Team Communication and Relationships Program

(Formerly "From Tools to Relationships")

Eighty percent of staff at the front lines of care reported what they needed help with the most during the improvement process was the personal process – interactions with people and team building – not the technical knowledge of improvement. — Marjorie M. Godfrey, 2013

Level 1 - All virtual

Enhancing team communication with those that you serve

Course Description

The Team Communication and Relationships Program is a unique and innovative program that improves communication, relationships and partnerships among members of health and social systems. This highly interactive program blends didactics, case studies, demonstration, practice, and feedback (including web-based videotaped) to support individual personalized learning experiences to improve communication and relationships within teams and with other teams that you collaborate with. Participants will improve their fundamental communication skills as well as more advanced skills.

Topics include:

  • The communication cycle
  • Awareness of self and others
  • Humble Inquiry
  • Negotiation
  • Partnering with those that you serve
  • Relational coordination
  • Inequality/diversity
  • Resilience
  • Proactive conflict engagement

Teams: These skills and experiences will improve communication and relationships within teams to support one another under pressure and in uncertain environments, especially important during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Those we serve: Additional relationship-centered communication skills and strategies focus on enhancing the coproduction of care with those we serve and their families.

Who should take this course?

Anyone who wants to communicate more effectively and build better relationships.

  • Interprofessional team members
  • Front line health care leaders
  • Team coaches
  • Mesosystem leaders/managers
  • C-suite leadership
  • Nurse managers
  • Educators
  • Facilitators
  • Policy makers
  • Community leaders
  • Patients and Families

Testimonials from Past Participants

“Coming into this course, I was able to identify and respond to conflict by valuing it and understanding how it helps develop deeper intimacy in relationships. After learning more in [Team Communication and Relationships Program], I am better able to identify my own tendencies on managing conflict and also able to see other ways. “

“I am more comfortable with conflict and managing the challenges that arise. I feel because we have learned so many skills in such a short time, even with practice, my confidence and ability to call up the skill in the moment that it is needed is emerging.”


Tina Foster, MD, MPH, MS

Cindy George, MSN, FNP

Margie Godfrey, PhD, MS, BSN, FAAN

Tina Foster is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and The Dartmouth Institute (TDI). She practices at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH and serves as Vice-Chair for Education in the Dept. of Ob-Gyn. She is board certified in Ob-Gyn and Preventive Medicine. A graduate of UC San Francisco medical school, Tina obtained her MPH (1998) at the Harvard School of Public Health and MS (2001) at Dartmouth’s Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences while she was a fellow in the VA Quality Scholars national fellowship program in White River Junction, VT. She is the former Program Director for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency (DHLPMR), a unique residency focused on improving health and healthcare services.  She is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, certified Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) Facilitator,  and anticipates ACH Faculty status in early 2021.  She co-directs Practicum and improvement courses in the residential and hybrid MPH programs at TDI.  She is a member of TDI’s Coproduction Laboratory and active in the ongoing development of the International Coproduction of Health Network (ICoHN), focusing her work on building Communities of Practice. 

Cindy George is Senior Director of Partnerships for Sustaining Daily Care at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).  She has extensive experience leading change as a Family Nurse Practitioner in pediatric and adult healthcare settings.  Over the past two decades, her main area of practice focused on adults living with cystic fibrosis (CF) in which she played a key role in establishing an adult CF program in Washington, DC.  In 2008, she joined CFF leading national efforts to promote a culture of CF research and to facilitate innovation that address the challenges of balancing CF treatments with everyday life.  A key evidence-based initiative, the Partnership Enhancement Program (PEP), helps clinicians meet the evolving demands in providing CF care and effectively co-producing care with people/families with CF by training them in relationship-centered communication skills, not traditionally offered in professional education.  Her national leadership, her role as a QI coach, and certified Partnership Enhancement trainer have contributed to advances in CF care delivery.

Margie Godfrey is a national and international leader, designing and implementing improvement strategies targeting the place where patients, families, and care teams meet the clinical microsystem. Margie’s primary interest is engaging interprofessional health care professionals in learning about and improving local health care delivery systems with a focus on patients, professionals, processes, and outcomes. Margie is co-author of the bestselling textbooks, Quality by Design (2007) and Quality by Design 2nd Edition (In press) and Value By Design (2011) and the lead author and architect of the Clinical Microsystems: A Path to Healthcare Excellence series.


Team Communication and Relationships Program is a 5-month action-learning program consisting of six virtual sessions (four two-hour sessions and two intensive sessions taking place over two days.) Intensive sessions are typically held in-person, but we have adapted them to take place virtually. 


Course - $3,500 (plus books)

Books (to be purchased by participant-available on Amazon) - $200 - $300

If a group of 3 or larger from your organization is attending, please contact to discuss discounts. Additional discounts available to the UNH community and Relational Coordination Collaborative partners.

Course Materials

Required Materials

  • Prework will be provided in advance of the first session

  • Required Books (to be purchased by the participant)
    • Fisher, R., Ury, W.L. Patton B., Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, NY, NY: Penguin Books, 2011.
    • Miller, W. Listening Well, Eugene, OR, Wipf and Stock, 2018.
    • Schein, E.H. Helping, San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA., 2011.
    • Stone D, Patton B, Heen S. Difficult Conversations, NY, NY: Penguin Group 2010.
    • Stone D, Heen S. Thanks for the Feedback, NY, NY: Viking 2014.

Additional Optional Resources

  • Batalden P., Nelson E., Godfrey, M. Quality by Design, San Francisco, CA: JosseyBass, 2007.
  • Chou, C. Cooley, L., Communication Rx: Transforming Healthcare Through Relationship-Centered Communication. McGraw Hill, 2017.
  • Fisher, R., Brown, S. Getting Together, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1988.
  • Fisher, R., Kopelman, E. Schneider, A. Beyond Machiavelli, NY, NY: Penguin Books, 1996.
  • Fisher, R., Shapiro, D. Beyond Reason, NY, NY: Penguin Books, 2006.
  • Schein, E.H. Humble Inquiry, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA., 2013.
  • Schein, E.H. Humble Consulting, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA., 2016.
  • Suchman, A.L., Sluyter, D.J., Williamson, P.R., Leading Change in Healthcare, London, UK: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2011.
  • "Welcome to the Motivational Interviewing Website!" Welcome to the Motivational Interviewing Website! Web. 26 Aug. 2015.


Participants are expected to have access to a personal computer, updated software, and reliable internet access. Online learning sessions are conducted via ZOOM, and participants are strongly encouraged to use a web camera during all online learning sessions. Participants will have access to course materials and upload assignments via a learning management platform such as Canvas.


Registration refunds will not be granted for cancellations. Substitutions may be requested and rescheduling to a different time can be coordinated directly with our staff.


Contact us at

Spring 2021 - LEVEL 1*

(REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 5:00 pm ET on April 2, 2021)

*Spring 2021 course is all virtual - no travel expenses will be incurred

*Times subject to change based on time zones of participants

Session 1 (Virtual)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 -  5 pm - 7 pm ET

Session 2 (Virtual)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 9 am - Noon ET and 1 - 4 pm ET

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 9 am - 1 pm ET

Session 3 (Virtual)

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 5 pm - 7 pm ET

Session 4 (Virtual)

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 9 am - Noon ET and 1 - 4 pm ET

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 9 am - 1 pm ET

Session 5 (Virtual)

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 5 pm - 7 pm ET


Spring 2022 - LEVEL 1*

(REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 5:00 pm ET on December 17, 2021)

*Times subject to change based on time zones of participants

Session 1 (Virtual)

Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm ET

Session 2 (In Person - New Hampshire)

Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 8 am - 6 pm ET

Friday, March 11, 2022 - 8 am - 6 pm ET

Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 8 am - Noon ET

Session 3 (Virtual)

Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm ET

Session 4 (In Person - New Hampshire)

Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 8 am - 6 pm ET

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 8 am - 6 pm ET

Session 5 (Virtual)

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm ET


Level 2

Enhancing team communication with those you serve

A follow-up program to Team Communication and Relationships Program 1. Refresh and update Team Communication and Relationships Program 1 skills and capabilities. Continue to practice and advance communication and conflict engagement skills to facilitate interprofessional teams to develop safe, constructive working relationships. Develop strategies to motivate and influence colleagues, establish trust across differences of power, culture, race/ethnicity, and gender and resolve barriers to interprofessional collaboration. Learn to leverage personal strengths and continue professional growth. (Must have completed Team Communication and Relationships Program 1).

By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Strengthen basic communication skills
  • Actively seek concerns, perspectives, and barriers to collaboration
  • Build confidence in team members
  • Positively influence and motivate team members to work well together
  • Increase awareness of one’s unconscious biases
  • Model effective conflict engagement
  • Leverage personal/professional strengths to continue growth.

This highly interactive program continues the fundamental knowledge and skills gained in the Level 1 “Team Communication and Relationships Program” program. This program blends web-based learning sessions with face-to-face learning sessions over five months. The face-to-face learning sessions are high energy and interactive with hands-on expert personal coaching to increase your skills and strategies.