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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

Informal Communication

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Informal rapport with the team and other groups is probably the most important ingredient in the study. Don't take your role so seriously that you forget to be human.

Sincerity is hard to fake.

You can work formally with someone or some group and yet not accomplish anything because the rapport and credibility that informal contact brings is missing.

The system works through personalities. You need to talk with people on all levels face to face, not merely through formal channels. People will be more willing to listen and to send information to you because they know you on a first-name basis and feel you understand their views.

Informal communication also helps to:

Make it a point to provide opportunities for informal discussions. Get core team members involved with other groups on an informal basis. Attend meetings with organizations--people will probably appreciate your efforts. (They may kid you a little, but this also establishes rapport.) Have meals with representatives from different groups or adjourn to a restaurant after a formal meeting.

If your heart isn't in going to Trout Unlimited meetings or getting to know people informally, find a way that you can interact or let those who want to do so. An insincere gesture may be worse than no gesture at all.

Informal contact can help even in confrontational situations:

  • You remove the battle gear. This allows participants to let down their guard far enough to see that personal views may not be that far apart after all.
  • You can be seen as a human being . This provides a way to respect each other's viewpoints.


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