Facilitation for Community Engagement

Summary:

An engaged and impassioned community strengthens our democracy, but leading effective community engagement meetings has become increasingly difficult, and when derailed, can lead to chaos. Our highly polarized politics contributes to a “win-lose” mentality, limited resources heighten the stakes, and a frayed trust makes tackling public issues fraught. Designing and facilitating effective community meetings requires coolness, clarity, courage and skill, as well as a clear and effective meeting structure. This workshop applies Essential Partners’ time-tested dialogue work to community engagement settings, helping participants hold constructive public conversations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Achieve clarity of purposes and expectations for a meeting.
  • Understand and practice preparation and design for more impactful meetings.
  • Learn processes for establishing constructive group norms.
  • Understand how to construct “safe-enough” space for open-hearted engagement across the aisle and beyond.
  • Develop confidence in your ability to facilitate through challenging moments.

Results:

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

  • Design an environment for the productive discussion of divisive community problems.
  • Anticipate and plan for possible problems in order to avoid disruption during the meeting.
  • Facilitate through challenging moments with more confidence Diffuse “us” vs. “them” dynamics by establishing a baseline of mutual understanding.

Who might participate:

  • Non-profit or institutional leaders seeking to establish constructive working relationships with between their organizations and surrounding community.
  • City officials or legislative aides looking for more effective ways to plan and facilitate community meetings for sharing information and getting the public’s input.
  • Facilitators wanting to refine their skillsets in order to meet the heightened emotions, and ideological differences that can emerge when the public is engaged.
  • Advocates planning a community dialogue on a public issue.

Upcoming Workshops

April 27, 2017
Cambridge, MA
Regular fee
$195
Early Bird Special:
$175
Register with a Friend:
$150
NCDD & NAFCM Member Rate:

Elements

Preparation and Purpose, Meeting Design, Role Play/Simulation, Small Group Exercises

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