Collaboration Skills Course

Course Outline

The Collaboration Skills Workshop is an interactive crash course in group skills, suited to people working on building community. Few of us were taught what is involved in working together in groups, about collaboration and about creating and sustaining community. It's a distillation of things we learnt while working on the Big House Project, Peter's 10 year experience helping create Earthsong, and Sibylle's extensive knowledge of the social nervous system. You can see bios for the presenters here. The workshop contains a large number of exercises to cement our learning, as well as catering for different learning styles.

The course comprises a set of six three and a half hour modules, which is offered either as a 3 day workshop or as 3 one day workshops.


1. Personal development || We need to address the barriers to collaboration and social engagement. And it turns out community is the most effective platform to do it. Social brain anatomy, emotions, triggers, core beliefs & protection systems, and a powerful new model to understand our corridor of well-being.


2. The art of dialogue || How to have connecting conversations. How does real dialogue work. Great conversations have the power to change the world.


3. Conflict managment || How to use conflict to improve relationships. The nature of conflict, Non Violent Communication, our need for safety and belonging, tools for managing our personal and group state.


4. Decision making || How to make group decisions that everyone can enjoy. What do we need before we can decide, decision making methods, including consensus, coloured cards, sociocracy, and innovations like the advice process.


5. Facilitation || How to plan and conduct a productive meeting. Why facilitate, what a facilitator is and isn't. Understanding the meeting process, participation formats, strategies & skills.


6. Connection || How to achieve deeper more satisfying connections in relationships. Why connect, what's in the way, how to build trust and really connect. Offsetting the challenges of group work, getting to the joy and celebration.


"Words really fail me to express just how powerful and transformational the course was. I think I speak for many of us when I say that we hadn't really expected it to be so personally and profoundly moving. Although there was a lot of informative content, it blended flawlessly with the experiential and dynamic aspects to take it to another level. It was also exciting and precious to have the particular participants that the universe chose to experience the community we created out of this."

"The Collaborative Skills Workshop with Peter and Sibylle was a truly transformative experience for us. We learned theories and practical skills that not only help us better manage conflict, but also enable us to communicate more effectively and collaborate more productively in our interpersonal and communal living situations. Looking back on our decade of community living experience, we realize that this knowledge would have saved us years of stress, heartache, and conflict, and helped us develop stronger connections with others in the process... Peter and Sibylle's expertise and insights are invaluable, and we feel grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from them. Thank you for an amazing workshop that has truly transformed the way we approach communal living."

"I am very glad I was able to attend your course. I found the way you put the information together easy to follow, as one thing built logically on another. It's not an easy task to take such a wealth of information and present it in such an absorbable fashion. I also appreciated the exercises and activities and found they assisted my learning a lot. Thank you both so much for all the materials, and for your time and energy over the three days"

"It sounds kind of funny to say, but this course helped me to really grow up, as an adult! Each of us needs to learn these skills"

"Ive done a lot of work on myself, read a ton of books, been on countless workshops, but the Polyvagal concept you introduced us to, really was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. This message deserves to spread far and wide, at work, into schools, and to teachers. Thanks so much for that. "

"What a wonderful workshop! If you truly want to be part of the solution to some of the massive challenges facing us all, Peter and Sibylle really can help! A fascinating overview of current theory and more importantly very practical, hands on tools to aid personal transformation and community formation. I loved it!"

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Whangarei, NZ
T- 021 0243 9081

© The Big House Project 2022

Photos: Pixabay, and The Zegg Ecovillage, used with permission. Line drawings: Shutterstock used with permission. Your email address will be used with care for the sole purpose of The Big House outreach.