People in conversation

Advanced Facilitation Skills Workshop

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, all workshops will be held virtually until further notice. In recognition of the pressures of the pandemic, we have expanded scholarship opportunities. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

Workshop Description

Anyone who leads meetings can be thrown off balance in difficult moments. The difficulty might be an unexpected tension among group members or challenges to the facilitator’s legitimacy. As a facilitator, you avoid “deer in headlights” moments by developing the capacity to stay cool and think on your feet.

This workshop helps experienced facilitators navigate these delicate, confrontational, or explosive moments effectively, with purpose and poise. The curriculum leverages reflective practices and real-world scenarios to develop a facilitator’s existing tools to meet the needs of the most challenging circumstances.


  • To develop personal resources that help navigate challenging moments in a conversation, meeting or dialogue;
  • To learn key strategies that prepare for and prevent potential derailments in a conversation, meeting, or dialogue;
  • To better understand when and how to address the difficulties that arise in a dialogue, meeting, or group conversation.

As a result of this workshop, you will be equipped to:

  • Handle challenging situations with purpose and poise;
  • Manage and avoid unproductive patterns of conversation;
  • Promote greater understanding between participants;
  • See through the fog of confusion in difficult times in meeting facilitation.

Who might participate:

  • Educators and administrators
  • Corporate and nonprofit managers
  • Human resources professionals
  • Clergy and lay religious leaders
  • Therapists or social workers
  • Alternative dispute resolution professionals

Looking for an entry point into EP's facilitation model? Consider registering for Basic EP Training for Facilitators or for Facilitation Training for Community and Faith Leaders.

Want a basic introduction to Essential Partners’ theory and framework? Consider attending Intro to Dialogue Across Differences.

Find both Intro to Dialogue Across Differences and Advanced Facilitation Skills on the EP workshop calendar.

Accreditation and Continuing Education

Essential Partners provides a certificate upon completion of the workshop that can be used to support a request for professional development credits.

Travel & Lodging

There is ample free parking in the lots outside our offices, but traffic in the area can be extremely congested. If possible, we recommend taking the MBTA Red Line to Alewife. Essential Partners' offices are a short (10 min) walk from the station.

If you are planning to travel to the Boston area for a workshop, we recommend booking a room at one of two partner hotels:

  • Freepoint Hotel is adjacent to the Essential Partners office, and offers a corporate rate for our attendees. Click Here for more information.
  • AC Hotel Boston Cambridge is located two miles from the Essential Partners offices. They offer a corporate rate for our attendees and provide a free shuttle. Click Here for more information.


Essential Partners provides a limited number of partial or full scholarships for each workshop it hosts. A member of the staff will inform applicants of their decisions six weeks prior to the workshop date; applicants will confirm their acceptance by registering online. Scholarships are granted based on two criteria: financial need; and  potential for impact on a community level.

Fill out this form to apply for a scholarship.

Cancellation Policies

If you must cancel, please do so as far in advance as possible. Cancellations are subject to a $25 administration fee plus an additional $25 to process credit card refunds (if you paid by credit card). To receive any refund your cancellation must be made at least 2 weeks before the course date. Essential Partners is under no obligation to offer any refund or credit if you cancel within two weeks of a workshop. If you need to cancel due to a medical emergency, your local weather conditions, or any other reason please call Sara Ostrovitz at (617) 923-1216 ext. 10.

In some instances, Essential Partners must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, faculty illness, or weather. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, we will give you at least 2 weeks notice. If we cancel due to faculty illness or severe weather, we will contact you as far in advance as possible. If there is a severe storm warning in the area of the workshop venue, we will cancel by 4:00 pm the day before.

If the workshop is canceled, Essential Partners will issue you a full refund of the registration fee, with no additional administration fees. Essential Partners cannot be responsible for travel losses.

For more information, please contact us at or 617-923-1216 ext. 10.


December 1-2, 2022
May 4-5, 2023
December 7-8, 2023
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time


Online via Zoom
n/a, MA 02138
United States


Regular Fee
Early Bird Special
Register with a Friend


Bob Stains is a Senior Associate at Essential Partners.