Communication and Relationship Building in Community

6-Week Online Course | Starts May 9, 2024

Learn how to speak your mind, to discern your thoughts and be a better listener in the Communication and Relationship Building in Community course.

Course fee: $120-$260 USD

Individual class fee: $20-$50 USD

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Classes in this course are suitable for:Community Newcomers | Community Seekers | Community Starters | Community Residents

Course description and syllabus

Most people want to avoid conflict as much as possible. But, instead of avoiding conflict we need to welcome disagreements, especially when living in community. Disagreements are the rich places in relationships where you break down and build up again. It is a powerful thing to be able to disagree, and do so in a way that is respectful and feels safe.

There’s also something to be said about knowing when to disagree, and having the discernment to know when it’s appropriate. It’s not always about winning the fight, but also about knowing when to pick them.

Regardless of whether you’re disagreeing or discerning, do you find that you are a good listener? Community people are usually pretty good at being quiet so that other people can talk, but that is not the same as listening.

In the Communication and Relationship Building in Community course, Relationship coach and course instructor, Karen Gimnig, will walk you through the many facets of communicating with others in community and why it’s so important to hone these skills. You will walk away from this course feeling more empowered to speak your mind, to discern your thoughts and be a better listener.

Live classes are hosted on Zoom. All classes are recorded and available on our learning platform within 24 hours after each class ends and through 30 days after the last class.

Classes and topics in the Communication and Relationship Building in Community syllabus include:

Individual classes starting at US $20

May 9: Listening: What we miss and why it matters

  • the need for deep listening
  • mirroring, a structure for deep listening
  • how and when to use mirroring

May 16: Discernment: How to pick your fights

  • identifying priorities
  • balancing community and self
  • how decisions impact relationships
  • validation
  • emotional and cognitive elements

May 23: Feeling safe enough to be vulnerable

  • balancing safety and vulnerability
  • creating a trusting community
  • making and receiving requests
  • vulnerability and connection
  • empathy

May 30: Embracing Disagreement

  • welcoming disagreement
  • differences and curiosity
  • words to use in disagreement
  • power dynamics

June 6: Facilitation: Working through power struggle to find common ground

  • creating spaces where minds can change
  • authority and how it is granted
  • preparing for a meeting
  • variable activities
  • common ground and choices

June 13: Healthy Feedback for Healthy Community

  • why feedback matters
  • giving feedback
  • receiving feedback
  • avoiding put downs and negativity

All Communication and Relationship Building in Community classes are held on Thursdays from 10am-12pm Pacific / 11am-1pm Mountain / 12-2pm Central / 1-3pm Eastern. You can view your local time here.

June 20:Q&A Session

  • Ask any additional questions
  • Get personalized help
  • Networking

The Q&A session is optional and will take place from 10-11am Pacific / 11am-12pm Mountain / 12-1pm Central / 1-2pm Eastern. You must register for the full course to attend the Q&A session.

Your instructor

Karen Gimnig, Communication and Relationship Building in Community course instructor

Karen Gimnig

Karen is a group facilitator, motivational speaker and relationship coach. Her passion is to help groups achieve their goals for connected and trusting relationships through skill building and personal exploration.  

As an Imago Facilitator, Karen uses the theory and practice of Imago Relationships to guide teams and communities through the complexity of working together. She helps groups and individuals identify root causes of challenges and then walks beside them offering gentle support as they seek solutions.  

Karen enjoys working with non-profit organizations, communities (including communities of faith), and workplaces. Her clients describe her as “profoundly effective,” increasing trust and providing simple (but not easy) tools for improved communication and relationships. 

You can learn more about Karen and her services here.


“Karen’s unique style of facilitation has strengthened and deepened our bonds as a board of directors. By giving us the capacity to speak clearly and listen carefully, she has given us tools to overcome any disagreements that might arise. With Karen as a facilitator, we have been able to move forward as a unified board of directors, committed to a common purpose.”


“Karen Gimmig is a great facilitator who takes the time to make sure everyone in our co-housing community is heard. I appreciate her ability to maintain strong boundaries to insure that people realize she is the facilitator helping them solve “their” concerns by them taking responsibility for the work”


Course registration

Communication & Relationship Building in Community course

Starting From $120.00

(Price is per person)

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Online learning platform

Once you register, you’ll get access to our learning area that includes:

  • class slides and other course materials
  • class video recordings, audio files, and transcripts for learning on the go
  • recommended books with access to course participant discount
  • a dedicated discussion forum to connect with your classmates

Live interactive sessions

Each week you join a 2-hour live class with the course instructor, where you learn in a group setting with:

  • interactive presentations
  • break out sessions
  • group discussions
  • the opportunity for questions and answers, and personalized support

Classes are recorded if you miss one, and you will have 30 days after the last class to view recordings.

Journey with a cohort

You’ll join participants from around the world how, like you, want to learn how to be better communitarians. Benefits include:

  • opportunities to connect with like-minded people
  • opportunities to share ideas and stories
  • a network of support to carry your community project forward