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Fri 29

April 29 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm EDT

Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences

This workshop uses real-world case studies to introduce participants to the theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework.

For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of 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 provides a set of simple tools to achieve those goals.


To learn the basic theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework;
To explore how conveners and facilitators might use EP’s framework to design conversation in their communities through case studies and practice;
To sketch out how EP’s framework might look in participants’ communities;
To get a taste of what it’s like to participate in a dialogue.
As a result of this workshop, you will be equipped to:

Envision what a better conversation about tough issues might look like in your community or organization;
Begin to break destructive communication habits in your community, campus, congregation, or organization;
Encourage conversations that allow people to participate fully, listen actively, and empathize across differences;
Make the case for bringing EP’s framework to your community or organization.
Who might participate:

Civic leaders and advocates
Educators and administrators
Corporate and nonprofit managers
Human resources and organizational development professionals
Clergy and lay religious leaders
Therapists or social workers
Alternative dispute resolution professionals
Looking for hands-on facilitation skills and tools? Consider registering for Basic EP Training for Facilitators or for Facilitation Training for Community and Faith Leaders.

Already an experienced facilitator who’s familiar with EP’s approach? Take a look at our Advanced Facilitation Skills workshop.

Find both Intro to Dialogue Across Differences and Advanced Facilitation Skills on the EP workshop calendar.

Accreditation and Continuing Education
Essential Partners provides a certificate upon completion of the workshop that can be used to support a request for professional development credits.

Essential Partners provides a limited number of partial or full scholarships for each workshop it hosts. A member of the staff will inform applicants of their decisions six weeks prior to the workshop date; applicants will confirm their acceptance by registering online. Scholarships are granted based on two criteria: financial need; and potential for impact on a community level.

Fill out this form to apply for a scholarship.

Cancellation Policies
If you must cancel, please do so as far in advance as possible. Cancellations are subject to a $25 administration fee plus an additional $25 to process credit card refunds (if you paid by credit card). To receive any refund your cancellation must be made at least 2 weeks before the course date. Essential Partners is under no obligation to offer any refund or credit if you cancel within two weeks of a workshop. If you need to cancel due to a medical emergency, your local weather conditions, or any other reason please call Sara Ostrovitz at (617) 923-1216 ext. 10.

In some instances, Essential Partners must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, faculty illness, or weather. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, we will give you at least 2 weeks notice. If we cancel due to faculty illness or severe weather, we will contact you as far in advance as possible. If there is a severe storm warning in the area of the workshop venue, we will cancel by 4:00 pm the day before.

If the workshop is canceled, Essential Partners will issue you a full refund of the registration fee, with no additional administration fees. Essential Partners cannot be responsible for travel losses.

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

November 18, 2021
January 28, 2022
April 29, 2022
October 28, 2022
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time
Online via Zoom
n/a, MA 02138
United States

Regular Fee $395
Early Bird Special $350
Register with a Friend $250