Communication Strategies to Confront Toxicity in the Workplace



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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.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings 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. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


September 17, 2020

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


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.



2. 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.



3. 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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