Communication Strategies to Confront Toxicity in the Workplace

Communication Strategies to Confront Toxicity in the Workplace

September 17, 2020 | Recording Available

Do you feel anxious or unprepared to have a difficult conversation with a toxic colleague?


If you’ve ever worked in a toxic environment, you know that one of the biggest challenges is confronting the toxicity head-on through conversation. It can be difficult to navigate these conversations because they require you to be direct yet kind. You may feel intimidated because a superior is involved, and/or you may feel alone because your colleagues are scared to address the issue with you.

Join us online for a two-hour training to practice the art of communicating through toxicity. Our expert instructor will provide tips and strategies for how to have a clear, authentic, and vulnerable conversation that can help you address toxicity in your workplace. You’ll also have the opportunity to role-play a difficult conversation with other participants, so you can practice applying these techniques before using them in a real-life context. You’ll walk away with feedback from others that will allow you to approach your next difficult conversation with greater confidence and ease.


Who Should Attend

This webcast is designed for those who may be experiencing toxicity in the workplace. Toxicity happens when leaders or colleagues leave the organization and its followers worse than when they found them. This online training is ideal for anyone looking to build and hone their communication skills to help them confront toxicity in the workplace. This is an excellent opportunity to practice having a difficult conversation in a safe space.


Limited Attendance

In order to ensure a high-quality learning experience, we have intentionally designed this Virtual Training to have a limited number of total attendees. To ensure access from both paying participants and also from those who have an All-Inclusive membership, when the membership cap is reached, only paying participants can register after that point (while spaces are still available). If you have questions about whether this program is right for you, please contact us.

The Academic Impressions Virtual Workshop Experience

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exploring responsive issues in higher education. Our virtual workshops provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. Depending on what you need to solve a specific challenge at your institution, you will have the chance to gain ideas, plans, refinements, or connections with those undergoing the same challenges as you. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • Learn from what your peers are doing across the nation
  • Gather unique and creative approaches that you may not have thought about
  • Validate and vet plans and priorities
  • Contribute your ideas and help shape the conversation
  • Get work done in a space that’s designed to help you reflect, be creative, and maintain focus on the issue
  • Connect with subject matter experts who steer the conversation and add value
  • Experience expert facilitation to ensure practical outcomes and takeaways

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds nationally, it is so important to keep connecting and networking with your peers - at a “social distance” - and to keep learning and developing as higher-ed leaders and professionals. Don’t let social distancing and quarantines prevent you from setting aside time for professional development. Everything is changing so fast; more than ever, we need to be pooling our resources and knowledge and finding the best ways to develop our capacity, connect and share with each other, and move forward during a challenging time.

*A limited number of FREE member spots are open for each virtual training. Sign up today.


September 17, 2020

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Our expert instructor will guide you through the three key ways to structure a difficult conversation:


  1. Clarity: There is a common misconception that direct communication is also unkind or hurtful. In fact, specification in your conversations will help you focus on behaviors and actions instead of people. Learn how to eliminate ambiguity, modifiers, and broad statements, as well as how to incorporate kind statements that can reduce the feeling of being attacked.


  3. Authenticity: During difficult conversations, being yourself, showing humanity, and reminding others of who you are will allow you to feel more natural, which in turn can help the conversation go deeper and become more productive. Learn how to compare and contrast different communication styles and thought processes so you can better frame the conversation.


  5. Vulnerability: Difficult conversations require you to be vulnerable which can increase the likelihood of you being seen and heard. Learn how to present your vulnerabilities in a way that aligns with your work so that you can be your best self at work.



Practice the Conversation

In small groups, you will roleplay a difficult conversation that requires you to confront toxicity, so that you can:

  • Apply the three ways to structure a difficult conversation about toxicity
  • Rehearse having a difficult conversation in a safe environment
  • Get feedback from your instructor and other participants to help you adapt your approach

Note: You will be given an assignment prior to the training, which will help you identify the various ways toxicity presents itself in the workplace and challenges you to think about how you might respond to it. This pre-work will be important in preparing you for the role-play.


Portrait of Stephanie Hinshaw

Stephanie Hinshaw

Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, American College of Education

Prior to joining ACE, Stephanie spent 14 years in multiple roles at other institutes of higher education. Specifically, she worked at Orbis Education, Medtech College, and Harrison College in various roles in leadership, admissions, academics, and operations. As a servant leader, Hinshaw loves working with team members and students to grow their leadership capacities.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Lisa Lafflam

Lisa Lafflam
Instructional Designer, Academic Impressions

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*There are limited spots available for All-Inclusive Members to register for virtual trainings for free in 2020. Each virtual training has a registration cap in order to ensure a high-quality learning experience. If the cap has been met, All-Inclusive Members can register with a $250 discount if space is available.

Academic Affairs, Advancement/Alumni Relations, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs members will continue to receive $100 off training registrations, if applicable. Upgrade your membership to qualify for a higher discount.