Breaking the Silence Habit (Paperback)

A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace

By Sarah Beaulieu, Len Schlesinger (Foreword by)

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781523087402, 216pp.

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (2/25/2020)

List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Top consultant Sarah Beaulieu offers a five-part framework that enables employees to have difficult but necessary conversations about sexual harassment and violence and develop new, better ways of working together.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, employees and leaders are struggling with how to respond to the pervasiveness of sexual harassment. Most approaches simply emphasize knowing and complying with existing laws. But people need more than lists of dos and don'ts--they need to learn how to navigate this uncertain, emotionally charged terrain. Sarah Beaulieu provides a new skills-based approach to addressing sexual harassment prevention and response in the workplace, including using underdeveloped skills like empathy, situational awareness, boundary setting, and intervention.

Beaulieu outlines a five-part framework for having conversations about sexual harassment: Know the Facts; Feel Uncomfortable; Get Curious, Not Furious; See the Whole Picture; and Embrace Practical Questions. By embracing these conversations, we can break the cycle of avoidance and silence that makes our lives and workplaces feel volatile and unsafe. Grounded in storytelling, humor, and dozens of real-life scenarios, this book introduces the idea of uncomfortable conversation as the core skill required to enable everyone to bring their full talent and contributions to safe and respectful workplaces.

About the Author

Sarah Beaulieu is a speaker and consultant who trains workers and advises leaders on skills-based sexual harassment prevention and response. She has been featured by multiple organizations, including Fox News, Harvard Business Review, the Associated Press, the US Chamber of Commerce, NPR, AskMen, and Boston Business Journal. In 2018, Beaulieu cofounded An Uncomfortable Conversation, a nonprofit YouTube channel that helps people engage in meaningful conversations about sexual violence through short videos.

Praise For Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace

“Sarah provides the framework and tools for having inherently uncomfortable conversations about sexual harassment and violence. It’s time that we all learn the skills necessary to have these conversations.”
—Jeffrey Saviano, Global Tax Innovation Leader, Ernst & Young; Connection Science Fellow, MIT; and host of the Better Innovation podcast
“An indispensable guide to the power of conversation in the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. A must-read.”
—Kate Murtagh, Chief Compliance Officer, Harvard Management Company
“Not only does Beaulieu have a vision for organizational cultures that are free of harassment, she’s provided a road map for getting there.”
—Amy Gallo, author of HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict
“Sarah and Breaking the Silence Habit are indispensable resources in any entrepreneurial journey.”
—Danny Warshay, Executive Director, Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Brown University