Academia is not immune to difficult conversations, as a recent article in Inside Higher Ed illustrates. In the article, Stephen J. Aguilar notes that:
“Misunderstandings in academe are common and often innocuous, yet they can create conflict. Perhaps someone misheard something you said, and now they are angry with you. Perhaps they heard your words correctly but comprehended them in a manner that did not align with your intent. Or perhaps they interpreted your silence in a way that was inconsistent with the message you wanted to send.
The rest of the article provides wisdom on navigating misunderstandings and conflict. Not surprisingly, it is similar to much of the advice given by the authors of Difficult Conversations.