Supporting Productive Conversations – METRO event, 11/16/17

Supporting Productive Conversations

Want to host a conversation in your library but aren’t sure how to get started? Want to invite speakers in to share diverse or opposing viewpoints? How do you create space for a productive discussion? This training will help you build your skills for facilitating roundtable meetings, workshops and other public discourse in your library.

In this workshop, we’ll first focus on clarifying the role of the facilitator with a focus on identifying opportunities to guide the conversation. Then we’ll focus on the role of the facilitator in group settings and how to use specific tools/techniques to lead productive conversations; tackle common facilitation challenges, and manage group dynamics. Throughout the workshop, we will uses a participatory model to demonstrate tips and tricks for planning an engagement experience.

At the end of the workshop, participants will have the strategies and techniques to:

  • for being a strong facilitator and leader including how to set ground rules.
  • determine how to encourage participation and keep the conversation flowing
  • navigate the challenges of neutrality and managing difficult participants
  • anticipate and navigate tricky group dynamics before and during session


This class is a series of professional development trainings to empower METRO members to better engage with their patrons, facilitate community conversations around timely or controversial topics, and make more space in libraries for the productive exchange and evaluation of differing ideas and information. Each class stands alone but will work as a series as they build upon each other.

November 16th: Participatory Decision Making

Libraries large and small need to garner input from donors, patrons, and other community stakeholders when making important decisions. This training will help you build a toolkit of techniques and approaches for facilitating productive brainstorms, planning, and decision-making meetings.


About our instructor

Kristina Drury is a social entrepreneur, designer, and educator. Her mission-driven firm, TYTHEdesign, uses the lens of design and strategy to support social good organizations develop creative solutions, build their capacity and enhance their impact. Under her leadership TYTHE has increased the community impact of over 100 local and global social good organizations including the NYC Dept. of Education, Brooklyn Public Library, The Earth Institute and California State Library System.

Most recently, she has been recognized as an Innovation Expert for UNDP and selected to present at Clinton Global Initiative University’s annual conference. As an educator, she has taught classes, workshops and training to build the capacity of over 2000 change-makers, civic servants, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Her teaching and speaking experience includes engagements at the Cooper Hewitt, Harvard and Columbia.

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