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CGED Knowledge Exchange Series

WORKSHOP | Assertive Dialogue: Holding Your Position Against Gender Oppression and Negative Power Dynamics


Facilitator: Sally Dellow, Dramatic Difference

Moderator: Li Chong, German Programme, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, HKU

Date: 20 April 2022 (Wednesday)

Time: 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Delivery: via Zoom

Have you ever felt bullied or oppressed because of your gender? Did you find yourself speechless with fear, or shame or suppressed anger? Come and learn the skills that will help you overcome social fight, flight or freeze, so you can hold your own and find your words in any difficult dialogue. Power imbalances can come from gender and age difference, from seniority and status such as professor/student or employee/employer, or from relative levels of expertise and knowledge. Self-doubt or oppressive behaviour can trigger anxiety when you’re having an important conversation, but there are skills and tools that help you feel stronger and more confident: “with more skill you need less courage”.

Workshop Objectives

The session will be based on scenarios commonly found in a university setting and will help you:

  • Identify your own triggers in difficult or crucial conversations and set healthy boundaries

  • Understand the physiology and psychology of social threat and help you respond rather than react

  • Observe, reflect on and practice dialogue tools and language that empower a healthy level of assertiveness in dialogue.

The session has an interactive format. Sally Dellow, our theatre-led learning facilitator will demonstrate scenarios and behaviours, and encourage participants to discuss and try different response options and tools.

Sally Dellow is an Executive Coach and Facilitator specialising in Leadership Development, Inter-cultural Teams and Communication. She has lived in Hong Kong for over 30 years, designing and delivering work from Melbourne to Mumbai. Thousands of hours of coaching experience inform Sally’s human-centred coaching practice. She has supported clients from multinational company executives through to start-up entrepreneurs and NGO heads. Her award-winning consultancy, Dramatic Difference, is known as a leading innovator and practitioner in the field of Theatre-Led Learning, drawing on the team’s backgrounds in writing, directing and performing for stage and film.

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