Difficult Conversations

We support efforts to strengthen resources, invigorate resiliency, build sustainability, and enhance creativity. We offer this support to individuals, teams, organizations and communities of many sizes.

We are involved with those involved in social change on small and larger scales. Some are simply trying to employ more collaborative leadership styles to distribute power and responsibility in organizations. Others are deeply involved in social change activities. The interventions we create together take a stand for more complexity and interdependence.

We find that many groups and organizations get stuck when stakeholders with different interests end up competing for resources. Others get stuck when they find that the values animating their focus are more challenging to implement than they expected.

Think about some Difficult Dialogues you have been in or attempted to initiate over the past couple years.
Think about who was in that conversation with you. Family? Friends? Colleagues? Neighbors?

  • What were the barriers to having the conversation?
  • What made the conversation impossible?
  • What supported the conversation?
  • What were the assumptions?
  • What was at stake in the conversation?

We are skilled in helping you address the challenges associated with Difficult Dialogues. This starts by meeting with you to better understand the challenges you are facing and help you get to know us and what we have to offer. If, after that, we decide to work together. We will work with you on developing a plan and implementing it.

We facilitate dialogue & learning focused on:

  • What makes a conversation across barriers possible?
  • How do we prepare for such a conversation?
  • What’s at stake for all involved in such a conversation?
  • How do we listen with curiosity to things that are difficult to hear?

Maggie Shelton, LCSW and Dan Fink, MA

Maggie Shelton has led trainings in Family Therapy, Dialogue, and Leadership throughout Los Angeles and around the world. She is on the Leadership Team at The Relational Center and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC.

Dan Fink has a background in information technology management, cognitive psychology research, and community psychology program design and evaluation. He combines these skills as the Deputy Director of The Relational Center.