Basic Facilitation Skills: Designing and Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference

This two-day workshop will help participants build the skills they need to facilitate tough conversations in daily life, in their community, in an organization, or in formal dialogues.

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:

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


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

Workshop policies


Upcoming Workshops

October 3, 2019 to October 4, 2019
186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 212, Cambridge, MA 02138
Regular fee
Early Bird Special:
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…one of the very best workshops I’ve attended. The facilitators established a learning atmosphere that was friendly and highly rigorous and professional.