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“Edutainment”: Harnessing the Power of Entertainment to Enlighten and Educate about Harassment, Retaliation, and Related Topics

“Edutainment”: Harnessing the Power of Entertainment to Enlighten and Educate about Harassment, Retaliation, and Related Topics

by Kit Goldman

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Employing an “edutainment” methodology for training on critical workplace topics can achieve extraordinary levels of engagement and retention.

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The “Edutainment” Genesis

It was October 1991. In my office, above the stage of the playhouse I built and operated in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, I sat riveted — nay, mesmerized — watching the Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill hearings on a tiny, desktop TV.

For many of us outside the labor law community, that was the dawning of awareness about sexual harassment — an issue now in the consciousness of pretty much anyone not dwelling with the forest animals or contemplating their navel in a cave.

After a long run as an entertainment industry professional and early Gaslamp Quarter pioneer, I was ready to move from arts into business. I had built two theaters, produced over one hundred professional shows, had written, directed, and performed in dozens of productions, and longed to merge that passion with another passion: education, where a prior career track and my academic creds lay.

Watching those hearings, I had a prophetic thought: “This would make an amazing play.”

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No Big Deal

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

 

Characters:
Arturo: A customer service supervisor at a fictional company
Tracy: An IT employee

Scene: Arturo’s office. Tracy dashes in holding a cup of coffee.

 

T: Sorry I’m late. Stopped in the break room to get some coffee and that new temp… Ron… was in there passing out birthday cake and doing his thing.

A: “His thing”?

T: (takes off jacket, puts on chair) Yeah, the “spank me, it’s my birthday” thing. Putting on a big show even though he’s only been here 27 and a half days, not that I’m counting. The whole thing’s juvenile and disgusting. Anyway, sorry. What’s going on?

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Nuts and Bolts

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

 

Characters:
Colleen: Newly promoted Facilities Supervisor at a fictional company
Lonnie: A veteran employee on her crew

Scene: Repair shop at the facility. Tools, hardware, schematics scattered on table and floor. Coffee on table, water bottle overturned, liquid on papers. Colleen enters.

C: What the…? (picks items off floor, lifts wet schematic, looks offstage) Lonnie? Lonnie, you here? (dials phone) Janice, I’m in the shop. Lonnie’s not here and it’s a pigsty. What’s his break schedule? Yeah, I’ll hold.

Lonnie enters, looks like he just woke up, startled to see Colleen

L: Hey Colleen (yawns, tucks shirt, rubs eyes)

C: (to phone) Right. OK, thanks. (To him) Taking a little snooze?

L: Who? Me?

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Safety Yardsticks: Harassment, Bullying, Respect

By Kit Goldman, President and Founder, Workplace Training Network, Inc.

Three important measurements of safety in your workplace are:

  • Your team’s awareness of the risks harassment and bullying can pose
  • Their commitment to respectful conduct
  • Supervisors and employees who know the warning signs of violence and what to do if they occur

Training is essential for achieving all three!

Ok, picture the following scenario. You’re a manager dealing with a difficult employee. We’ll call him “Jeff”. Jeff was great for a while – even employee of the month — but lately, there have been performance issues.

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Take Harassment Off the Menu!

Welcome to a fictional Restaurant. Meet Roger, a high-performing manager with a very touchy-feely style and edgy sense of humor.

Today, Roger is meeting with Margo, an employee, about a promotion. When Margo arrives, she overhears him joking on the phone about a gay employee. His screensaver is a picture of his wife in a Brazilian bikini.

Margo is known to be easily offended. That concerns Roger re: the promotion.

Roger speaks honestly with her, acknowledges she’s qualified,  but she’s uptight. He says she needs to loosen up, “liberate herself from that Catholic School upbringing”. Reminds her she’s in the restaurant business, things move too fast for co-workers to walk on eggshells around her, and you certainly can’t get be judgmental of the customers.

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Life Imitating Art

Imagine this: you’re attending the CAMSS (California Association of Medical Staff Services) annual conference in Long Beach last June. You grab a seat in the breakout session presented by dynamic Nossaman LLP attorney, Carlo Coppo.

About halfway through the program, a clearly distressed woman stands up in the audience, says she is the Operating Room Supervisor at her hospital and asks if she can speak. As she starts to describe a disturbing incident, an enraged physician comes out of the audience and confronts her. He is hostile, aggressive, verbally abusive.

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NBC San Diego News interviews Kit Goldman

Are you ready to be EDUTAINED? THEN DON’T MISS THIS INTERVIEW of Kit Goldman by renowned coach and dynamic Professor of Communication, Jeffrey Klubeck, M.A. :

– Historical anecdotes from a Gaslamp District Pioneer
– The Power of Advocacy and “having a cause”
– Skill migration insights for those facing career transition
– The importance of workplace training for employers and employees
– The story of Memo Mendez and the birth of Workplace Training Network
– The true meaning of “Edutainment” and its value for workplace training
– A preview of the May 3rd Workplace Communication Program at The University Club…

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All Due Respect

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

Characters: Shannon, H.R. professional at a fictional company in the automotive industry
Managers and employees

Scene 1:  A  training session. “Shannon” is at the head of the table with a flip chart.

 

S: Hi everyone. Thanks for coming. I’m Shannon Reese from corporate H.R. I’m here to explore a really important topic with you today.  See this word here? (writes respect in huge letters on flip chart)  “Respect”. Some of you may be old enough to remember the Aretha Franklin song. Lord knows I am.

Monty: That’s OK, Shannon. You’re an oldie but a goodie.

S: Thanks, Monty.  I think. You know, that comment takes us right to our topic. Respect. What do you think? Could someone take offense at being called an “oldie but goodie” at work?

Dee Dee: Maybe. But you called yourself old first, so….

S: True, Dee Dee, but it’s different when someone else says it, dontcha think?

Monty: Ok. Delete the oldie. Just go with the goodie.

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Can We Talk?

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

Characters:
Darren: an employee at a fictional company or government agency Navy
Sherry: a co-worker

Scene: Sherry enters David’s workspace.

S: Hey David

D: Hey.

S: Can I come in?

D: You’re already in.

S: Well, can I sit down and talk to you for a minute?

D: OK. Would you mind brushing off your pants first? No offense, but you’re always covered in cat hair.

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Man Oh Man

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

 

Characters:
Jackie: Supervisor at a fictional company
Rich: the sole male employee in her group

SCENE: Jackie’s office. She’s at her desk. Rich comes to her door.

J: Come on in, sweetie…

R: (enters, carrying file) Great. Glad you have some time.

J: I don’t. But we’ll do what we can. What’s up?

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