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This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide


go through page What Is It? / Getting It / Losing It / Go On

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navigate in the page--What Is It?

SuccessGet success

If trust is eroding, stop to stabilize the situation and then move forward. This may make you crazy, but it is better than spinning your wheels in place.

Credibility*definition is earned through an open, honest process which produces relevant results. Without credibility, no one is going to take you seriously. People will not participate or they may attempt to sabotage your process. A process that follows the primary rules for success will build trust and acceptability for your actions. Credibility means that participants:

  • Take your word at face value
  • Understand your role in the decision process
  • Believe that you will do what you say you will do
  • Understand how you got your data
  • Trust you to analyze the data objectively

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navigate in the page--Getting It

Create and maintain credibility by:

  • Involving others to find answers.
  • Being willing to consider all questions.
  • Being an equal opportunity data handler (i.e. share information with everyone).
  • Being the most complete and reliable source of information--especially bad news!
  • Not limiting information access unless absolutely necessary. Release information on request. (At the very least, explain what is confidential and why. The public automatically assumes the worst--an assumption nearly impossible to dislodge.)
  • Telling people quickly when things change.
  • Openly discussing issue and problems will defuse public speculation about myth-truths and enhance trust and credibility.

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navigate in the page--Losing It

The fastest ways to lose credibility include:

Pitfalls ignoring problems

Losing credibility is easy--getting it back is nearly impossible.

  • Ignoring the need for analyses and clarifying underlying assumptions
  • Keeping to a rigid schedule instead of taking time to resolve conflicts
  • Assuming everyone understands issues and needs
  • Excluding publics and not responding to comments
  • Being arbitrary about anything
  • Ignoring cultural differences

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navigate in the page--Go On

Helpful Hints Tourwizbang help hereCommunication <------> Participants

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GeneralPath Builders


Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.