Post-Election Conversations with Students at Ohio State

These resources are focused on Ohio State.  If you are looking resources which are not OSU specific, look here.

Short Tools for Post-Election Conversations

Thanks to Sara Childers, Kathleen Hallihan, Mark Sullivan, and Richard Martin for their suggestions.

A short list of ideas for post-election conversations 

This card offers ideas for post-election conversations with someone who voted differently than you did – ideas which promote mutual understanding.

PRESENTATION: Unpacking the Presidential Election – Can We Talk? 

This presentation further illustrates ideas for post-election conversations.  Nine interdisciplinary leaders from the Ohio State community quickly highlight one productive way to engaged in a difficult conversation.  Designed for Ohio State students, the principles discussed in this video will resonate broadly with many communities.

DCP Campus Leaders Post-Election Checklist

University leaders have an opportunity post-election to become trusted sources of accurate information, to remind students, faculty, staff, the “Buckeye Nation,” and the central Ohio community about common values, and to bridge differences to build understanding. The public tends to trust their integrity and non-partisan approach.  This card offers a checklist of considerations for campus leaders. 

Links to Additional OSU Resources

Publications by those teaching at Ohio State University

 Joseph B. Stulberg, and Lela Love, The Middle Voice (3rd ed. 2020).

 Mark Sullivan, THRIVE: When Trouble Visits! Being Your Best In Tough Times (2020).

Steven Goldberg, Frank E.A. Sander, Sarah R. Cole, and Nancy H. Rogers, Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration and Other Processes (7th ed. 2020).

Ellen Deason, Edward Brunet & Charles B. Craver, Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective (5th ed. 2016).

Ohio State University courses:

 Implicit bias training online:  OSU Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,

Free webinar on “How to Have Difficult Conversations about Race,” from OSU Adjunct Professor Kwame Christian,

Crucial Conversations, BUSMHR #7236, OSU Fisher College of Business

Purpose: To cultivate tools and practices to constructively engage differing others and associated conversations when:

  • Stakes are high
  • Opinions vary
  • Emotions run strong

Version Offered: Course and Workshop Format

  • 15 Week, 3 credit graduate level (see syllabus attached)
  • 4 hour, 8 hour, 16 hour certificate and non-certificate version through the Fisher Executive Education and the MHR Dept.; Licensed and Certified Faculty
  • Mark Sullivan (Graduate and Executive Level)
  • Sarah Mangia (Undergraduate Level)

Legal Negotiations, OSU Moritz College of Law for law students or with permission

 Easy-to-read manuals:

 Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations (1999).

Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (2nd ed. 1991).

Patterson, R. McMillan, J. Grenny and A. Switzler, Crucial Conversations (2012).

Caleb Benson, Emotional Intelligence: Improving Mindset, Stress, Anger Management, Relationships, and Social Intelligence (EI 2.0, Book 1)

Maggie Herzig & Laura Chasin, Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide From the Public Conversations Project (Public Conversations Project 2006).

Reporting harassment and discrimination at The Ohio State University

Creating an environment free from harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct

The Ohio State University is committed to building and maintaining a community to reflect diversity and to improve opportunities for all. All Buckeyes have the right to be free from harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. Ohio State does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy (childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom), race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status, or any other bases under the law, in its activities, academic programs, admission, and employment. Members of the university community also have the right to be free from all forms of sexual misconduct: sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.

To report harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or retaliation and/or seek confidential and non-confidential resources and supportive measures, contact the Office of Institutional Equity:
1. Online – reporting form at,
2. Call – 614-247-5838 or TTY 614-688-8605,
3. Or Email –

The university is committed to stopping sexual misconduct, preventing its recurrence, eliminating any hostile environment, and remedying its discriminatory effects. All university employees have reporting responsibilities to the Office of Institutional Equity to ensure the university can take appropriate action:

  • All university employees, except those exempted by legal privilege of confidentiality or expressly identified as a confidential reporter, have an obligation to report incidents of sexual assault immediately.
  • The following employees have an obligation to report all other forms of sexual misconduct as soon as practicable but at most within five workdays of becoming aware of such information: 1. Any human resource professional (HRP); 2. Anyone who supervises faculty, staff, students, or volunteers; 3. Chair/director; and 4. Faculty member.

For counseling resources at The Ohio State University:

Buckeye PAL (Peer Access Line)

Student Life Student Wellness Center offers a new university initiative, the Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL). The PAL is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations to gain support and learn about campus resources. Student volunteers are available to provide peer-to-peer assistance that promotes and enhances student development and wellbeing.

Students can contact the PAL at 614-514-3333 about a variety of topics; including but not limited to the following:

  • Adjusting to college and university life
  • Balancing stress management
  • Managing platonic, romantic and family relationships
  • Feeling pressure to succeed
  • Navigating personal and social identities

Buckeye PAL operates weekdays from 8 p.m. to midnight when classes are in session during fall and spring semesters. Call 614-514-3333 or visit

Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service

Schedule an appointment or check out their calendar of open events.

CCS Calendar

CCS Website

Need Immediate Assistance?

Crisis Lines

Immediate access to support.

Crisis Text Line

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Franklin County Netcare Access

Community Resources

Find support in Columbus.


List of resources

Find a support group

Find a therapist



General principles regarding difficult conversations: 

 Principles to Consider – By OSU Fisher College of Business Professor Mark Sullivan

 Unit of Analysis: One-to-One (but could be applied on a group/team level)

  1. Psychological Safety


Prior to trust-building, or repairing norm violations, one must intentionally focus on making the conversational space to be emotionally and socially safe. (Emotional safety always precedes trust-building in relational engagement — particularly if it moves from a casual-to-crucial conversation.)


  • Affirm

Support differing other by acknowledging shared common interests or experiences from the past; or current things that both have in common (i.e. children, popular restaurants/cuisine, movies, etc.). If aware of, and if there is receptivity, you may acknowledge the pain or pleasure of a personal experience that holds emotional sway. “I know we have had our go rounds in the past, and I am sorry if it has caused some real heart-burn on your end; as it has a bit on my end. Are you okay, in-spite of our differences? You know I care about you. (If stranger, then move aspirationally to how “I hope we can find a way to see things in the same light.”

  • Connect

If a stranger, then aspirationally indicate how you are interested in learning new or different perspectives from them. Highlight something you value about them: where they are from, where they work, where they go to school…or even something personal like “where did you get those beautiful shoes you are wearing?” Or “do you mind my asking who your hair stylist is…it’s a great look.” (if it really is true!)

  • Share

Strategically self-disclose something about yourself that makes the other party feel more comfortable or a bit closer to you. “I’m having a terrible day today between my car not working and the kids at home being sick; but I am so looking forward to meeting you (or catching up with you…).” This humanizes you in an ‘under the skin’ kind of way that cultivates a bit of ‘safe’ social intimacy. Calibrate the amount of self-disclosure based on tolerance level. This requires looking and testing: “Am I saying to much here…”

  1. Mutual Purpose


Co-create a common framework, or way of thinking about things that begin to move from me-to-we, even in the midst of a prickly context.


  • Shuttle

Bracket off the differences that are too early to address based on strong contrasting opinions, feelings or values. Explicitly ask if we can put those issues aside for the moment, and focus on something that may be opportunistically more promising. “I know we have just gone round-and- round on “X.” Can we look at “Y” for the moment. Can we see if there is anything here we can actually agree on? I would like to believe there is something here we can build on.”

  • Elevate

Shift the conversation from a micro-issue level to a broader topic-level. “I know we might have a different point of view on “waiving higher ed. tuition reimbursement” but what do you think about how to best invest in our youth, the next generation of leaders.”

  • Explore

Seek what is the deeper reason behind the position. Suspend judgement, if at all possible (without necessarily letting go of your position; but still being open to being influenced by them). “Tell me why that is so important to you… And what does that mean…Say a bit more, why does this really matter?” ”Thank you so much for sharing that. We are in a different place, but I so value you personally even though the issue is out there…”

  1. Contrasting


Co-create a common framework, or way of thinking about things that begin to move from me-to-we, even in the midst of a prickly context. This effort is when there is a misunderstanding and the other party is telling a story about you in their head, or holding an opinion about you that you believe is totally incorrect and/or perhaps unjust (from your perspective). Their opinion/s about you have become fact-based even though you believe it is story-based (and not evidence-based).


  • Intent

This is where it is important to get to the underlying intentions of what you are trying to accomplish so as to dissolve their myth or fantasy of you being something else (e.g. demonic, disruptive, self-serving). This is called, ‘naming the game,’ or identifying the elephant in the room. This helps to unmask the unspoken yet present issue causing a lack of trust or credibility. “It is NOT my intent to put you down, or to embarrass or upset you in our staff meeting when I told you that you needed to have a different approach with that client . Rather, it is my intent to help you, help yourself, to deal with a prickly individual that we have had trouble with in the past. You’re a good person and I want to see good things happen to you with that individual.”