Respectful Conversations for Difficult Situations

Submitter Information

Author: Beth Bolick, DNP, PPCNP-BC, CPNP-AC
Title: Professor and Director Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program
Institution: Rush University College of Nursing
Coauthors: Cole Edmonson, RN, DNP, FACHE, NEA-BC •Rita Adeniran, RN, DrNP, CMAC, NEA-BC, FAAN • Ric Cuming, RN, MSN, EdD, NEA-BC, CNOR • Bernadette Khan, RN, MSN, NEA-BC • Linda B. Lawson, RN, DNP, NEA-BC • Debra Wilson, RN, MSN, MSA, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC

Competency Category(s)
Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s)
Continuing Education, Graduate Students, New Graduates/Transition to Practice, Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma, Pre-Licensure BSN, RN to BSN, Staff Development

Learner Setting(s)
Classroom, Skills or Simulation Laboratories

Strategy Type
Online or Web-based Modules

Learning Objectives

This FREE tool is designed to help those of us who work in healthcare to learn to respectfully manage conversations regarding incivility or bullying in our workplaces.
It is specifically intended for use with students during their preparation for careers in healthcare and for employers to use with new hires during their onboarding experience.
However, it can also be used by anyone or any profession working to build a respectful workplace.

Define incivility and bullying
Describe common situations of incivility and bullying
Describe the impact of incivility and bullying on human capital and patient outcomes
Develop a list of terms that are deleterious to collaboration, can invoke a negative emotional response in the listener, and are disrespectful
Reflect on personal contribution to an incivil workplace
Describe the approach to respectful conversations for difficult situations
Model the respectful conversations approach to managing difficult situations
Apply the respectful conversations approach to managing difficult situations in a safe training setting

Strategy Overview

Tool Overview:
Video 1: Overview of Incivility and Bullying in Healthcare
Incivil and Bullying Behaviors Exercise
Language of Collaboration Exercise
Self-Reflection Exercise
Video 2: Approach to Respectful Conversations
Group Discussion
Videos 3: Practice Vignettes
Role-play Exercises

This tool is designed to be used as time permits and can be divided into 2, 2.5, and 4 hour segments. If used as a whole it is completed in one 8 .5 hour day. If used in a combination of online learning and onsite simulation, then the first two segments can be completed online with a facilitated discussion and the final segment can be facilitated during an onsite session.
A room will be needed with projection capabilities for the videos and tables and chairs for large group and small group work. Flip charts, electronic writing board, or other writing system is recommended for group discussion and group work reports.
Download pertinent self-assessments from the Truth Bucket for the Self-Reflection Exercise.
Download, print, and laminate if desired, the Respectful Conversations pocket card and the Mnemonic BE AWARE and Care from the Courage Bucket.
Segment III Simulation Exercises: Consider using standardized participants if available and tablets or other recording devices for video playback.
Consider measuring the level of incivility and bullying in your organization through a dashboard prior to initiating training. A sample dashboard is available in the Truth Bucket and can be modified as needed.

Submitted Materials

Additional Materials

Civility Tool-kit: Resources to Empower Healthcare Leaders to Identify, Intervene, and Prevent Workplace Bullying
YouTube videos for Respectful Conversations training:

Evaluation Description


Ongoing Dashboard

Role-playing exercises

User survey