Center for Global Affairs

Working with Groups: Skills for Practioners

¿Groups¿ are fundamental building blocks for society, commerce, collective action and international engagement. Recent anthropological, archaeological and neuroscience research has affirmed the complex and important relationships between human evolution and cooperative social groups. Groups are powerful. And yet, groups are often battlefields in which competition and destructive conflicts take over and undermine value, relationships and goal achievement. Differences within groups can drive positive change and growth, or it can create polarization, intractability and harm. This course provides an overview of a range of competencies and tools for practitioners interested in helping groups navigate these dilemmas, in order to maximize learning, synergy, value and growth, and minimize destructive conflict. Skilled, reflective professionals are in increasing demand to help groups communicate, engage in dialogue, generate sustainable agreements to increase understanding and catalyze positive outcomes. International organizations, businesses, governments and civil society all need practitioners who can facilitate new forms of dialogue, and design and lead group interventions and learning environments. This course nurtures the creativity of students who want to get involved in such work. The course, grounded in a reflective-practice approach, gives concrete tools and frameworks, from the perspective of seasoned, reflective practitioners.
Course Number
Associated Degrees