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Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation


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

Published in: Education
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Mediation, Consensus Building, and Facilitation

  1. 1. MEDIATION, CONSENSUSBUILDING ANDFACILITATIONMassachusetts Association of PlanningDirectors2011 ConferenceNew Bedford, MAJune 9, 2011Ona Ferguson, Chris Kluchman, AICP, and Shiona Sommerville,AICP
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7. Orientation: Mediation StyleEvaluativeFacilitativeBroadNarrow Based on UnderstandingMediators’ Orientations,Strategies, and Techniques(Riskin, HNLR, v1, 1996)
  8. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 16. Resources Presenters Ona Ferguson, Senior Associate, the ConsensusBuilding Institute, 617-844-1127, Chris Kluchman, Shiona Sommerville,