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All orders placed before 12:00 pm CST will be shipped on the following business day. (M-F)
All orders placed before 12:00 pm CST will be shipped on the following business day. (M-F)

Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations


Tension Happens! Embarrassment, looking foolish, feeling like a bad person, anger, resentment. These are the feelings that can come up when you have a negative encounter in the workplace. When you've said something wrong. When you hear something offensive. When something you say has been taken out of context. Things sure can get tense. The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way. Let's face it, any workplace can be a minefield of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and even conflict. If handled properly, these uncomfortable moments – or even small explosions – can be transformed into gateways that lead to better working relationships and a more inclusive workplace. That is why Dr. Sondra Thiederman calls them “Gateway Events.”

The Benefits: Opening a gateway to conversation – and holding it open – rather than slamming it shut in fear or anger has immeasurable benefits. These include:

  • Increased harmony and better working relationships.
  • Reduced manager time spent mediating tension and misunderstanding.
  • Increased employee engagement and commitment.
  • An atmosphere of respect and inclusion Improved teamwork and productivity.

    How to Turn Tension Around Converting tense moments into productive conversation requires skill. That's what this video training package is all about. Through a series of vignettes, your team will learn:

  • How to manage the emotions that can arise in the face of diversity-related tension.
  • How to set productive goals for various types of gateway conversations.
  • Why it is important not to jump to conclusions about intent (and three strategies for assessing intent accurately).
  • How to communicate in a way that demonstrates respect and encourages further conversation. This flexible package can be used in short or long-format training and, if you wish, be easily integrated into your existing curriculum. In addition to the main workshop, the package includes a 45-minute Refresher Workshop to solidify the program's skills and provide more opportunity for practice. When you purchase this product, you'll receive: Chaptered DVD which includes:
  • Main 17-minute Video
  • Video Quiz and FAQ's with Sondra Thiederman
  • Case Study Video for Discussion CD-ROM containing:
  • Leader's Guide
  • Two PowerPoint Presentations
  • Video Transcript Reproducible Participant Handouts
  • Two Note-Taking Guides


    "Gateways is a practical training tool for any organization that is working on fostering an inclusive workplace. Through realistic vignettes, Dr. Thiederman provides clear steps to avert diversity conflicts and convert them into opportunities for productive conversations. The scenarios will resonate with any organization as will the tools to address the disconnects." Rohini Anand, Senior Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer Sodexo

    "Gateways to Inclusion is a powerful video. It shows how tension and disrespect can derail even the best of intentions. This is definitely an effective tool to use in preparing leaders and employees for tough conversations that can lead to productive outcomes." Effenus Henderson, Vice-President, Diversity Weyerhaeuser Company

    "In an increasingly diverse world, you can count on running into a tense moment at some point. This video, Gateways to Inclusion, gives people the basic tools and insights for turning potential breakdowns into breakthroughs. Everyone can benefit from this honest, direct, practical, and extremely well executed tool for building inclusion." Michael Wheeler, Assoc. Director of Diversity OMNICOMEMEDIA GROUP