All I Said Was…

What Every Supervisor, Employee, and Team Should Know in Order to Avoid Insults, Lawsuits, and the Six O'clock News

Class Summary

As our workplace becomes increasingly more diverse, we are learning the complicated nuances of communication. Unfortunately, many of us learn about these nuances only after we’ve done or said something that offends another.

This program is not about becoming a bland diplomat who knows how to say “nothing” in fourteen languages (although that is a skill not to be underestimated!). Instead, it focuses on knowing where the land mines are and how to avoid them.

— “The class examples and discussion were geared to the real world–a key strength of this program.” (more)

COM488 3.0 Combinable
One 3.5-hour session
Michael Wade

Anyone interested in avoiding the communication pitfalls that occur when people of different cultures, races, sexes, sexual orientation, religions, political affiliation, and age groups come together in the workplace.

  • Increased confidence in your ability to avoid insult, injury or litigation in the workplace.
  • Improved team and workplace morale.
  • More positive and cooperative work relationships.

By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the common factors that often contribute to misunderstandings or cause offence in the workplace.
  • Identify common "hot-buttons" encountered in today's workplace.
  • List the types of illegal discrimination and how to avoid them.
  • Use practical ground rules for heading off potential problems in diverse groups.
  • Introduction and benchmarking activity
  • Exercise: Case study: “Who’s to Blame?”
  • Common Factors that can lead to insult, injury, and/or lawsuits and tips for managing them:
    • Communication patterns, preferences and skill level
      • Key factors
      • Common cultural communication differences/priorities
      • Team communication issues
      • Individual communication issues
    • Trust and the Trust-killers Checklist
    • Conflict styles
    • Diplomatic awareness
    • The four core styles and how they differ
    • Gender communication differences
  • Legal compliance and communication (“A comment can produce a case.”)
    • EEO and types of illegal discrimination
    • Sexual harassment (the SUPTA Formula)
    • Other types of harassment and their elements
    • Retaliation
  • Practice exercises/case studies:
    “Timing and Topic”
    “The Survey”
    “The Audience”
    “Context and Assumptions”
    “Symbols and Stereotypes”
    “Sensitivity and Discretion”
    “How’s it Going?”
  • Common hot button areas:
    • Terminology
    • Language that implies inferiority or disrespect
    • Trivialization of exerperience
    • Assumptions re status
    • Religion
    • Political beliefs
  • Practical ground rules for dealing with diverse groups
  • Resources