Watch this Up-Close and Personal Interview With Leslie Aguilar, Author of the Award-Winning Ouch! Courses

How do you respond? 

Upon hearing or being on the receiving end of a stereotype, how do you respond? Do you wait to see if anyone else is going to speak up?

If you choose to remain silent, you’re not alone. Research by Dr. Derald Wing shows that people don’t speak up because they often don’t know what to say. This hesitation may be rooted in a desire to avoid conflict, spare someone embarrassment or prevent potential retaliation.

However, research also shows that with the right communication techniques that avoid blame or shame, individuals are more likely to speak up. These techniques are a central focus of the Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts online eLearning course, created by SunShower Learning and Leslie Aguilar, the author of the Ouch! book and video series.

In a recent interview by Joel Lesko, Leslie Aguilar shares her insights into how to implement the training within an organization and apply the skills during challenging conversations. The interview provides a deep dive into the impact of Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts, exploring techniques that continue to be used by hundreds of thousands of individuals in both their professional and personal lives.

Thousands of companies and organizations have implemented the Ouch! training, using the SCORM courses installed on their own Learning Management Systems.

Joel engages Leslie in a comprehensive discussion, offering valuable insights into the practical applications of Ouch! techniques. This is a must-watch for anyone interested in addressing stereotypes and fostering a culture of respectful communication.

“Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts teaches six actionable skills that help us align our everyday behaviors with our larger goals and good intentions to treat others with respect. Ouch! has been widely adopted because it teaches how to speak up with compassion and without blaming or embarrassing the person who said something. The research shows that when they encounter stereotypes or other demeaning comments, people actually use the skills – they are more willing to speak up when they might have otherwise stayed silent.”

Leslie Aguilar

Praise for the Ouch! programs 

“I’m so passionate about the tools that the Ouch! program brings because they give people the opportunity to have a layer of protection and safety that helps them know what to say in the moment. Practicing these tools is what helps people speak up. And I tell people all the time, speak, even if your voice shakes; you’ll get better at it.” 

Lisette Martinez

Chief Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer, National Audubon Society

“Finally, a video that shows the viewer exactly how to respond in moments of diversity-related tension! No blame, no guilt, no conflict – just practical, specific skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace. Ouch! is a must-have and a must-see for anyone seeking to create and sustain a respectful workplace.”

Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D.

Researcher, Speaker and Author of Making Diversity Work and the Defeating Unconscious Bias course, Cross Cultural Communications

Ouch! Your Silence Hurts really fills a niche in my training. It provides the practical, ‘what can I do?’ skills. I’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of videos and Ouch! is so much better than anything else I’ve seen. Now that I’ve used it many times with my clients, I’ve completely internalized the skills and am using them myself as well as training others. Thank you!

Mary Chlopecki

Consultant, Employment Law Resources

Test Drive the Ouch! eLearning now!

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Learn 6 Techniques to Speak Up

ouch that stereotype hurts, how to speak up against stereotypes

Ouch! teaches 6 simple techniques that anyone can learn and practice in order to speak up in the presence of a joke a comment that’s based on a stereotype.

“The Ouch Video is a great complement to our harassment training since many potential harassment situations involve those “not so obvious” stereotypical comments. As participants watched the video, we could see heads nodding in agreement that stereotypes still exist. Since rolling out the training, employees in all of our facilities across the U.S. are saying “ouch” to speak up against stereotypes.”

— Employee Relations Specialist,
Fortune 1000 company

License the eLearning course

Install the SCORM file in your LMS

  • Scalable and trackable
  • 24/7 on-demand
  • Consistent content
  • Install on your LMS
  • Completion certificate
  • Customizable
  • English and Spanish versions

The Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts online video course was created using Articulate Rise 360 with utmost care for accessibility, user experience and accurate performance on all LMS platforms. When you license an eLearning course, we offer a turnkey solution and stand behind you for the duration of your license. We pride ourselves on our support – to get you and your organization set up on our LMS or to install the course on your LMS. Because we’re experts in rolling out and cascading training across an organization, we’ll help you achieve high completion rates to maximize your investment. We’ll support you with handouts, training materials and resources you can use to embed the training, and our optional train-the-trainer sessions are popular. 

Get a quote. Use the form to find out about licensing, pricing and the incredible support we provide once you’ve installed the course on your LMS.  If you don’t have an internal LMS, we will host the course for you on the SunShower LMS.

Subscribe to the Trainer’s Toolbox

Use our videos to conduct your training

Your subscription to the Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts Trainer’s Toolbox gives you access to all the materials so that you can conduct as many instructor-led training sessions as you like during your one-year subscription. You can utilize the link to stream the videos for your in-person or virtual sessions (on Teams or Zoom). Please note – only the facilitator will have access to this link — it cannot be accessed by individual learners.

The Trainer’s Toolbox provides all the materials needed to lead your course, including videos, slide deck and handouts. 24/7 access. No more lost DVDs or USBs. When you click “Subscribe now”, you’ll purchase the subscription and be enrolled. Then, you can send us a list of trainers to be enrolled. At the end of the one-year subscription, you’ll have the opportunity to subscribe for a new year, it is not automatic. 


  • Never lose a DVD or USB again
  • 24/7 on-demand
  • Train in-person or virtual
  • Zoom / Teams-friendly
  • Create custom sessions
  • Use any browser and OS
  • Unlimited usage in term
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Why is Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts important?

• Have you ever heard someone say something biased or demeaning, and you didn’t know whether or how to speak up?
• Have you ever said something unintentionally offensive and wished you could take it back?
If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, the Ouch! program is for you. It will help you gain the skills and confidence needed to successfully communicate in a diverse world.

Why is speaking up important?

Staying silent in the face of demeaning comments, stereotypes or bias allows these attitudes and behaviors to thrive. This undermines our ability to create an inclusive workplace where all employees are welcomed, treated with respect and able to do their best work. Yet, most people who want to speak up don’t know how and instead say nothing.

When you hear a disrespectful comment or joke, you have a choice:

1) Reinforce it by laughing or joining in.
2) Tolerate it by saying nothing, which is what most people do. Or
3) Speak up and become an ally, the hardest but most important thing of all.

Available languages:

The Ouch! streaming video course is available with English captions, and a Spanish (Latin America) version is fully translated with text and captions: ¡Ay! Eso es un estereotipo y duele.