Dennis D. Dunne

School of Leadership and Facilitation™

Design, Engineering and Construction schools teach specific hard skills needed to manage successful projects.

But leading a strong project team whose members exhibit excellent communication and collaboration skills based on trust requires trained leadership and strong social skills (“soft skills” or “personal skills”).

Today’s design and construction leaders are pressed to lead groups of other professionals in dozens of meetings and discussions weekly.  But they have no training in process, relationship and personal skills and often struggle to understand how to cope with the myriad personalities of their teammates.  As a consequence, meetings become too-long, unproductive and boring affairs dreaded by both the participants and their “leader”.  Team trust flounders and personal conflicts go unaddressed.

In keeping with the vision of co-founder Dennis D. Dunne, we have developed the Dennis D. Dunne School of Leadership and Facilitation™ (the Dunne School) and a Certificate program aimed at developing the soft skills and facilitation skills needed for engineers, architects, planners and others to be able to better understand themselves and their peers and to learn to lead and facilitate meetings and discussions in collaborative, efficient and effective ways.

LIVE CLASSES (Partial List)

101 – Basics of Facilitation – one day

Purpose and Outcomes:   Learn a distinct and valuable skill set in a facilitated how-to forum:

  • What’s unique about facilitating
  • The dynamics of the group size
  • The impact of room layout
  • Types of facilitation tools: Minutes, Sticky Wall, Flip Chart, White Board, etc.
  • Student Facilitator Self-Assessment
  • What’s not working in your meetings and how a great facilitator can fix it
  • Documenting: live notes, action items
  • Types of Facilitation
  • Facilitator Tactics
  • Personal Development Plan


104 – Essential Conversations™ (1 of 3) – half day

Purpose & Outcomes:          To enable student facilitators to better understand:

  • What is a true 2-way conversation
  • Active listening
  • The essential conversations for project success
  • Elements of a “reliable promise”
  • Managing Commitments
  • How to negotiate reliable promises
  • How and when to say no
  • How to make your project adaptable
  • How to shift a mood
  • How to generate possibilities



102 – Behavioral Competencies – 90 minutes

Purpose and Outcomes:  Self-awareness of the CM Soft Skill Competencies such as (partial list):

  • Analytical/Problem solving
  • Change management
  • Communicating effectively
  • Concern for continuous development
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Customer service
  • Developing others
  • Influencing
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal understanding
  • Leading others
  • Organizational awareness


103 – Facilitating Project Phase Meetings – 90 minutes

Purpose and Outcomes:  To teach techniques specific and immediately usable techniques such as:

  • How behaviors impact their abilities and how the behaviors of others might impact actions
  • Review the basics of Room Setup and when to use various Media
  • Project Initiation Meetings
  • Project Planning Meetings
  • Project Execution Meetings
  • Project Control Meetings
  • Project Closeout Meetings


105 – Recognizing and Responding to Disruptive Participants – 90 minutes

Purpose and Outcomes:   Develop specific and immediately usable techniques such as:

  • For dealing with unresponsive participants
  • For dealing with disruptive participants
  • How to use proven facilitator techniques such as:
    1. Open-ended questions to encourage creativity and explore options
    2. Closed-ended questions – driving to decisive action
    3. Leading questions to bring people back to task and check for understanding
    4. Challenging limitations
    5. Clarifying generalizations
  • The framework for conducting a Guided Discussion.


108 – Problem Solving (Root Cause) and Brainstorming Sessions – 90 minutes

Purpose and Outcomes:   Learn specific and immediately usable techniques, including:

  • What is Root Cause Analysis and how can a facilitator keep a group focused using 5 Why?
  • How does creating a mood of inquiry contribute to successful Root Cause Analysis?
  • Techniques in brainstorming
  • When to use breakout groups and how to do report-backs
  • What works and doesn’t work in crisis resolution


"Essential ConversationsTM" is the trademark of Lean Project Consulting, used by permission.