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Trainer’s Manual: Getting The Most Out Of Consensus Processes

This Trainer’s Manual, designed as a “workshop for public officials,” provides essential information for any individual, agency or organization that participates in a collaborative process. The workshop is presented in eight modules, each covering an aspect of what has been found to be the “best practices” in participating in a collaborative or consensus building process. It is based on the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) Report, “Best Practices for Government Agencies: Guidelines for Using Agreement-Seeking Processes.”

While all the modules can be used in a single training, workshop sponsors may also decide (depending on their audience and the amount of time available) which ones to use. The material is presented in a 3-ring binder so workshop leaders can insert their own materials, change the order of the exercises, or remove those they don’t plan to use. At minimum, if all the modules are used, the workshop takes about six hours. With the use of panels and more time for small group interaction, the workshop can be between seven and eight hours.

Covering all of the material in one day is a challenge, even for experienced trainers. One idea is to conduct the workshop in a series of meetings so that each section can be covered in-depth way. This could take the form of a two- or three-part workshop, or even a “Module a Month.” The more time one spends on each Module, the greater the likelihood that the material will sink in.

This highly versatile Trainer’s Manual was developed by Chris Carlson, a leading authority on consensus building in the public sector. Her trainings and presentations to state government leaders and others around the country have relied heavily on the materials and exercises in this manual, and have received strong endorsements and reviews from participants.

Chris Carlson – Policy Consensus Institute

Resource Link: www.policyconsensus.org

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