People in conversation

Designing and Facilitating Reflective Structured Dialogue

Workshop Description

Formerly titled Basic EP Facilitation, this two-day workshop will teach participants to facilitate and design Reflective Structured Dialogue. You'll learn EP's tools to hold space for tough conversations in daily life, in your community, at your workplace, or during formal dialogue sessions.

The Essential Partners framework promotes connection and curiosity between those who see each other as enemies. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of the EP’s framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop is designed to help participants develop a powerful set of tools to achieve those goals and adapt them to meet the needs of their contexts.


  • To learn the theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework;
  • To design and structure conversations to meet a group’s purposes and needs; 
  • To build competence and confidence in facilitating through challenging moments; 
  • To prepare participants and one’s self to deal with challenges in the room.

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

  • Create a context for people to communicate about difficult or divisive topics;
  • Break destructive communication habits;
  • Design conversations, dialogues, or meetings with clear purpose, full participation, and a structure for moving forward;
  • Intervene to facilitate through rough spots in the conversation.

Who might participate:

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

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.


September 11-12, 2024
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Online Via Zoom
Cambridge, MA 02482
United States


Regular Fee
Early Bird Special
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Daniel Pritchard