Most of us approach difficult conversations with the implicit intention to either "win" or to defend something; facilitators encourage us to seek mutual understanding instead. This allows others to become subjects where they were once seen as objects; and it allows conversations that never seemed possible to actually happen. Dialogue facilitators manage information, communication and interaction patterns between people in small groups so that they can explicitly and meaningfully “think together” on the basis of their different social positions.
What we see in nearly every World in Conversation dialogue is that the presence of facilitators catalyzes greater honesty and authentic engagement between people in several ways:
1) by removing ordinary impediments to communication and relationship-building, and
2) by redirecting unproductive habits of interaction and rhetoric.
This is what makes facilitators essential to meaningful dialogue.
TWELVE HOURS is the average weekly commitment each student facilitator invests at the Center.
(compared to 18 hours for those pursuing a master's degree in similar fields)