Photo: Workplace dialogue

Workplace & Organizations

Dialogue gets more results. It makes decision-making easier. It makes creating participation easier … our greatest organizational impact has been more contributions as well as more effective and efficient meetings.

Beth Mendoza, Moraine Park Technical College


Workplaces assemble diverse groups of people in situations where consequential decision need to be made efficiently, leaders require trust to succeed, and teams have to work collaboratively to produce the best results. How we communicate often has as much impact as what we communicate. Processes matter, and so does institutional culture.

Essential Partners' approach helps foster a more inclusive environment where coworkers can engage differences without dysfunction. Our model generates more cohesive teams, helps employees navigate polarizing differences, improves communication, and makes decision-making processes more effective.

Refined over thirty years, EP's approach produces measurable outcomes, including:

  • Improved team cohesion
  • Greater trust across differences
  • Mutual understanding of opposing views
  • More effective, lasting collective actions

Ready to build a healthier institutional culture? Contact us for a free consultation.

  • Essential Partners does the best work in the field of dialogue and communication.

    Bob Bordone, Expert and Author
    Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, Co-Founder
  • There was a remarkable change in the way we were able to communicate with one another following the facilitated conversations.

    Bill Scott, Project Director
    Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
  • I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment when the Essential Partners training ended; that I'd done something important for my community and something important for me.

    Program Participant
  • When there's an element of conflict, oftentimes we gravitate toward debate as a way of contending toward some decision or outcome. Dialogue is a much different proposition. The emphasis of dialogue is in understanding the other person's perspective, making sure they have the opportunity to feel heard.

    Luke Zubrod, Director of Strategic Initiatives
    Chatham Financial, Pennsylvania
  • I now lead teams with a different language, using different processes, and with a different awareness of team dynamics. [I’ve seen] relationships grow and deepen, unity and commitment remain high, and mutual respect established and fostered.

    Lauren Cobb, Task Force Member
    Glendale Presbyterian Church, California
  • Before, I thought all dialogue that does not culminate in solution was considered equivalent to failure. Now I see that dialogue is a stage complete in itself.

    Program Participant
  • One of the things that’s so crucial to even fostering dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion is creating opportunities for folks to engage in deep reflective self-awareness.

    Patrick Hale, director of Multicultural and Identity Programs
    Babson College, MA
  • I’ve gained not only confidence but tools. The Essential Partners training was worth every penny.

    Kim Davidson, Ombuds
    Oberlin College, Ohio
  • This is the best adult learning experience I have had in the past five years. I wanted to learn new skills—I did!

    Program Participant
  • We talked about where we are in the world right now, so we talked quite a bit about polarization. Essential Partners showed how these conversations are becoming more taxing and challenging because of that polarization. These were some first steps in terms of how we can start to have those conversations.

    Anjali Bal, Associate Professor of Marketing
    Babson College, MA
  • I ran for my local school board in 2018 and was elected. I use the skills in our meetings, whether I’m chairing the meeting or not. This makes the meetings much more productive. We don’t go over the same topics over and over again.

    Misty Stoll, School Board Trustee
  • What is special about Essential Partners' approach is that it promotes authenticity, reduces defensiveness, increases curiosity, and boosts connectedness.

    Belle Abaya
    The Conflict Resolution Group Foundation, Philippines
  • I learned that I can build relationships, that I can be connected to anybody who I want to be connected to, no matter how difficult it is

    Romeo McCauley, Project Partner
  • I am now open to new views and can moderate my impulse to debate or persuade others of different views

    Program Participant
  • We owe a debt of gratitude to Laura Chasin and her collaborators at Essential Partners… From them, we have learned about the transformative power of telling one’s story and speaking to the heart of the matter.

    Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen, and Bruce Patton
    Difficult Conversations
  • Dialogue gets more results. It makes decision-making easier. It makes creating participation easier … our greatest organizational impact has been more contributions as well as more effective and efficient meetings.

    Beth Mendoza
    Moraine Park Technical College, Wisconsin
  • I did not anticipate having as many concrete takeaways as I do. I feel there is an immense practical application.

    Program Participant
  • What surprised me was how much you could transform a relationship during a three-hour conversation.

    Nicki Glasser, Policy Coordinator
    Transformation Center, Massachusetts
  • The highlight for me was the interconnectedness of the participants’ views, mutual respect, and range of experiences within the group

    Program Participant

Recent Partners

The Association of Junior Leagues International
Living Room Conversations
Logo: WNC Health Network
Logo: Tech networks of Boston
Logo: Chatham Financial