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Rehearsing for Real Life: Exit Strategy

Communicating STEM-- Nov 27

Mental Health and Communication

Can you trust your own brain? Neuroscientist Heather Berlin explains. (n.d.). Big Think. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from

Resiliency eBooks from a grant:

Where to even start?

There is quite literally an overabundance of advice for how to navigate a conversation that's gone south. But the best method is going to be the one that you have practiced the most:

Potential Try Sayings for one on one conversations:

1. When you want to change the subject

What to say: “Can I interrupt? We need to talk about XYZ.”

2. When you want to respectfully disagree

What to say: “I differ in opinion, but that’s an interesting point you make.”

3. When you need a break

What to say: “This isn’t something I want to talk about any more. Can we move on?”

4. When you’re feeling uncomfortable

What to say: “For my own reasons, I’d rather not discuss this topic. Mind if we ditch it?”

5. When you’re distressed and want to shut a conversation down

What to say: “I respectfully disagree on this topic and think it would be best if we avoided it moving forward.”

6. When your co-worker gets emotional

What to say: “I see that this is a topic you feel strongly about. I am starting to feel a bit uncomfortable, can we talk about something else?”

7. When your boss is talking politics

What to say: Both experts say that the same respectful language you’d use with a colleague applies to your boss.

8. When you’re the one who wants to talk politics

What to say: “I am interested in getting your thoughts on X. Is that something you’d be interested in discussing with me?”


Umoh, R. (2018, November 7). These 8 simple phrases can help you avoid awkward political conversations at work. CNBC.


But what happens when....?

Unidentified flying object—UFO. Science Fiction image concept of... (2019, November 29). iStock.

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