Facilitated Conversations

What are Facilitated Conversations?

Facilitated conversations provide a structured method for groups and individuals to address potential problems or resolve current issues/conflicts that impact an organization or group of individuals. This process can be appropriate for, but not limited to, boards, HOAs, business groups, faith communities, work groups, families, etc. The purpose is to bring impacted parties together to proactively address current issues and develop methods and strategies to handle future issues. The conversations are conducted by trained facilitators who guide the process and have no input or decision-making authority regarding process outcomes. 

Some similarities exist between Facilitated Conversations and Restorative Community Mediation. Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership staff will determine which process is appropriate given the needs of the participants. Facilitated Conversations are generally intended to address issues that are less in depth and may involve more parties than a Restorative Community Mediation process. The processes also differ in that written agreements are not utilized in Facilitated Conversations. Instead, Facilitated Conversations typically form action plans that include specific tasks for involved parties to complete and report out on at a second meeting. At times, action plans are not needed as some groups may only require a third party to assist in providing a communication process. Facilitated Conversations are not strategic planning sessions, as they are designed to address existing issues and conflicts.

Benefits to Participants

  • Facilitated Conversations (FCs) are less expensive than most other forms of dispute resolution. 
  • FCs enable a group/entity to resolve conflicts and issues in a collaborative manner, thus assisting the group/entity in developing a more collaborative culture. 
  • FCs allow the group/entity to become more effective at handling or avoiding future conflicts or issues.
  • FCs can assist groups/entities in future communication through development of communication processes and protocols. 

Benefits to the Community

  • Community groups, entities and organizations have less conflict and disagreements.
  • The community has much more effective organizations that further community goals and community harmony.
  • Conflict within and between organizations in the community are reduced. 
  • Individual participants learn effective conflict resolution skills by participating in the process. 
  • FC is free to organizations and persons in the Estes Valley.

Situations Appropriate for Facilitated Conversations

  • Board disputes or dysfunction
  • Organizational conflicts
  • Neighborhood conflicts or disputes
  • Workplace dysfunction or conflict

Situations Not Appropriate for Facilitated Conversations

  • Strategic planning
  • Individual disputes
  • Situations where all essential parties are not willing to participate

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Interested in Facilitated Conversations as an option for you? Contact EVRJP to learn more about Facilitated Conversations.