Summary of We Can’t Talk About That at Work!

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In a time of increased polarization, managers might worry about the impact of disruptive political conversations at work. Diversity consultant Mary-Frances Winters says that employers should encourage, not discourage, these interactions. Winters believes that “bold, inclusive conversations” can have a positive impact on the workplace environment and employee engagement. To help things turn out that way, she provides guidance, with examples, on how to conduct such discussions. She offers a handy guide to potentially abrasive comments and phrases that various groups – Caucasians, African-Americans, Latinos, the disabled and women – might find offensive. getAbstract recommends her advice on quelling divisiveness in the workplace to supervisors, HR professionals and any employees interested in communicating more effectively with their co-workers.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why managers should encourage “bold, inclusive conversations” in the workplace;
  • What elements such conversations include; and
  • How forthright conversations can enhance engagement and bridge differences. 

About the Author

Consultant and strategist Mary-Frances Winters, is founder and president of The Winters Group and has advised organizations globally on diversity and inclusion for more than 30 years.



Not So Fast

Employers have traditionally discouraged conversations about sensitive topics in the workplace. However, employees will discuss these subjects anyway and are already discussing them, so managers should harness those conversations and encourage employees to hold them in positive, constructive ways. An employer should strive to create a workplace with an “inclusive culture” to foster higher employee engagement.

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