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 Including: language use, encouraging discussion and inviting quieter folks to talk, adhering to ground rules, and ways to navigating conflict

Girl with Flower

1. Set some guideline rules out for yourself and your team. Think of how you would feel welcome in a group of people, and brainstorm together. Try to make a list of things you will each take in with you to facilitate and make sure it is a comfortable space for all. Below is an example of a conversation reminder for a virtual event:

  • Facilitators are here to engage everyone in conversation and make sure everyone has an opportunity to be heard, and take notes

  • Be respectful and open to other perspectives, don’t force your opinion on others when differences appear

  • Share the space, let everyone participate

  • If you are comfortable and able, we encourage you to turn on your cameras

  • Feel free to type your thoughts in the chat if you aren’t comfortable discussing aloud​

2. Before your event, make some guidelines for the participants who attend. For example when and if they participate in a question session, conversations, breakout rooms, activities, etc… This can differ depending on the event. Some overall guideline sections that can be helpful are:

  • Language use...

  • Navigating conflict...

  • Difficult conversations..

  • Encouraging discussion…

  • Adhering to ground rules…

3. Understand that negative situations can arise, and difficult and challenging scenarios can come up, take time to think these through and find the best mode of action whether it is asking a participant to leave or bring them aside to have a conversation of why they acted that way.  Having the support of your team at the event or a trusted individual ready to help you, can make you feel better prepared or comfortable handling hard situations.

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