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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 Qualities / Steps / Go On

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Facilitators help ensure agendas are in the open and all the cards are on the table.

Today, you cannot waltz in and say "We are going to do this, and that is the end of the matter." Someone will stop you. The only way to survive and to solve problems is to work with a wide variety of Federal and non-Federal groups. With all the varying values*definition , concerns*definition , needs, interests, and conflict*definition is almost inevitable.

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navigate in the page--Qualities of a Facilitiator

Success:Get success

Even the most caustic, impossible person may have good points and issues that participants need to consider.

It doesn't matter who the facilitators are. What matters is that they keep everyone focused on solving the problem.

Facilitators work like oil between steel gears. They do not lead, nor do they have a vested interest in one particular answer. Rather, they see the overall picture and act as impartial mediators. Good facilitators must be:

  • Objective
  • Trusted by all or most parties--or considered impartial
  • Able to listen carefully to what is said and not said
  • Able to communicate formally and informally
  • Flexible enough to adapt to change

Ideally, every participant is also a facilitator. This does not mean that each participant is neutral--rather that each participant is genuinely interested in working with others to solve the problem through:

  • Moderating meetings and facilitating discussions
  • Enforcing ground rules and changing them if necessary
  • Identifying misunderstandings
  • Helping to resolve personal, technical, and political conflicts
  • Building consent to reach agreements
  • Asking the tough questions without fear when necessary

    You don't need to be an official facilitator to do these things. Part of Reclamation's role is to work with others to facilitate the decision process. If no one is facilitating in your project, volunteer. If Reclamation has too much of a stake in the outcome or cannot be viewed as an objective facilitator, propose that the group find a neutral facilitator. At times, this might be seen as an attempt to take over and control the process. If so, help others in the group reach the conclusion that a neutral facilitator is needed for themselve and let them chose one.

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navigate in the page--Steps to Becoming a Facilitator

Reclamation's role is to be an honest facilitator to get the job done.

  1. Realize you need a facilitator in the situation
  2. Realize you could be the facilitator.
  3. Find out if there is any training available.
  4. Describe your job so that everyone understands your bias and agenda.
  5. Explain your role objectively. (I'm here to find out what the problem is; I'm here to help try to find a solution.)
  6. Listen to ALL sides. (Check to make sure you hear what people are saying.)

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navigate in the page--Go On

Do a reality check to ensure everyone understands what is going on.

Helpful Hints Tourwizbang help here Public Involvement <---> Levels of Awareness

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