back to listings SME Profile: Dialogue Matters

Penstock Hall Farm, Canterbury Road, Brabourne, Kent, TN25 5LL

t: +44 1233 813875 e: w:

Welcome to Dialogue Matters

DIALOGUE MATTERS are experts in Stakeholder Dialogue and Facilitation. Our unique approach combines participatory learning and knowledge-sharing techniques to build consensus in environmental management scenarios. Our design process consistently obtains fantastic results, with parties reaching agreement on the best possible outcomes. Dialogue absolutely matters.

What We Do

We are experts in Stakeholder Dialogue, Process Design and Facilitation. We are passionate about the natural environment and our processes are designed to encourage agreement in how to manage it in the best possible way. We help people share knowledge and make decisions that benefit people, places and nature. Our work ranges from helping communities solve local challenges to assisting UN conventions and international organisations to work strategically with others. So far we have:

  • worked with over 70 organisations in 28 countries
  • designed over 100 case-specific processes
  • facilitated over 160 workshops
  • trained over 2,000 people

Our approach to facilitation is unique and is what sets us apart. Our process design expertly combines a mix of participatory learning and knowledge-sharing techniques. Processes can vary from a single workshop to many, involve anything from 8 to 160 people, and range from scenarios with high tension to those with none, across cultures, languages and interests.

The work we do helps communities make better decisions, maximises their resources for action and provides projects with greater momentum. But don’t just take our word for it! Have a look at what others say about our work.

How We Can Help You

  • We help build consensus on often contentious issues
  • We facilitate and mediate to protect the best interests of all
  • We train others in the holistic, collaborative process that is stakeholder participation and in the highly transferable skills of facilitation
  • We are on a continual path of learning, innovation and the dissemination of knowledge, so that others can be empowered by the skills and knowledge they acquire
  • We have a deep understanding and commitment to the environment, and are passionate about helping people influence decisions that affect them and the landscape
  • We consistently see fantastic outcomes from stakeholder dialogue because, having explored the constraints and options, all parties agree on the best possible outcome


We have been offering expert training in Stakeholder Participation and Facilitation for 20 years, and run both residential and in-house courses. Our training equips participants with the skills necessary to understand, design and run their own effective participation processes. We have successfully trained delegates from many organisations, including the Wildlife Trusts, Natural England and DEFRA.

Bespoke training and workshops

Dialogue Matters has been training people and organisations in Stakeholder Participation and Stakeholder Dialogue for over 20 years. We offer a range of 1 to 3-day training courses in stakeholder participation, communication and engagement, and team building. Bespoke, in-house, Stakeholder Participation workshops can also be designed to suit our clients’ individual requirements.
All of our courses are supported by a minimum of two trainers and all participants will receive a high quality reference manual and access to a range of online resources.

Throughout the year we also offer Stakeholder Participation training at our offices in Kent, UK. This 3-day training programme is the definitive foundation course for environmental managers and researchers. For upcoming course dates and how to book please visit our online booking page.

Training Courses

  • Good Practice Stakeholder Participation: This is the definitive foundation course for environmental managers and researchers. Course contents include practical facilitation skills, session planning, interpersonal facilitation skills and working with stakeholders. Our Good Practice Stakeholder Participation training is usually delivered over three days, but can be adapted and shortened.
  • Small Group Facilitation and Refresher: This short course is suitable for anybody who has previously completed our Stakeholder Participation course and just wants to brush up on their skills a little; or for those looking to facilitate a small group of people. This course is much shorter and usually runs for half to three quarters of a day.
  • Impact Matters: This course is structured around the 3 levels of communication and engagement in research: knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange and knowledge co-creation. It includes key principles, tools and methods for each level. The course is grounded in knowledge exchange research, and aims to build the participant’s confidence in both the theory and practical, putting researchers on the leading edge of good practice engagement.
  • Engaging Communications: This 1-day course combines theory and practical sessions to explore levels of communication and engagement, and looks at skillful communication as a crucial aspect of success when working in the environmental field. Course contents include understanding levels of influence, structuring communication and writing for the public.
  • Team Building: Did you know that we also offer Team Building events? Our Team Matters initiative offers team events that will help motivate your staff and your organisation to move forward.

Range of methods and techniques

We employ a range of methods and techniques, drawing on the most appropriate and effective for each situation. We are experts in stakeholder dialogue and consensus building; practitioners of De Bono facilitation and thinking systems; and we facilitate constructive thinking, group process consultancy, open space, social surveys, multiple intelligence and more.

Our processes, methods and expert facilitation mean decisions are technically sound, fully transparent and accountable. It also means decisions are easy to implement, as all interested parties have agreed the best way forward. The collaborative way in which we work also increases social capital, establishes trust and cooperation, empowers local communities and often secures long-term buy-in and engagement to projects, resulting in additional voluntary work too.

View our Case Studies

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