The Compassionate Listening Project
Facilitator Certification Program
This program is for leaders and experienced facilitators who want to embrace Compassionate Listening as a skill set and life-long practice, and join an international community of facilitators.
We celebrate and value diversity and inclusion and we warmly welcome individuals of all backgrounds to apply for certification. In 2023/2024, the Compassionate Listening Project is fundraising to prioritize and support younger applicants, applicants from the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, and applicants wanting to strengthen the efficacy of their organizations, programs and initiatives.
We are excited to extend an invitation to individuals who are passionate about fostering Compassionate Listening skills to apply for a spot in our 8-person cohort starting this spring. While we have limited spots, our commitment extends beyond our cohort members. For those not selected, we're dedicated to guiding you towards the best path for your continuous development and potential certification, ensuring your journey towards compassionate communication remains our top priority.
Goals of the Facilitator Certification Program
To prepare facilitators to be a force for transforming polarization in their own lives and in the world by developing mastery of Compassionate Listening’s Five Core Practices.
To ensure consistency, integrity and the highest standards for Compassionate Listening (CL) programs.
To prepare facilitators to: teach Intro workshops, facilitate Journeys, develop "enhancement" workshops (e.g. self-compassion, CL for couples and families, caregivers, schools/education, activism, etc.), and/or skillfully merge this body of work with their own.
To encourage diverse representation in the TCLP facilitator community and integrate their voices and experiences into the Compassionate Listening Project and our programs.
To build strategic partnerships by prioritizing applicants wanting to strengthen the efficacy of their organizations, programs, and initiatives.
The total program cost for Facilitator Certification is offered on a sliding scale of $2,000 - $4,000 USD:
Registration fee paid to TCLP: $500-$1000
Program fee paid directly to Mentor: $1500-$3000
We are committed to working with applicants to ensure that financial means are not an impediment to certification. Partial scholarships may be requested on the application form.
Application Deadline: December 20th, 2023
Acceptance notification by January 3rd
Orientation and Practice Group planning meetings: January 17th, 24th, February 7th
Practice Group curriculum prep: Begins March 6th
Practice Groups: March 13th (cohort will decide whether weekly, ending by May 1st, or biweekly, ending mid July)
Last Cohort meeting: May 8th or July 24th
Mentor and Mentee will work together to identify the Mentee’s program-related goals and develop a plan for achieving those goals and fulfilling the program requirements. The Mentor will provide advice, support and guidance.
Cohort Meetings: Meet with your cohort via Zoom. Most of the meetings will be focused on facilitating your Practice Group - preparing agendas, delivering exercises, and reviewing evaluations. Meetings will also cover:
How are you utilizing CL in your daily life, including challenges and conflicts in your personal and professional life?
Share your successes and challenges, insights and learning.
Share self-directed supplemental learning: We encourage mentees to explore complementary trainings, books and videos to develop and strengthen their facilitation skills.
Lead a Practice Group: Facilitate a 10-session CL Practice Group, guiding participants through the full CL Introductory Workshop. Your mentor will guide you every step of the way, including providing session outlines and full exercise scripts. One session is devoted to setting up a listening session to center a marginalized voice.
Immersion in the Field: We invite facilitators-in-training to participate in CL Intro workshops. For those who are more experienced, there may be opportunities to assist and support senior facilitators in their online workshops. We highly encourage candidates to embrace the diversity of the Compassionate Listening field by experiencing and learning from various facilitators.
Advanced Training - The Heart is Our Compass: If mentees did not complete this training prior to entering Certification, they will need to complete it within the year of certification.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work: Being a facilitator entails leadership and comes with a responsibility to see, understand, and at times name the power dynamics that exist within groups, for the purpose of holding a courageous space in which people can safely engage in the learning process together. For this reason, facilitators must have experience in holding space for world work topics in the realm of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. If you have not participated in or led trainings on these topics, you will be supported by your mentor to seek out appropriate training to support your capacities as a CL Facilitator. If you have extensive experience already, you are encouraged to discuss this with your mentor and potentially waive this requirement.
Graduation Workshop: Mentees are required to teach a CL mini-workshop to complete their certification. It can be a minimum of 5 hours in-person, or two 2.5 hour Zoom sessions (or the full Intro). If held over Zoom, TCLP will host your graduation workshop on our online event calendar and will manage registration. A senior facilitator will view the recording and offer final feedback, support, and evaluation. Mentees will receive 20% of workshop income.
Certification: After you have completed the program components and your evaluations from participants indicate that you are embodying Compassionate Listening and delivering its core teachings with consistency and integrity, your mentor will recommend your certification to TCLP.
If evaluations do not average a minimum of “very good” by the end of the Certification Program and/or your mentor is not ready to recommend you for certification, you and your mentor may create a plan that includes additional assisting at CL workshops, practice groups, skill-building, and mentoring time for a fee to be mutually determined.
Application, Review, and Acceptance Process
1. Fill out our online application. Deadline for the Winter 2024 cohort is December 20th, 2023:
2. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of submission.
3. If invited to the interview stage, we will schedule a time to discuss your goals and vision and answer any questions you may have about the Certification program.
4. If accepted into the program notify you by January 4th:
a) Work with your mentor to fill out and sign our short Mentor-Mentee Agreement, including all program fees, with payment plan details if required.
b) Pay your registration fee to TCLP to activate your acceptance, sliding scale $500-$1000 (or less if you apply for and receive a partial scholarship)
Welcome to TCLP’s Facilitator Certification Program!
Setting Up Your Practice Group
The core component of the Facilitator Certification Program is organizing and facilitating a Practice Group. Your mentor will help you prepare to deliver a full CL Intro Workshop to your Practice Group over 10 sessions. Practice Groups may be recruited from among your circle of friends, colleagues, and/or community members. You can also approach pre-existing groups such as churches or other community organizations that will benefit from deepening their relationships and building skills within their community. Practice Groups may be held online via Zoom or in person. [Structure] • Aim for 10 to 16 participants • Plan for 10 sessions • Plan to meet for 2.5 hours each session • Sessions will ideally be held weekly Your mentor will work with you to create agendas and will share exercise scripts. Mentees will also use our book Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening, which supports most of the core curriculum. After each session, participants are asked to fill out short evaluations that mentors will review with you before planning the next session.
Centering Marginalized Voices
"If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your destiny is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson, Australian Aboriginal Woman Centering the voices of people who are members of marginalized groups or who tend to be “othered” and honoring them with deep listening is a signature of the Compassionate Listening Project. This one-session component of the Practice Group is designed to help mentees and Practice Group members gain experience in sitting with the discomfort of listening deeply to people with life experiences different from their own. This exercise is most powerful when used as a way to build understanding and relationship with people who are members of a group around whom we hold fear or discomfort, have little-to-no history of connection, tend to judge or “other,” or otherwise hold out of our hearts. This should be seen as a gift to the mentee and the practice group participants, rather than helping someone else. Connecting with marginalized people/groups requires humility and sensitivity. With it comes great learning. Examples of people to invite to share their experience with your group include veterans, people experiencing homelessness, First Nations people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants or refugees from war zones, former prisoners, neurodiverse people, people experiencing addiction, and ethnic and religious minorities. This session will take place toward the end of your Practice Group. It may take you and the participants out of your comfort zones. You are encouraged to stretch and work in an area you do not know well. Your Mentor will provide you with a sample invitation and information to help prepare your guest for the listening session.
Compassionate Listening Facilitator Circle
In 2006, TCLP and the CL Facilitators embraced the concept of a supportive learning community to grow and evolve together as a community of practice. Facilitators have a Google Group (email list) and participate in periodic Zoom calls to share best practices, successes and challenges, curriculum and program development and enrichment. Our Facilitator Circle seeks to embody the following values: self-organization, collaboration, inclusivity, embodiment of the practice, passion, and catalyzation of the healing work of Compassionate Listening.
Benefits of being a Compassionate Listening Certified Facilitator
[Pre-Certification] • Facilitators-in-training may include their headshot and bio on our website • Access to the shared facilitator Google Drive with use of TCLP Training packets, articles, handouts and 20 years of resources • Opportunity to share in learning, growth, and support as part of our Facilitator Circle [Post-Certification] • Eligibility to teach 1- and 2-day CL Intro workshops • Eligibility to be hired and referred by TCLP for private CL workshops • Invitation to create new CL Journeys with approval and in partnership with TCLP • The right to use the title “Certified Compassionate Listening Facilitator” • The right to use the phrase “Compassionate Listening” in titles and subtitles of offerings when CL is the dominant content or organizing focus • Invitation to promote your CL-related offerings in TCLP newsletters and social media • Facilitator bios and photos with links to personal websites will be featured on the TCLP website • Use of TCLP Training packets, articles, handouts and other resources • Opportunity to share in learning, growth, and support as part of our learning community • Opportunities to co-create and co-evolve training curricula and materials • Invitation to post CL-related content on the TCLP blog • Assist at Intro and Advanced workshops • Design and facilitate “Enhancement” workshops with a particular element of CL work (such as self-compassion, speaking from the heart, judgment and triggers, etc.) or integrate Compassionate Listening with other topics such as caregiving, parenting, schools/education, climate crisis, couples work, etc.;
We acknowledge that unlearning the ways we knowingly or unknowingly uphold and are complicit within systems of oppression is lifelong and multi-layered work. To demonstrate our shared commitment to hold space for workshop participants as safely and ethically as possible, we highly recommended that facilitators continue to participate in groups and trainings on diversity, racism, power, and privilege. In addition, we encourage collaboration and attending or assisting other facilitators’ workshops in order to cross-pollinate and learn from one another’s strengths as well as what each unique facilitator brings to this work and community.
Culture of Generosity
TCLP, together with our facilitator community, strives to create a culture of mutual appreciation, generosity and support for our collective work.