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

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2020 - Organizational behavior - 192 pages
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.

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About the author (2020)

Sarah Beaulieu is a keynote speaker, trainer, writer, and social entrepreneur who engages leaders and organizations in conversations about sexual harassment and violence. Her work has been published by the Providence Journal, AskMen, Cognoscenti (WBUR), the Nonprofit Quarterly, CommonHealth (WBUR), Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is also the founder of the Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to normalizing conversations about sexual violence, and the Enliven Project, a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and lift survivors to their full potential.

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