Communicating Boundaries with Empathy: A Training for Department Chairs

Last updated December 19, 2022

Course Length

1h 14m

Last Updated

December 19, 2022

Communicating Boundaries with Empathy: A Training for Department Chairs

Last updated December 19, 2022

Maintain your boundaries without negatively impacting your relationships with others.


In a 2021 survey conducted by Academic Impressions, 51% of respondents reported experiencing clinical levels of burnout. These high levels of burnout come on the heels of department chairs being asked to do more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. You likely already know that you need to set boundaries both with your Dean and faculty to better manage the effects of burnout and help yourself regain a sense of well-being. However, it’s not always clear how to effectively communicate those boundaries to others. You might say “yes” or give more of yourself than you should, for fear of making others feel angry, disappointed or rejected.

Join us online to learn how to say “no” and communicate your boundaries in a clear and empathetic way – one that builds trust and nurtures your relationships with others. Our expert speaker, Dr. Jackie Leibsohn, is a clinical psychologist who has also served in faculty and leadership positions in higher ed. Through this interactive workshop, you’ll explore and practice a framework that can be used with all stakeholders and that will enable you to:

  • Communicate your boundaries respectfully and compassionately.
  • Validate the needs of others and acknowledge the impact that saying “no” can have on the other person.
  • Approach your work in a way that both fulfills the needs of others while also respecting your boundaries.

Who should attend?

This training is designed for Department Chairs who are struggling with maintaining boundaries with their work. Academic deans who are responsible for managing or developing department chairs may also benefit by learning a framework that can be used to coach department chairs through the process of maintaining boundaries.


March 20, 2023

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Learning the Framework

Through instruction, demonstration and discussion, Dr. Leibsohn will walk you through when and how to use the framework. We’ll also discuss some special considerations you’ll need to think about when using the framework, such as:

  • How do you validate the needs of others if you’re not certain what their needs are?
  • How do you make sure you’re validating the right needs when they may have many different needs?

Practicing the Framework

You’ll have an opportunity to work in small groups to apply and practice the framework and receive feedback from your peers. Come prepared to participate in this interactive training.

Do your faculty need help setting boundaries?

If you think your faculty would benefit from a similar training on how to set and maintain boundaries, consider recommending the following training for them: Setting and Maintaining Boundaries as Faculty to Develop Professional Well-Being and Success