Workshop on Navigating Difficult Conversations

In order to promote social harmony and inter-religious understanding, Interfaith Philadelphia equips individuals and communities for interfaith engagement, builds collaborative relationships, and stands in solidarity with our diverse neighbors.

In this training, participants will hone their skills for engaging in — and facilitating—interactions and discussions intended to deepen our understanding of one another, especially ‘when things get tough.’ Participants will practice listening deeply and staying present through difficult conversations.

To better understand one another, we must first deepen an understanding of ourselves – our own beliefs, worldviews, values, opinions and attitudes.  The more we are self-aware – claiming both our strengths and limitations – and recognizing our opinions, triggers, and blind spots, the stronger our ability to enter into conversation with integrity and objectivity.  It requires genuine curiosity and a degree of humility to enter the world of others – whether as a partner in conversation or as a facilitator for others’ encounters around differences.

We long for relationships where we are understood – for who we are, what we value, and what we’ve experienced.  We also long for settings and opportunities to better understand others, particularly those whose life experiences and identities are different from our own. 

Interfaith Philadelphia’s experiences and history in interfaith engagement offer guidance, practices, and wisdom which can be applied to a wide range of dialogue-based encounters.  We have the potential to correct misunderstandings and heal divisions and conflicts that characterize far too many of our interactions and relationships and damage our shared democracy.