Fostering Dialogue Across Divides

A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Our Methods


Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide is Essential Partners' definitive guide to dialogue. In a format designed for beginner- and intermediate-level facilitators, the Guide shares some of what our veteran practitioners and their colleagues have learned over the past 27 years practicing our distinctive approach to conversation, Reflective Structured Dialogue (RSD). The text offers general advice as well as specific nuts-and-bolts tips for those working to convene, plan, and facilitate constructive conversations on deeply divisive issues. 

The Guide was compiled by our late founder, Laura R. Chasin, and her colleague and co-founder, Maggie Herzig. It comprises 6 main chapters and 4 appendices for a total of 172 pages. Special thanks go to the JAMS Foundation, whose support made it possible to publish and share this resource! 

Praise for Fostering Dialogue Across Divides:

This guide is a gold mine. It's a gift to the field and a testament to the good works and positive social impacts of [Essential Partners]. My colleagues and I will depend on this guide and recommend it as a basic resource for years to come. -- Peter Coleman, Director of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution Teachers College at Columbia University.

This is a great resource that provides clear, easy-to-use guidance about all the aspects of helping people truly engage with one another. Whether you are using dialogue to make a difference in your organization or community, use this book! -- Martha McCoy, Executive Director of the Study Circles Resource Center

For years, [Essential Partners] has set the standard for facilitation materials and training in our field. This Guide, which is chock-full of road-tested techniques, is an invaluable resource for both established dialogue facilitators and newcomers to our work. -- Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) 

Want to share a success story or learning experience from using the Guide? We welcome your feedback and impact stories at 


Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide

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About This Item

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide

The definitive guide from Essential Partners on every step of the process facilitating difficult dialogues across divides. 6 chapters plus appendices (172 pages) detailing everything from framing to planning to facilitating conversations, filled with 27 years of learning from our veteran facilitators. 

Authored by our late founder, Laura R. Chasin, and her colleague. co-founder, and friend, Maggie Herzig. With thanks to the JAMS Foundation for supporting the publication and dissemination of this work.

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