In the community organizing practice called consensus organizing, community organizers learn all they can about the "downtown interests" (the local powerholders) and about the community and its grassroots leaders. The downtown interests and grassroots community leaders often oppose each other and tell themselves and their associates stereotyped stories in which their opponent plays an ineffective or malevolent role. Consensus organizers try to identify a project - such as a job training program - that is of interest to both the community leaders and downtown interests. Then they engage the parties in real dialogue about that program only, leading to productive collaborations and new relationships. Later, those relationships can be used to make real progress on other community issues, since the stereotyped us-vs-them stories have been replaced with a belief in the possibility of shared exploration and shared benefits.
The Consensus Organizing Institute - http://www.consensusorganizing.com/