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Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation
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Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation


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Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation …

Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation
Ona Ferguson
Chris Kluchman
Shiona Sommerville

Published in: Education

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  • 1. MEDIATION, CONSENSUSBUILDING ANDFACILITATIONMassachusetts Association of PlanningDirectors2011 ConferenceNew Bedford, MAJune 9, 2011Ona Ferguson, Chris Kluchman, AICP, and Shiona Sommerville,AICP
  • 2. Overview Introductions Communication Orientation/Mediator Styles Key Mediation and Negotiation Concepts Interests and Positions Neutrality Identifying Appropriate Process andResources (How will I use this in my job?)
  • 3. ExerciseInstructions: The person at the front of the room mayspeak. Others must remain silent until directed tospeak. Draw what is described to you. Your objective is to draw the same image theperson at the front of the room is describing asaccurately as possible.
  • 4. Communication: Advice Provide the big picture (intent, the “why”) Go fast by going slow Use different images Look for disconfirmation Create a common language Foster group responsibility Provoke feedback Promote active learning
  • 5. Sources of land use disputes Varied needs and interests: Economic, cultural, personal Different and changing values Personal & organizational Leads to different strategies Changing players & roles Misunderstandings & miscommunications Interpretations of regs & law (rights, facts) Relationship history
  • 6. Orientation: Mediation Style What is your style as a mediator? Do you seeyour scope of discussion as broad or morefocused? What is your measure of success? Improves interpersonal dynamics, trust betweenparties Improves substantive outcomes, more efficientprocess, etc.
  • 7. Orientation: Mediation StyleEvaluativeFacilitativeBroadNarrow Based on UnderstandingMediators’ Orientations,Strategies, and Techniques(Riskin, HNLR, v1, 1996)
  • 8. Orientation: Personal Bias Substance/Relationship tension What is your measure of success? Improves interpersonal dynamics, trust betweenparties Improves substantive outcomes, more efficientprocess, etc.
  • 9. Key Concept: Getting atInterests Definitions Motivations of parties Reasons/core needs underlying positions Why talk at level of interests? Enlarges scope of outcomes Creates value Reveals common ground, or what parties valuedifferently (as source of trading) Ownership of outcomes hence greater compliance Practice Advice Focus on parties’ interests not positions Use interests to generate options
  • 10. Key Concept: Getting atInterests (Maybe include as final point) Take intoaccount multiple interests whencommunicating Substantive (I want to graze 100 acres) Procedural (I want a fair process) Personal (I need for me respect, dignity) Psychological (I am anxious, angry, excited) Cultural (I am a member of . . .) Cognitive (I understand/don’t understand)
  • 11. Key Concept: Neutrality Neutrality one of three principles of mediation(HMP) Party’s self-determination Party’s informed consent Mediator neutrality Not absolute – effort to uphold one canthreaten another What are your personal thresholds as amediator?
  • 12. Identifying the Right Process There are many types of processes, forexample: Scientific panels Advisory groups Charettes Committees Public Meetings Focus Groups Each is appropriate for a different purpose Makes sense to select carefully the processyou use to engage stakeholders or the public
  • 13. Common Objections &ResponsesObjection ResponseIt isn’t part of the required process. The required process is a minimum,not a ceiling. This would supplementthe process.We aren’t authorized to requireadditional processes.There are likely several points wherecollaboration is possible.It will add extra time & hassle to theprocess.Weigh costs against cost, time andsatisfaction of not doing it.It will cost too much & we don’t havemoney allocated to that.Paying early on to ensure goodoutcome might decrease defensecosts later.We can handle this ourselves. Control remains as is, the processwould help deliver a good outcome.Others won’t participate in good faith. Possibly, but tease out interests toimprove proposal and decrease thatlater on.
  • 14. When to Seek SupportSome criteria to consider in determining whetherto seek professional mediation or facilitationassistance: Has this conflict evolved over a long period oftime? Are there many stakeholders or involvedparties? Are the issues interconnected and complex? Is there distrust among parties and of theconvener?
  • 15. Resources Books Fisher, Ury & Patton, Getting to Yes Fisher & Shapiro, Beyond Reason Susskind, The Consensus Building Handbook Susskind & Cruikshank, Breaking Robert’s Rules Faga, Designing Public Consensus Websites The Association for Conflict The Consensus Building Institute:
  • 16. Resources Presenters Ona Ferguson, Senior Associate, the ConsensusBuilding Institute, 617-844-1127, Chris Kluchman, Shiona Sommerville,