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Strategy 4: Managing a Crisis

If you find yourself in a discussion that is out of control or threatens learning...

  • Never attempt to ignore the conflict.
  • Step back, let the situation cool off, buy yourself time to think.
  • Acknowledge the speaker or tension and redirect the conversation:
    “For now, let’s agree to disagree on (this topic)” …, do a quick write, take a 5 min break…, and we will revisit it on…
  • Return to the conversation on a different day after you have had a chance to assess the situation and consult with colleagues and/or university resources.
  • Ask students to write a short reflection paper about the conflict that requires more research about the topic and/or argue for the position they oppose.
  • Bring in an outside facilitator to move the conversation forward.

Difficult Dialogues Resources and References

keep calm