Creating a Safe Environment
Through Difficult Conversations
By: Elisabeth Cheries
We live in a world with small daily cruelties and in silence let them pass by like waves in a vast ocean beyond our individual control. But those waves are crashing down somewhere, on someone or some group. This case study explores the crashing of just such a wave of daily cruelties onto one transgender individual. Except that it is not a wave; it is prejudice, aggression and oppression--and it is not a shoreline; it is a living, breathing person who feels the heavy impact of our inaction.
I witnessed this behavior in a professional work environment and recognized that though I couldn't contain the entire ocean, I could redirect it's force and calm its fury through the power of partial solutions. I mastered the art of difficult conversations and used this powerful tool to change the shape of the landscape, to engage with colleagues at every level of the corporation. I confronted their anger, their fear, and their confusion and I harnessed these moments, pushing and molding them to form new paths, new thoughts and new understandings. I cannot tell you reader that I changed the world. But you will see as you explore the pages within this study that I shifted the sands enough to carve clear a path for those waves to find a more gentle landing.
Provide your viewer with an overview to the professional setting, your role in it, the problem of practice, and your focus in the case. This should be in multimedia format, such as a 2-3 minute video, and embedded in the page so that they viewer can watch it without downloading or going to another site. The overview should be succint, substantive, polished, engaging, and unstilted.