Facilitation: The Arts of Dialogue for Individuals

All leaders should have the capacity to facilitate meaningful, productive, and inclusive conversations. Regardless of the subject matter, a meaningful discussion is one in which everyone feels supported, involved, and able to bring their full selves. For 70 years the Aspen Institute has specialized in creating spaces for facilitated dialogues that enable the exchange of ideas, thoughtful listening, and creative sparks. This seminar captures what is unique about the Aspen Method of text-based dialogue and applies it to workplace and personal environments. An essential seminar for those who want to increase their ability to lead dialogues, participants will leave the seminar better equipped to create spaces for honesty, discovery, and common ground.

Key Questions Explored

What is dialogue and how/when can it be employed to improve the workplace? What are the key approaches to hold a meaningful conversation in which all participate equally? What are the central components necessary to create spaces for honesty, discovery, conflict, and common ground in a discussion? How do you moderate yourself in conversation to encourage the voices of others? What are the strategies to hold spaces that encourage difficult conversations? How can you use conflict as moments for exploration and shared understanding? How can you cultivate the mindset and skills that will allow you to navigate any conversation, anywhere, with anyone?

Participants Leave the Seminar With
  • greater facility in listening, asking questions, and guiding more meaningful and inclusive conversations
  • increased confidence, humility, and comfort with the strengths which emerge from vulnerability—especially when participants are in conflict
  • a more sophisticated understanding of how to create spaces for meaningful dialogue, including in a digital environment
  • strategies and skills for bringing out quiet voices, tempering talkative voices, managing the flow of conversation while keeping the conversation focused
  • enhanced facility in exploring agreement and disagreement while building common ground and consensus
  • increased ability to tailor their facilitation skills to different types of conversations, mediums, and outcomes
Seminar Recommended For
  • individuals looking to enhance their ability to lead meetings in a personal or professional environment: team leads, facilitators, community organizers, etc.
  • those looking to better navigate difficult conversations with colleagues, family, friends, neighbors, and strangers
  • Aspen Leadership Seminar alumni who want to bring a touch of the Aspen Method to their teams and organizations

Seminar Format: This seminar will be offered virtually over Zoom. It consists of four (4) 3-hour sessions offered either consecutively in a single week or across multiple weeks.

Seminar Curriculum: Short texts may be drawn from such authors as Idries Shah, James Baldwin, and Chuang Tzu


Session 1: The Challenge of Dialogue
Session 2: The Elements of Dialogue
Session 3: Strategies and Skills
Session 4: The Arts of Dialogue

The fee for this Seminar offering is: $3,900

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More Questions?

Reach out to Kalissa Hendrickson with questions or for additional information.