Tips & Resources
- Best Practices for Government Agencies: Guidelines for Using Collaborative Agreement-Seeking Processes: www.acrnet.org
- Environment and Public Policy Section, Association for Conflict Resolution: www.mediate.com
- U.S. Institiute for Conflict Resolution: www.ecr.gov
- National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals: www.ecr.gov
- Choosing an Appropriate Neutral (Guidance from the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution on selecting a neutral): www.ecr.gov
Tips for Reaching Agreement at Meetings
- Talk with key participants about what they want to accomplish
- Circulate a draft agenda for review incorporating members' interests
- Ensure that everyone needed to achieve the meeting's goals participates
- If there are interpersonal issues, address them Ñ they will not go away
- Develop an agenda that focuses on essential issues
- Set realistic goals
- Make everyone feel welcome and valued
- Set a tone that encourages productive participation
- Use humor as appropriate to keep things light and encourage creativity
- Summarize the results
- Get a "buy-in" for the summary from participants
- Develop a follow-up plan that clearly identifies tasks to be accomplished, who is responsible for each task, and timelines.
Tips for Reaching Agreement through Negotiation
- Treat others respectfully and professionally so that they are able to hear what you have to say.
- Clearly articulate what you want/need.
- Actively listen to what other parties say about what they need to reach agreement.
- Ask questions to learn more about the other parties' interests.
- Remember that others need an agreement that addresses their interests, just as you need one that addresses yours.
- Use clear language when drafting agreements. Build contingency plans into your agreement to avoid future misunderstandings.