Creating collaborative, respectful spaces for people to work, learn, connect, and engage in meaningful conversations
Listening sessions ~ Facilitated listening sessions to support members of traditionally underrespresented groups in educational institutions, corporations, non-profits, and other organizations, including employees and students of color. These sessions are designed to create a safe space for persons of minority communities to share experiences of isolation, micro-aggression and bias, as well as to brainstorm requests of their respective organizations for support, recruitment/retention plans, training, programming, financial pledges and other commitments in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity, race relations, anti-racism, and racial and social justice. These sessions create a forum for support, empowerment, and solidarity for constituents of color, while also creating a mechanism for upward feedback to organizational leadership. Listening sessions can also be a foundational step as part of a larger process that includes facilitated dialogues with more diverse, multi-racial groups, which can result in broader understanding across the organization about the impact of racism and bias, and meaningful actions towards a more inclusive environment.
Training workshops ~ Conflict Competence, Psychological Safety, True Colors Personality Styles, Non-Violent Communication -NVC, Social and Emotional Intelligence, Civility and Respect at Work, Building a Respectful Workplace
Team retreats and dialogue sessions ~ Tailored for groups interested in working and communicating better together, these half day, full day, or multi-day interactive sessions include both training and opportunities for dialogue on issues most relevant for each group. Full day sessions include pre-facilitation appreciative inquiry surveys to determine what team members believe is working well, what issues should be improved, and the urgent issues and priorities to be addressed. Teams conclude the day brainstorming strategies and solutions for issues raised as priorities, so there work towards commitment for meaningful and sustained changes.
Group facilitation ~ For small, medium sized, or large groups that need a neutral facilitator to help create a space for discussion, brainstorming ideas, resolving conflict, developing core values, strategic plans, or navigating organizational change. This service includes assisting clients design processes that ensure there are diverse voices considered, multiple methods to participate in the discussion, planning and messaging related to the facilitation process, establishment of ground rules to create a safe space, and assistance with the development of follow up plans.
Conversations For Change: How Do We Get There? Race, Racism, Bias and Privilege Conversational Competency Training Series
This 4-module series is for groups seeking training and a forum to discuss issues related to identity, differences, unconscious bias, privilege, microaggressions, discrimination and systemic racism. These 2.5 to 3-hour modules, which can be done as stand-alone sessions or as an entire series, are dialogue based, and include role play and interactive learning and listening exercises. The content includes issues and situations that can be challenging and difficult to discuss in multi-racial groups, but there is an emphasis on the creation of a safe, nonjudgmental space so that all believe they can engage in a respectful dialogue. At the outset, it is acknowledged participants have diverse life experiences, and may be starting from varying levels of foundational knowledge. Although discussions may feel uncomfortable, the space will remain safe to ask questions, be vulnerable, make mistakes, express intense emotions, share honestly across differences. Sessions include introduction to the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) model, discussion of social and emotional intelligence, and building skills in how to frame difficult issues such that respectful and engaged listening and empathy for others is demonstrated. It is hoped that this will result in a space to confront uncomfortable truths together, new perspectives, meaningful connections with others, increased levels of self-awareness, and a renewed commitment to reaching across differences to collaborate towards equality, racial and social justice in our organizations, and a larger society where the dignity of all is affirmed and honored. (This training collaboration is co-facilitated with L. Trey Wilson by the Safe Space Resolutions Group.)
Conflict Resolution Consulting/Ombuds Services ~ For clients seeking guidance on designing resolution processes in their organizations generally, or related to analyzing the roots of conflict in a particular department, unit or team. Services include consultations with leadership, confidential listening sessions with employees or students to understand various perspectives, and recommendations on policy/procedure mechanisms, organizational programming, training, or facilitated processes.
Mediation ~ Confidential, impartial mediation services to help parties reach mutually beneficial agreements and resolution plans that consider the interests of all participants.
©2020 Donna Douglass Williams