Courageous Conversations: Skills for the Brave New World of Work

Female professional making a video call in office

As a nation we find ourselves at a tipping point around race, gender and power. So, how do we mobilize and ensure positive change within our work lives and communities? Trish Foster and Yaro Fong-Olivares from Bentley University join us to offer actionable tools for having courageous conversations – dialogue that is reciprocal, respectful, compassionate, honest and open. This episode will provide you with a framework for how and when to have these conversations. This conversation will help you to overcome feelings of discomfort and fear, and obtain skills to change how we communicate so that power is equitably distributed.


This Month’s Guests:

TRISH FOSTER serves as Executive Director in the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, where she sets strategy and guides thought leadership. A sought-after speaker, Trish develops and delivers programs and workshops for a wide variety of organizations on issues impacting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), often with an emphasis on intersectionality and gender. She researches and writes reports on a range of critical DE&I issues. Some of the topics she writes and speaks about include How to Lead Through an Intersectional Lens, How to Leverage Professional Mentorship, Sponsorship, and Networks, How to Be an Effective Workplace Ally, and for women, How to Overcome Hidden Barriers such as the Confidence Gap. Trish is a member of Bentley’s Diversity Council and Co-Chair of the Boston Steering Committee for 2020 Women on Boards, the national campaign to increase the number of women on US corporate boards. As a passionate advocate for inclusion and allyship, Trish spearheaded formation of Bentley’s undergraduate Men of Alliance group. She frequently facilitates workshops for Bentley’s Women’s Leadership Group. Previously, Trish served as vice president of Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations and senior vice president of Fleishman Hillard Public Relations. She holds a B.S. in business from The University of Delaware.

YARO FONG-OLIVARES serves as Director for the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley University, where she leads the design and delivery of customized training programs for organizations and coaching for individuals. Using a psychodynamic systems approach to organizational development and change, she focuses on the following topics: diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); leadership; and management development. A sought-after speaker and facilitator, Yaro holds an M.S. in Organizational Change Management from The New School, a B.A. in Sociology from Barnard College, and Clark Wilson’s 360 feedback Task Cycle Survey Certification. Yaro serves as president of the Executive Committee of the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems, an affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and is a member and a psychodynamic group relations consultant-in-training of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.


Our Host:

CELESTE HEADLEE is a communication and human nature expert, and an award-winning journalist. She is a professional speaker, and also the author of Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving, Heard Mentality and We Need to Talk. In her twenty-year career in public radio, she has been the executive producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio, and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as cohost of the national morning news show The Takeaway from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. Headlee’s TEDx talk sharing ten ways to have a better conversation has over twenty million total views to date. @celesteheadlee

Photo credit:

Additional Resources: