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Basic Facilitation Skills

As you’re weaving, it will be helpful to have some basic facilitation skills to host the important, but sometimes difficult, conversations about what your community most needs. This module will help you consider the goal for your conversation, who to invite, how to invite them, how to set ground rules, and how to pick questions to ask that allow the conversation to be a place where real trust is built.



Read the following invitation language, and then answer the questions below:

Hi Dr. Jones

I hope this email finds you well! I have been so disheartened by the feeling that political polarization is growing in our community, and I want to have a conversation with neighbors across political lines as a counternarrative to that. I think it is important for us to be intentional about spaces to practice this kind of dialogue. I’d love for you to join us!

I’m going to have a group of about 10 people over to my house next Friday night at 7:00 for a meal. I’m inviting a group of trusted friends who I know have the ability to engage with thoughtfulness and care. This will be a chance for us to break bread with new people and share stories about the people and moments that make us who we are. We will walk through a short series of questions designed to crack the conversation open.

As I was imagining this dinner, you came to mind. I have so appreciated your class and the insight and perspective you bring- and think your attentiveness to history and culture would be so valuable in the conversation.

You can RSVP directly by emailing me back. Please let me know by next Tuesday if you plan to attend! If you don’t have the capacity to show up for a conversation like this right now, I completely understand. If all goes well, I hope to host more of these- and will keep you in the loop!

Looking forward to talking with you soon!


K Scarry

After you’ve read the above, consider:

Test your knowledge

Which of the following is not advised when preparing for difficult conversations?