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Conversation Guide

How to address conflict related to identity and inclusion in a team setting


Use this tool for guidance on how to respond when a team member says or does something that may make other team members feel excluded. This tool can help you respond to situations where:

  • A team member uses exclusive language, knowingly or unknowingly. Listen for words or phrases that emphasize differences between privileged social groups and targeted or marginalized social groups. For example, the term “psychopath” is harmful because it stigmatizes people with behavioral health issues.
  • Someone acts in a harmful way that can make others feel excluded. For example, a team member may speak or act out against a new diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative or purposefully leave a team member out based on their identity.

It’s best to review this tool prior to biased or exclusive behavior occurring so you will be prepared to respond in the moment. This tool can also be used after the fact for information on how to productively engage with the disruptive team member and find the right support for impacted team members.

Note: This tool is not suited for extreme forms of disrespect such as using a racial slur or acts of violence, which should be handled according to your organization’s HR protocols.

Time required

  • 15 minutes to review


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