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October Dialogue Training: “A life-changing experience"

"Life-changing": This is how one participant in our Hands Across the Hills Dialogue Across Divides training in October 2021 expressed what the workshop meant to her. She was one of twenty-four individuals gathered in Leverett MA for three intense days featuring an array of dialogue techniques for listening and speaking across divides, as well as principles of organizing that help to find commonalities across varied groups and to guide dialogue projects.

Most of each day’s activities were highly interactive; in addition everyone worked on their own dialogue projects.

Another trainee commented: “The initial group process was beautiful and set the tone of the weekend for me. Your modeling how to offer a training in ‘brave space’ that is textured, fun, open, focused, disciplined, offering new skills and tools and respectfully valuing the voice and dignity of every person in the building of community, providing fertile ground for growing and learning.”

“So much I liked,” said another, “the variety of techniques offered, the presentation; wonderfully creative theater exercises; the organic building of community among participants from beginning to end; the story-telling fishbowl; the structure of the training, keeping to time. Also: the participants, varied and all interesting, the one-to-one technique allowed depth and geared us towards action; the up-beat and great info from the trainers. I could go on and on. Really a phenomenal training. Best I've ever attended.”

Learning so much about each other and their projects, the October participants bonded and have had two Zoom meetings since October. They stay in touch about each others’ projects via Google docs, they have formed a book group, and a quarterly e-newsletter is in the works.

More testimonials from October:

  • “Everything was planned and executed expertly.”

  • “Hearing the stories of the trainers and other participants was unforgettable.”

  • “The last dinner with story-telling by Hands Across the Hills members will no doubt stay with me for a very long time. I am still gleaning lessons from it.”

  • “An amazing part of the training was the opportunity I had to talk with other participants. All of them came from incredibly interesting backgrounds. I found each of their stories beautiful and valuable.”



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