Difficult Conversations                                    e-learning Course

Just for Women

Who should take this course?

Primary audience:
This training has been designed for adult women of any race of ethnicity who

  • Want or need to improve their conflict and/or communication skills.
  • Have been avoiding a confrontation or anticipate needing to face one.
  • Know that women are perceived as either too hard or too soft, but not just right,[1] and want to close the gap between:
  1. The level of assertiveness at which they tend to communicate, and
  2. The level at which they would need to communicate in order to achieve their personal and professional goals.
  • Want a solution to the problem caused by these two facts:
  1. Both men and women are prejudiced against women, considering them less likable when they are highly assertive,[2], and
  2. This could harm a woman’s career in ways she may not even be aware of.[3]
  • Want to stop avoiding asking for what they want because they recognize they have been paying handsomely for this, financially and otherwise. (For instance, not negotiating a salary offer can cost a woman as much as three-quarters of a million dollars over her working lifetime.[4])
  • Minority women who want to understand how the cultural stereotypes related to their assertiveness may harm their career:
  1. African American women, who tend to value the open expression of their opinions, and who are often perceived as argumentative and dominant, forceful and aggressive[5], and are penalized with social rejection[6].
  2. Asian American women who have been stereotyped as being overly competent, yet not warm, sociable, aggressive, or assertive.[7]
  3. Hispanic women who are stereotyped as submissive, self-sacrificing, restricted to home, chaste, dependent, and respectful of the male[8].

Secondary audience:
Men who

  • Want to better understand how women communicate.
  • Want to evaluate this training for the women they live or work with.

General Learner Characteristics:

  • Adults ages 18-60
  • Education level: High school through a graduate degree.
  • Work experience:  0-25+ years.
  • Fluent in the English language.
  • Computer-literate to navigate Udemy as an on-line learning environment.
  • With a basic knowledge of business etiquette.

[1] Catalyst (2007).  The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t. Retrieved on 3/1/2016 from http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/ double-bind-dilemma-women-leadership-damned-if-you-do- doomed-if-you-dont-0.

[2] Lao, R. C., Upchurch, W.H., Corwin, B.J., & Grossnickle, W.F. (1975). Biased Attitudes Toward Females as Indicated by Ratings of Intelligence and Likability. Psychological Reports, 1975, 37, 1315-1320.

[3] Catalyst (2005). Women “Take Care,” Men “Take Charge:” Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed. NY: Catalyst.

[4] Babcock, L. and Laschever, S. (2009). Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want. NY:Bantam Books.

[5] Davis, S. (2015). The ‘‘Strong Black Woman Collective’’: A Developing Theoretical Framework for Understanding Collective Communication Practices of Black Women. Women’s Studies in Communication, 38:20–35.

[6] Catalyst (2007).  The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t.

[7] Li, P. (2014 ). Hitting the Ceiling: An Examination of Barriers to Success for Asian American Women. Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.

[8] Andrade, S. (1982). Family Roles of Hispanic Women: Stereotypes, Empirical Findings, and Implications for Research. In Work, Family, and Health: Latina Women in Transition. Zambrana, R. (Ed.)

​Instructional Design Portfolio