Engaging Constructively in Challenging Conversations

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What is Engaging Constructively in Challenging Conversations (ECCC)?

"Engaging Constructively in Challenging Conversations” (ECCC) is an online, facilitated course designed to give you the insights, skills and confidence to have constructive conversations in the midst of differences and conflicts.

Who is ECCC for?

This course is for you if you have found yourself in a conversation where something was said that made you uncomfortable or that you disagreed with, and you:

  • stayed quiet and wish you hadn't
  • became defensive and reacted in ways you wish you hadn’t
  • moved away from someone with views or behaviours that you don’t like or don’t agree with
  • wished you had an alternate way to engage and express what’s important to you
  • would like to become more effective at handling conflict

Why take the ECCC course?

In times of division and polarisation, the ability to remain calm and have constructive conversations is invaluable. Whether in your family, workplace, community or beyond, there is a need for honest conversations that build understanding and create connection rather than separation.

When we are in conflict with someone, our quick judgements and opinions can cause separation. In these moments when we feel attacked, hurt, challenged or in disbelief it is difficult to stay open and be curious. What we do can change the direction of these conversations. These same conflicts can bring us closer and help us develop understanding of one another.  

ECCC is an experiential and practical skills course. It combines looking inward to develop self-awareness (‘peace begins with me') and practical skills for building trust across divides.

What does the ECCC course entail?

We will invite participants to be self-reflective and curious about their own reactions, stories, values, judgements and experiences and to practise skills for effectively navigating differences and challenging conversations.

We will explore such questions as: How do we hear each other and be together when there is difference? How do we find a way to be with ‘difference’ and work with it? What might be preventing us from being curious about the other? What are we attached to or afraid of? How do we effectively share what’s important to us?

How long does the ECCC course take?

The program consists of five 2-hour online sessions over 5 weeks and is in English. Participants will have access to extensive written materials including the book “Everyone Can Win – Responding to Conflict Constructively” by Helena Cornelius and Shoshana Faire.

The ECCC workshop gave me new tools and the confidence to start the process of planting seeds to face my fears and participate in difficult conversations, I would really recommend it!

-  Participant