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The Ouch! Files Masthead

furthering the skills and commitment
to speak up on behalf of respect

The OUCH Files build upon the best-selling, video-based training program Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts.
Preview the video. Preview the eLearning.


Good Advice from a Friend

Sometimes when things don’t go quite right at work, you need the advice of a good friend or mentor. That’s how watching Sondra Thiederman’s new video feels. In Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations, Dr. Thiederman introduces skills for transforming negative interactions into positive outcomes.

Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations

“Embarrassment, looking like a fool,
feeling like a bad person, anger, resentment.”

Sondra describes the “feelings that can come up when you have a negative encounter, when you hear something offensive, when you’ve said something wrong, or when something you say has been taken out of context. These things get tense. What can you do to turn around situations like these?”….

“If handled properly, these uncomfortable moments — or even small explosions — can be transformed into gateways that will lead to better working relationships, increased understanding, and less tension.” Sondra calls them “Gateway Events”.

Through a series of vignettes showing Gateway Events, Sondra introduces and explores four skills:


Manage How You Feel


Set Productive Goals


Assess Intent Cautiously


Communicate in a Way that Demonstrates Respect

The fourth skill — Communicate in a Way that Demonstrates Respect — really resonates with me. Sondra shows how to accept feedback and seek to understand, plus offer an apology when you’ve hurt someone. These are key elements in what I call “Communication Recovery — What to Do When Things Go Wrong.” Check out this scene and Sondra’s advice on a better way to communicate when Connie accuses Henrietta of being sexist and Henrietta rejects Connie’s feedback.

I’ve long been a fan of Sondra’s. When I first began developing and delivering cultural competence training in 1990, it was her work that most inspired me. What I like most about Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations is the easy-to-use, actionable advice following each scenario.

I invite you to learn more and preview Sondra’s video in our store at www.DiversityInclusionStore.com.

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"There are many acts of ignorance,
but few of malice."

— Anonymous