For this webinar series, participants will automatically be enrolled in all 5 sessions.

Limited spots available. Please contact Bonnie Mullen at to register.

  • Phillip Glenn, Ph.D., Professor, Communication Studies Emerson College, Boston
  • Eric Greene, Director of Community Dispute Resolution, MetroWest Mediation
  • Seth Izen, Executive Director, MetroWest Mediation

In this 5-session virtual workshop series, you will learn about and practice constructive communication for managing conflicts. Managing conflict is not easy – especially when the issues are complex, emotional, and divisive. Conversations can become frustrating and challenging. We think we are right; we want to be heard and understood; we don’t know why the other person thinks the way they do. We fall into “fight or flight”: cycles of attacking and defending, or avoiding and not dealing with what matters.

There is a better way.

Through Constructive Communication, we can break the cycles of escalation and avoidance, meet our needs, manage our conflicts, and transform our relationships by productively engaging in potentially divisive issues.

This webinar is limited to 45 participants. Participants must attend each session “live” and it will not be recorded. PDPs and CEUs are not being offered for this webinar.

We’ll explore how open-ended inquiry and active silence can form the foundation of a constructive conversation.

 We’ll build upon the foundation from Session I by implementing reflecting, reframing, and validating emotion to further our listening approach.

We’ll discuss the concept of observation and how it can help communicate our views without making the other person defensive. 

We’ll learn about positions/interests and how we can identify and communicate our needs and values in a way that the other person can hear. 

We’ll review all our constructive communication skills and put them together in our final session. 

About the SpeakerS

Phillip Glenn, Ph.D., is a Professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College in Boston. He developed and teaches courses in Conflict and Negotiation; Positive Communication; and Mediation, Facilitation, and Dialogue. In his scholarly research, he examines language and interaction, with an emphasis on conflict and laughter. He is a co-founder of the Positive Communication Network ( He was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Program on Negotiation and has held Fulbright appointments in the Czech Republic and the Republic of Moldova. He is a mediator and coach for Metropolitan Mediation Services and MetroWest Mediation Services.

Eric Greene is Director of Community Dispute Resolution at MetroWest Mediation. He oversees all non-court connected services including the Local Consumer Program and mediation for organizations, divorce/family, community, re-entry, and youth. He received his MA in Conflict Resolution & Near Eastern Studies from the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University. Eric has trained hundreds of new mediators. He has previously taught the Advanced Mediation Course for graduate students at Brandeis University.

Seth Izen is Executive Director of MetroWest Mediation Services. He has been active in community mediation in Massachusetts since 2008, completing a practicum with the Cambridge Dispute Settlement Center, mediating on the district court panel of the Middlesex Law Center in Lowell, and serving as the Peer Mediation Coordinator at North Shore Community Mediation Center. Seth completed his Basic Mediation Training at Brown University where he earned a B.A. in Political Science. He earned an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he also taught a graduate-level course on Mediation: Theory and Practice.

Membership Information

Most MPY webinars are available ONLY to current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs

MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (Provider No. F20180079). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for most MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued in 10 hour increments, per DESE requirements.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approve each event individually. CEUs may be given in hourly increments.

Event Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend a MPY webinar you must cancel, through Bonnie Mullen at, one business day before the webinar.

For MPY hybrid conferences, the date in-person registration closes will be posted on MPY’s website. Virtual conference registration will close one business day before the hybrid conference. You cannot cancel or switch your registration from in-person to virtual after in-person registration closes. Please email Bonnie Mullen at with any questions regarding registration.

  • Enrollment in this course closed on 02/05/2024.
  • Enrollment has closed because the maximum number of allowed students has been reached.

This webinar is limited to 45 participants. Participants must attend each session “live” and it will not be recorded. PDPs and CEUs are not being offered for this webinar.

All sessions are 9:30 – 11:30 am

  • Session 1: March 4, 2024, Understanding Based Listening – Part I
  • Session 2: March 18, 2024, Understanding Based Listening – Part II
  • Session 3: April 1, 2024, I-Focused Speaking – Part I
  • Session 4: April 8, 2024, I-Focused Speaking – Part II
  • Session 5: April 22, 2024, Conclusion