Reflective Structured DialogueLeaders must know how to organize and support an environment for the expression of different values and world views.

Reflective Structured Dialogue (RSD) builds the capacity of communities and organizations to engage, live and thrive with their differences. By enabling people to have new conversations about the issues that matter deeply to them and remain in relationship, the approach creates a foundation for trust, resiliency and collaborative action.

The Fanning Institute offers a 14-hour Reflective Structured Dialogue training course for individuals desiring to convene and facilitate difficult conversations in their communities and organizations.

Course Content

  • Reflect on why communities must develop the capacity to have difficult conversations on polarizing issues
  • Learn the basic theory and practice of reflective, structured dialogue (RSD)
  • Experience RSD process
  • Learn how RSD leads to the creation of an environment where participants can have difficult conversations
  • Enhance understanding of conflict, polarization and change
  • Explore how you might use RSD or aspects of RSD in communities.

Building on what is covered in our initial 14-hour Reflective Structured Dialogue (RSD) training course, the Fanning Institute also offers an advanced course for individuals who want to advance their knowledge and skills in the practice of RSD.

Advanced Course Content

  • Designing and convening RSD events in the community (More of the RSD process, Asking the right questions)
  • Facilitation challenges – RSD facilitators intentionally invite people with different worldviews and values into a space to talk. Therefore, we have an obligation to know how to deal with differences and disruptions.
  • Program evaluation – Funders and other organizations want to know how their money is being spent and the impact of any initiative. We will talk about how conveners of RSD can include a plan for program evaluation in the implementation plan.
  • RSD in the classroom


“Behind ever belief is a story. Behind every story a person.”

For more information on the course or how RSD can assist your community, contact senior public service faculty, Raye Rawls, J.D.