Student-Led Group Facilitation
The GMU Dialogue & Difference Project team is offering student-led group facilitation to all interested campus affiliated clubs, organizations, and departments. The Dialogue & Difference team is composed of four interns, all trained in group facilitation and conflict de-escalation, under the direction of Dr. Patricia Maulden of The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The focus of the Project is to encourage and facilitate meaningful discussions amongst members of the Mason community with the general goals of (1) reducing tensions, controversies, and conflict and (2) leading to better understanding between individuals and groups.
The Project team works to accomplish these goals by (1) helping Mason community members develop recognition of and appreciation for the many different views and opinions that exist within the community, (2) engaging existing conflict and possibly preventing further conflicts from developing, and (3) working to simultaneously create a more inclusive community of fellow Patriots.
The group employs techniques such as radical listening, paraphrasing and summarizing, situation reframing, and question asking to encourage inquiry and acceptance among participants. The group holds monthly events that are highly engaging, interactive, and often insightful. Most recently, the team held a four part series Can We Still Be Friends? on how to preserve relationships when differing opinions (particularly those relating to politics) threaten to destroy them. We are planning to continue this series in the near future. In the meantime, the Dialogue & Difference Project team offers their facilitation services to any campus-affiliated group looking to relieve sources of interpersonal tensions and conflict in a peaceful manner. If interested in utilizing our free services, please contact Dr. Patricia Maulden at firstname.lastname@example.org.