Advanced Facilitation Skills: How to Keep Your Cool When Things Get Hot

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


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

Workshop policies


1 Day Add-On: Navigating Intercultural Contexts

Culture and communication are deeply intertwined. Our backgrounds inform our behavior under stress, how we express strong emotions, and how we employ ideals like “respect” and “trust.”

Understanding the “right” way to behave derives from our backgrounds and cultures. Often, we only recognize our particular tendencies in those difficult situations where our norm is not everyone else’s norm.

This workshop will ground participants in the Intercultural Development Continuum, a tool to help understand how individuals and groups can move toward greater intercultural fluency.

Honing personal and collective practices for cultural self-awareness can help align our intent with our impact, especially in the midst of conflict.


  • To gain an understanding of the Intercultural Development Continuum;
  • To practice active awareness of their cultural triangulation as facilitators;
  • To explore applications of a developmental understanding to intervene in groups where cultural differences are informing a conflict.

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

  • Navigate intercultural contexts with greater self-awareness and dexterity;
  • Employ the basic principles of the Intercultural Development Continuum;
  • Integrate an intercultural mindset into dialogue design.

Who might participate:

  • Trained facilitators and mediators
  • Civic leaders and advocates
  • Nonprofit managers
  • Clergy and lay religious leaders
  • Community engagement professionals
  • Business and Human Resources managers


Upcoming Workshops

April 4, 2019 to April 5, 2019
186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 212, Cambridge, MA 02138
Regular fee
Early Bird Special:
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Facilitation Practice, Role Play, Preparation and Purpose


Improving facilitation is not about obtaining the perfect facilitation tool, but rather building strong principle and self-awareness.

Elizabeth Ochs, Newspaper Coordinating Editor, RI Coalition for the Homeless