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Unique “Workplace Integrity” Training Available For Media Organizations

The Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project offers expert trainers the opportunity to deliver the exclusive “Workplace Integrity” curriculum to management and staff in the newsroom and beyond.

Invest in this high-quality training designed by journalists for journalists, and delivered by a member of the Freedom Forum Institute’s “go team” of skilled facilitators.

Why This Training is Important to Newsrooms

The goal of the Workplace Integrity curriculum is to create and promote workplaces free of harassment, discrimination and incivility, and full of opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been denied it. The curriculum uses critical thinking, creative role playing and group exercises to teach ways to proactively prevent sexual harassment and misconduct and the behaviors that can lead to it, such as incivility and bullying. But more than that, this unique approach sets the table for candid conversations that people would not otherwise have about working in productive and creative cultures of respect, helping them see the world through others’ eyes in an open-minded atmosphere of trust.

The training is custom-tailored for media organizations. We use a format that allows staff to work together in teams, under the guidance of a skilled facilitator who knows and appreciates journalism and journalists, and speaks the language of the newsroom.

When a 2016 report of an EEOC task force reviewed research on traditional anti-harassment training, it found scant evidence that it worked. The Workplace Integrity curriculum is different and better — delivered in person and interactively over the course of a one-day, three-part workshop. The workshop is one-of-a-kind and highly customized to the culture of news organizations.

What’s In The Curriculum

Power Shift Project

Veteran teacher and trainer Jill Geisler, who designed Workplace Integrity training.

The interactive curriculum was designed by world-class leadership trainer Jill Geisler, who conducts leadership training and coaching in newsrooms around the world. She is the Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership and Loyola University Chicago’s Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity.

To create the curriculum, Jill first drew on the findings from the Power Shift Summit, EEOC data on harassment and discrimination, research on bias in decision making, and contemporary writing on gender and diversity issues. She then combined that information with her experiences working with journalists and leaders who want to improve their workplace cultures.

How Does It Work?

The interactive program consists of three modules, designed to be taught in succession, as one complete event. Each session builds on the others. The training typically requires a seven-hour time commitment, including breaks and lunch. We recommend that organizations open the training with a briefing from their own Human Resources experts on the company’s own policies and expectations around compliance and reporting of sexual harassment and other issues.

Learning objectives

Participants who complete the workshop should be able to take away these skills from each of the modules:

  1. Critical Thinking: How to analyze common workplace exchanges related to harassment, discrimination and incivility — checking facts, providing context, identifying bias, surfacing assumptions and challenging logic.
  2. Courageous Conversations: How to better understand conflict and responses to it. How to speak proactively (introducing subjects) and reactively (responding to the words and actions of others) to ensure workplace integrity.
  3. Cultures of Respect and Trust: How to assess and improve workplace culture, with ideas and responsibility coming from the ground up.
Thought-Provoking Case Studies

The Courageous Conversation session features nuanced, real-world case studies that are intentionally framed in second-person voice. “You” are facing various proactive and reactive scenarios, such as proposing a change in intern onboarding; reacting to a powerful, talented and mercurial co-worker; responding to unwelcome physical contact; stepping in when a person is being harassed; and coaching a coworker who brings a concern to you. When “you” consider your options, we also ask “you” to consider how the case might play out differently for a variety of other individuals — who differ from “you” in multiple ways.

What Will You Take Away From This Experience?

In the words of course creator, Jill Geisler: “I think this curriculum has the potential to help people see the world through the eyes of others and feel how everyday actions, big and small, can have a profound impact for better or worse. But best of all, they get to create their own roadmap, not be handed one with every route pre-determined for them. After all, journalists love nothing more than ideas and solutions of our own creation. So, they’ll have the chance to do that in the Workplace Integrity modules. I’m confident it can work.”

For More Information

If your organization wants to invest in the high-quality Workplace Integrity training, delivered by one of the Freedom Forum Institute’s expert trainers, please contact Talisa Proctor at 202-292-6655 or tproctor@freedomforum.org.

For additional information, contact powershift@freedomforum.org.