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This Workshop Is In-Person for a Reason Anti-Bullying Training Encourages Reflective Dialogue

By Dateline Staff on July 10, 2018 in University

Quick Summary

  • Feedback from anti-bullying pilot program endorsed in-person training
  • Participants can give voice to feelings of exclusion, marginalization — and explore their own attitudes
  • Workshop incorporates real-life case studies, encourages open and earnest communication and conversation

What you need to know about “Is It Bullying? Awareness and Strategies”:

First, it’s in person for a reason: “The training’s reflective diversity dialogue approach enables participants to give voice to feelings of exclusion and marginalization, while also prompting them to probe how their own attitudes may contribute to the alienation that others experience — which are essential in unpacking bullying and abrasive behavior in the workplace,” said Mikael Villalobos, associate chief diversity officer, who led the training’s development.

Anti-bullying effort expands: Phase 1 now underway for staff managers and supervisors.

Mikael Villalobos mugshot

“Reflective dialogue ultimately encourages participants to develop accountability and responsibility for creating and enforcing campus diversity and inclusion, and this holds greater promise for effecting behavioral changes that enhance campus climate.”

Additionally, Villalobos said, participant feedback from pilot training overwhelmingly points to the value of this module as an in-person training, where interactive activities in a group setting promote application, practice and self-reflection.

The three-hour training incorporates real-life case studies — tailored to the specific audience — informed by actual workplace events to illustrate the complexity of bullying and abrasive behavior.

“The goal is to provide insight into how we may consider — and ultimately empower — each of our roles in interrupting behaviors that negatively impact the spaces where we work, learn and teach,” Villalobos said.

Villalobos and other diversity educators will work in pairs to facilitate each training session. This models open and earnest communication, collaboration, and respect for diverse perspectives, Villalobos said, noting that participants in pilot training praised the co-facilitation approach.

Course objectives

  • Increase awareness and understanding about bullying and other forms of abrasive behaviors in the workplace
  • Become familiar with the policies and resources related to bullying and other forms of abrasive behavior
  • Learn skills for responding to abrasive behaviors in the workplace
  • Examine one’s own behavior (self-reflection) that impacts interaction with colleagues and workplace climate
  • Explore strategies for empowering ourselves and others in cultivating inclusive work environments

Throughout the course, participants have the opportunity to discuss hypothetical workplace case studies and apply various proactive and response strategies to these cases. 

What pilot participants said

  • “I truly enjoyed the training and I will be able to apply what I learned today with proactive climate maintenance.”
  • “(The training module acknowledges) not just staff but also managers, faculty and upper management. … Everyone on campus needs to attend.”
  • “This course should be mandatory for all supervisors, managers, directors, faculty. In order for them to address such situations, they need to be knowledgeable and equipped.”
  • In response to, What I liked best about the course: “Amount of emphasis on personal reflection, accountability and responsibility.”
  • “The co-facilitator approach was excellent. … Interaction through scenarios was informative and offered diverse perspectives and strategies.”

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or