Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Engaging in Dialogue About Freedom, Favoritism, and Fairness

Online | January 29, 2025 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

This training will be recorded.

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Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Engaging in Dialogue About Freedom, Favoritism, and Fairness

Online | January 29, 2025 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Gain confidence entering conversations about favoritism and fairness in the workplace. 


During this two-hour virtual workshop, Dr. Sandra Miles, Head of Practice for Team Development at Academic Impressions, will lead us as we explore the ways feelings of defensiveness and discomfort can be very common when engaging in conversations around favoritism and unfairness. Even those who have done extensive reading on topics related to conflict management can find themselves fumbling if they haven’t yet reflected on how their personal feelings may impact the ways they show up in the world—and in these difficult conversations. To get more comfortable engaging in these dialogues, we must first lean into the discomfort of individual reflection and actions that prepare us to enter into them in an open and effective way. 

Join us for a two-hour virtual training where we will explore four key concepts and how they come into play during conversations around topics that are deeply personal: 

  • Identifying favoritism  
  • Understanding personal perspectives 
  • Managing emotions 
  • Focusing on fairness 

You will be given a workbook of activities, tools, and resources to help you move beyond simply understanding these key concepts. Throughout the workshop, you will begin the hard work of interpreting how favoritism can show up in every aspect of the work we do, and how an orientation around fairness improves relationships, morale, and trust. 

Who should attend?

Whether you are a faculty member, frontline staff, or campus leader, this virtual training will help you to move beyond a baseline readiness to effectively engage in difficult conversations. You will be equipped with tools and best practices to help you feel more comfortable participating in these dialogues in the future.


Through group conversation, we’ll discuss the following:

Identifying Favoritism

  • Where does favoritism come from? How does it play out on your campus, in your career, and in your personal life?



Personal Perspectives

  • How might personal history and societal norms impact our approach to conversations that feel deeply personal? What nuances should be considered when entering these conversations with students or colleagues?
  • In what ways do your social identities impact your personal and professional life? How do they show up during difficult conversations?



Managing Emotions

  • How can we engage in conversations in a non-triggering way?
  • What steps can we take to remove our defensive posture and come to the table ready to effectively listen and learn with—and from—one another?
  • When should you step up, and when should you step back, during these dialogues?



Focusing on Fairness

  • The process of unpacking your own preferences is a constant journey and doesn’t happen in a two-hour workshop. Choosing favorites usually has more to do with personal comfort than a desire to be unfair. Building upon the best practices and key considerations we have discussed so far, you will work to identify your own areas of strength and discomfort in this space. Through a series of discussion prompts and individual reflection activities, you will develop an individual action plan to help move you forward on your journey towards becoming more effective during conversations that are emotionally charged and deeply personal.