Additional Trainings

New Upcoming Trainings | Beyond the Basics | Conflict Coaching 101 | Intermediate Conflict Coaching | Financial Assistance | CalendarQuestions?

Community Boards schedules a variety of new mediation and restorative justice trainings throughout the year. Our regularly-offered trainings — Beyond the Basics, Conflict Coaching 101, and Intermediate Conflict Coaching — are annually scheduled on different dates each year. Be sure to join our email list for future updates.

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Trainer: Ken Cloke
June 28-29, Tuesday & Wednesday
Times: 12:00am – 2:00pm PDT
Cost: CB Member, $149 | Public, $199
Location: Online via Zoom

MCLE Credits: This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 4 MCLE credits (provider #9323). $25 processing fee required.

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Become a San Francisco Peacemaker Awards benefit sponsor and receive free seats at this training! LEARN MORE HERE!

Training Overview

There is no greater skill for mediators than the art of asking questions — not the usual who, what, when, where, and why type. What’s critical are the deeper questions, skillful ones that reveal some new element or facet of the mediated problem that unexpectedly transforms it and makes it solvable. Such questions that expose the dispute’s hidden dynamics and suggest new paths forward towards a shared resolution.

In this way, we can imagine problems simply as the wrong set of questions – questions, for example, that assume a single, unambiguous truth. Whereas, almost all mediations contain two or more truths, which are deeply ambiguous and paradoxical. What we search for and need are deeper questions that are at least as complex as the conflict they need to clarify and resolve.

By asking skillful questions, it is possible to discover, in the thick of discord, how to:

  • Free ourselves from its all-consuming grip
  • Gain insight into what got us stuck
  • Transform the ways we interact with our opponents
  • Turn criticisms and complaints into openings for improvement
  • Evolve to higher levels of skill in problem solving and conflict resolution

Ken’s innovative workshop will focus on how to ask skillful questions so we can begin to move into the heart of conflict and initiate open, honest, vulnerable conversations that allow people to work through their conflicts, where resolution, transformation, and transcendence suddenly, inexplicably, exquisitely unfold.


Ken Cloke
Ken Cloke is Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, coach, consultant and trainer, specializing in communication, negotiation, and resolving complex multi-party disputes, including marital, divorce, family, community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment, discrimination, and public policy disputes; and designing preventative conflict resolution systems.

Ken’s facilitation, coaching, consulting, and training practice includes work with leaders of public, private and non-profit organizations on effective communications, dialogue, collaborative negotiation, relationship and team building, conflict resolution, leadership development, strategic planning, designing systems, and organizational change. Learn more about Ken at


Fall 2022

Trainers: Donald Proby & Karen H. Lipney
October 29-30, Saturday & Sunday
Times: 9:30am – 6:00pm PDT
Cost: Early BirdCB Member, $295 & Public, $345 | After Sep 30 – CB Member, $350 & Public, $400
Location: Online via Zoom
Financial Assistance: Financial Assistance Application Form.

MCLE Credits: This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 14 MCLE credits including 3 credits for the Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society (provider #9323). $50 processing fee required. You can pay online here: Make your MCLE payment here.

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Beyond the Basics is the next step in building the skills you learned in The Basics of Mediation. This two-day training is highly recommended for mediators interested in expanding and enhancing their skills. It is also appropriate for new and experienced mediators that want to refresh their skills.

Through interactive participation, skills practice, and multiple role plays, you will come away with enhanced tools and techniques you can use in both your professional and personal lives.

The topics covered will include:

  • Impasse
  • The Storm Out
  • Advanced Listening Skills
  • Power Imbalances
  • Closer looks at Positions, Interests, Needs & Strategies
  • Caucusing
  • Understanding Cultural Humility, Values & the Mediator’s Role
  • Panel Dynamics with Co-mediators
  • Refresher in the Community Boards Model of Mediation


Donald Proby, Lead Trainer
Donald, currently a doctoral scholar in educational leadership with an emphasis on cross cultural conflict transformation, has been a mediator, restorative justice practitioner, and conflict resolution trainer for over 35 years. He has worked in government, social services, nonprofit leadership, and public and holistic health arenas.

Donald also works with multiple Bay Area organizations to advance peace and community building. Donald has been co-leading our Basics of Mediation training since 2011. His approach to adult education involves holding space where learners are encouraged to engage with their natural curiosity, explore, experiment, and master the content through transformative embodied experiences. Donald works to create an environment where risk taking is encouraged and the collective experience is engaging. Visit Donald’s LinkedIn page:

Karen H. Lipney, Co-Trainer
Karen is a trainer, mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, and is a co-trainer of the Basics of Mediation and Beyond the Basics. She draws on years of experience working for a national labor union and before that, as an attorney. In a career transition, Karen focused on mediation to expand her skills and experience. In 2014, Karen began to volunteer her time for Community Boards as a Community Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Facilitator. In 2016 she joined the staff as the Outreach Coordinator. Karen then worked as our ADR Programs Director from 2016-21. She is currently the Neighborhood Courts Program Coordinator & Consultant with Community Boards, as well as a mediator, conflict coach and facilitator for The Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston. Karen was raised in San Francisco and giving back to the community is part of her family heritage.



2022 TBD

Trainers: Cordell Wesselink & Betsy Zeger
TBD, Saturday & Sunday
Times: 10:00am-5:00pm, Pacific Daylight Time

Recommended prerequisite: Community Boards’ The Basics of Mediation, a comparable 40-hour training, or two years of professional conflict resolution practice.
Cost: CB Member, $375 | Public, $425
Location: Online via Zoom
Financial Assistance: Financial Assistance Application Form.

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What is conflict coaching?
Conflict coaching is a one-on-one session intended to assist and empower individuals to positively address specific conflicts and gain skills and tools to engage in, manage or productively resolve conflict.

Conflict Coaching 101 is an intensive, two-day introduction to the principles of conflict coaching. Participants will learn how to apply their current conflict resolution and mediation skills. In addition, they will gain new insights to this unique approach and have opportunities to practice and apply them. Conflict coaching may be used in both personal and workplace contexts. It will add a valuable conflict resolution skill set to each participant’s repertoire.

Conflict coaching may be used in both personal and professional environments. It will add a valuable conflict resolution skill set to each participant’s repertoire. It is a dynamic and versatile discipline for professional mediators, school districts, HR Departments, and all companies that work in a team-based structure.

Training participants will learn to help those with a conflict to:

      • Identify personal needs and interests concerning the conflict
      • Understand better the other person’s needs and interests
      • Brainstorm possible solutions and ways to address these needs and interests
      • Evaluate and create criteria for selecting possible solutions

Please review our Cancellation & Refund Policy: Cancellations & Refunds


2022 TBD

Trainers: Betsy Zeger & Cordell Wesselink
TBD, Saturday
10:00am-5:00pm, Pacific Standard Time

Recommended prerequisite: Community Boards’ Conflict Coaching 101
Cost: CB Members, $145 | Public, $175 | Refresher, $50
Location: Online via Zoom
Financial Assistance: Financial Assistance Application Form.

Register Become a CB Member

Intermediate Conflict Coaching is an advanced training that will give you new techniques and tools. You’ll have additional opportunities to practice conflict coaching and get expert feedback. This training is a must for those who have taken Community Boards’ Conflict Coaching 101.

Special Offer: Have you already taken our Intermediate Conflict Coaching? Would you like a refresher? Take advantage of this great offer – register for only $50 and get refreshed!

In this highly hands-on, one-day training, you will learn when and how to:

      • Use an empathy map to broaden a client’s perspective and help them get more clarity.
      • Effectively use role play with clients to give them a chance to practice effectively communicating.
      • Teach the client effective communication techniques.
      • Work with a client that is really stuck and doesn’t see any good options.
      • End a conflict coaching session and make a referral when coaching isn’t the most effective option.

We will also talk in more depth about assisting clients in coming up with doable action plans and supporting the client to follow through with it. Additional techniques for conflict coaching by phone will also be covered.

Currently not an active Conflict Coach? While focused on conflict coaching, these skills are also useful in mediation, facilitation, consulting, H.R., family situations, and more. We hope you will join us in going to the next level of conflict coaching.

Please review our Cancellation & Refund Policy: Cancellations & Refunds


Cordell_Wesselink-2x1653Cordell Wesselink
Cordell is the Mediation Program Manager for Consortium for Children, which mediates throughout California between adoptive and birth families to help children maintain important relationships after adoption. The former ADR Programs Director at Community Boards, he co-created their Conflict Coaching program. Cordell has a background in counseling with the Marin Suicide Prevention Hotline, Gestalt Process from the Esalen Institute, and has conducted numerous coaching, mediation, and meeting facilitation sessions and trainings. He has a Master’s Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. Visit his website:

Betsy Zeger
Betsy is a versatile and highly accomplished Conflict Resolution Specialist with long-term experience in helping clients achieve their goals. Betsy had a 25-year career as an agent and personal manager for composers in the music industry; for the past 13 years she has been a community mediator/facilitator; and Certified Professional Co-Active Life Coach. She also teaches High School students communication, listening, mediation and coaching skills which are used in the Peer Resource classes. Betsy spearheaded and is the Advisory Board Chair of the Tam District High School’s 5 Wellness Centers which support all students with professional in-house social and emotional support. Betsy is a co-creator and co-trainer for Community Boards’ Conflict Coaching trainings. Visit Betsy’s website:

Financial Assistance Application

Community Boards is committed to ensuring accessibility to all our trainings and workshops. Awards of financial aid are needs based. Our primary goals are to provide financial assistance and to maintain diversity in our pool of volunteer Community Mediators.

All information in the application is confidential. Please note that applicants may be requested to provide additional information.

Submit your application online: Financial Assistance Application Form.


Chelsea Kaplan, Program Director
Email:, ATTN: Chelsea