The Civil Conversations Project seeks to renew common life in a fractured and tender world. We are a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference. We honor the power of asking better questions, model reframed approaches to entrenched debates, and insist that the ruptures above the radar do not tell the whole story of our time. We aspire to amplify and cross-pollinate the generative new realities that are also being woven, one word and one life at a time.
Dialogue slows down the speed at which most groups converse by employing deeper levels of listening and reflection. Another important aspect of dialogue is its open-endedness, which requires participants to let go of the need for specific results. This does not mean there are no results from dialogue; quite the opposite tends to be true. However, in releasing the need for certain predetermined outcomes, important issues can be allowed to surface that often go undiscovered in agenda-based meetings. The result is often a deeper level of understanding and new insight.
Check-in and check-out processes are not just frivolous time wasters in our meetings. If they feel that way, something is probably missing. Wicked questions help shape powerful processes. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of them being powerful.
Here is a collection of resources I use in my facilitation practice. By and large these resources support facilitation of participatory and self-organizing process at scales ranging from very small groups to large conferences. I use some of these tools directly and others as inspirations to design and create my own processes.
Brave Space & The Power of Welcome in an Age of Loneliness
Brave space recognizes that there is no such thing as safe spaces in our communities. We all have the potential to hurt others and be hurt ourselves. If we are to move forward toward a more loving vision of what we can be, we must do it together. It will require vulnerability and courage. Perhaps, most poignantly, it will require the risk of saying yes to the unfamiliar for a chance at the transformational.
Speaking and Listening Techniques: The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies
15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging. If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, this is your lucky day.
Print-outs, worksheets, lesson plans, chapters of books, and other downloadable resources. These are one-off items that are designed to help you while prepping for a facilitation, to be used in the room during a training, or after when you’re collecting feedback or reflecting. All downloads are yours free, to use, improve, or modify however you’d like.