picture 89

The Whole Survivor Picture 90

The Framework in Action 93

Part III Putting Conversations into Practice

Chapter 8 The Power of Practice 101

Choosing Conversation over Silence 101

The How and Why of Practice Conversations 103

Case Study the Naked Mud Wrestling Video 106

Skills Gained through Practice 110

Chapter 9 Helpful Intervention 113

Understanding Impact and Intervention 113

Tips for Effective Intervention 117

I Saw Something. What Do I Say? 118

Practice Conversation #1: Inappropriate Comments 119

Practice Conversation #2: Not Taking Training Seriously 121

Chapter 10 Power and Boundaries 125

Recognizing and Addressing Power 125

Practice Conversation #3: Power Dynamics and Harassment 127

Setting and Respecting Boundaries 129

Practice Conversation #4: Display of Affection 134

Practice Conversation #5: Unclear Boundaries and Communication 136

Chapter 11 Responding to Disclosures and Supporting Survivors 139

Responding to a Report of Sexual Harassment or Assault 139

Before You Get Started: Key Issues Impacting Disclosures and Reports 144

Practice Conversation #6: Obstacles to Reporting 145

Case Study My Colleague Was Assaulted and Needs Support 147

Understanding the Impact of Sexual Abuse and Assault on the Workplace 151

Practice Conversation #7: Survivors at Work 153

Chapter 12 Practice and Habits 157

How to Keep the Conversations Going 157

Nine-Week Manager-Led Conversation Plan 157

Habits for Managers 163

Action Steps for Individuals 164

Start an Uncomfortable Conversation Group 166

Chapter 13 Navigating Common Conversation Challenges 169

Can I date my colleague? 169

Should I just avoid people who aren't my gender? 171

What if my friends are jerks? 172

How do I assess my own behavior? 174

I've been harassed. What do I do? 176

Conclusion: Tying It All Together 179

Notes 181

Acknowledgments 185

Index 187

About the Author 196

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews