People in conversation

Advanced Facilitation Skills Workshop

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.


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). Refunds will be issued to the original payment method.

To receive any refund your cancellation must be made at least 2 weeks before the event or workshop date. Essential Partners is under no obligation to offer any refund or credit if you cancel within two weeks of an event or workshop. If you need to cancel due to a medical emergency or other emergency reason, please call (617) 923-1216 or email as soon as possible.

In some instances, Essential Partners must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, faculty illness, or other reason. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel a workshop, we will give you 7-10 days notice. If the workshop is canceled, Essential Partners will issue you a full refund of the registration fee, with no administration fees withheld.


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
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Bob Stains is a Senior Associate at Essential Partners, having previously served as Senior VP for Training.