Community Skills

Community Skills:  Transforming our Personal and Interpersonal Skills; Diving Deeper into Community Dynamics

Date:  June 28-29, 2014, 10 am - 6 pm each day

Location:  Heathcote Community, Freeland, MD

Cost:  Sliding Scale $250 - $500

Early Bird Discount:  $25 discount if you register by May 28, 2014

Registration:  click here to register


Workshop Description


When you imagine your ideal collaborative experience, you probably see yourself happy and productive, working creatively with people you appreciate, efficiently making decisions that strengthen your mission, ensuring future success and stability.  You further imagine that this will lead to a balanced life, fulfilling connections, and an overall sense of ease and contentment.  We walk into new groups so hopeful that this time the right magic will be there.  When it doesn’t, we blame ourselves for our shortcomings or we blame others for not meeting our expectations.

In reality, our cultural norms conspire to make the ideal outcome unlikely.  We make assumptions, react with aggression or avoidance, say yes when we mean no and no when we mean yes.  We hide our truth from each other but we get upset when our needs aren’t being met.  Relationships suffer.  Eventually we declare the situation hopeless, pull away, and finally decide to move on to start the process all over again somewhere else.

This workshop challenges the part of our culture that keep us from regularly experiencing long-term healthy interpersonal connections and sustainable, productive communities, organizations and workplaces. 

On day one, we will learn and practice the personal and interpersonal skills most important for successful work and community relationships.  We will explore the shift that happens when we engage in curiosity, setting boundaries, giving and receiving feedback, and practicing self-honesty and transparency. 

On day two, we will delve deeper into group dynamics, integrating our interpersonal skills as we explore rank and power, bias, conflict resolution and deep sharing.


Workshop Facilitator:  Debby Sugarman



While working on environmental issues in her twenties, Debby realized that the issues she cared about were won or lost based on the strength or failure of human relationships and the effectiveness of interpersonal communication.  Hoping to be a catalyst for more effective and creative endeavors, Debby became a connoisseur of all forms of group and interpersonal communication.  She became trained in mediation, studied various forms of meeting facilitation, and group process technologies.  She immersed herself in personal growth work and experiments in group dynamics.  Debby currently teaches New Culture Skills trainings, Zegg Forum Facilitation and Heart of Now personal growth workshops.


Food and Lodging

Bring your own vegetarian bag lunch both days.  You are welcome to join us for an optional vegetarian potluck Saturday evening, followed by informal socializing.  If you wish, you can sleep in our rustic bunk room Friday and/or Saturday night.  The suggested donation is $20/night.