There are some conversations that almost everyone avoids at work, and subjects that raise the red flag of HR. But not talking about tough subjects, like gender, religion and race, don’t make them go away. Organizations are stronger, and leaders are better, if and when they can find ways to talk about the challenging subjects while maintaining, and even growing, trust and empathy.
Jeff Raz uses his experience as a global communications consultant as well as his years performing as a featured clown with Cirque du Soleil, on Broadway and even in Eskimo villages (a theme of his new book, “The Snow Clown”) to inform his work on messy conversations.
Before diving into touchy subjects, people need to feel connected to each other in small ways. By having “micro-connections” throughout the workday, we cultivate techniques for seeing each other as fully human (this is harder than it sounds, as philosopher Martin Buber and others have shown). Once there is a culture of trust, red flag issues can be discussed with humility, humor and curiosity. From this, everyone involved can grow.
This interactive session is for anyone who works globally with people from multiple cultures, or with the person in the next cube who’s from your hometown. We will explore building trust and techniques for grappling with hard subjects in ways that are authentic, rigorous and even fun.