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September 26, 2020
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Risk and Public Negotiations: How to Communicate, Listen, and Negotiate With the Public
Advanced level training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
"Communication" is often conveyed through our reputation, attitudes, inactions, and silence, as well as our actions and words; how we do this can create added risks that are as real as scientific risks. This course focuses on how to establish trusting relationships to reduce perceived risks by being: accepting and understanding of different points of view; transparent in our thinking; able to communicate and behave to be understood and credible; and able to manage our actions and words to reinforce our intentions. Unlike most risk communication training, this course takes a broader look at risk communication and how negotiating with the public builds trust, reduces risks and problems requiring added resources.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for EPA and EPA-affiliated Superfund staff and managers, including Remedial Project Managers (RPMs), On-Scene Coordinators (OSC), Site Assessment Managers (SAMs), and Community Involvement Coordinators (CICs) who have had some exposure to the basic concepts of risk assessment. This course is equally useful for EPA and EPA-affiliated technical staff and public involvement staffers who wish to broaden their understanding and effectiveness in communication, risk communication and public involvement.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Develop a conceptual framework for establishing trust to communicate and negotiate with the public;
  • Evaluate how individual attitudes play a role and are influenced by “traditional” routes of accountability and expected results; 
  • Improve public perception and trust of government organizations (and government employees); and
  • Set and convey clear expectations, demonstrate a willingness to negotiate within those expectations, and develop a strategy to manage those expectations.

What are the logistics?
This three-day training course uses real life cases, cases on video, interactive exercises and practical tips to enliven the basic theory and reinforce skills. There are no prepared slides or lectures. More specifically, the course relies on facilitated discussions, led by the trainer, who will draw on participant’s expertise and professional experiences. Course includes reading materials and relevant handouts. Recommended course size is 15-25 participants.

Alvin Chun, a retired U.S. Public Health Service Officer, teaches this course. Captain Alvin Chun is the former Director of EPA’s National Center for Risk Communication and Public Involvement. Captain Chun provides workshops and consultation nationally and internationally to a host of organizations including various State Environmental Departments, USEPA, and environmental health agencies in Australia, Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Is there available background material?

Relationship and Trust Building

  • Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman, 1995
  • Primal Leadership:  Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, 2002
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins, 2001
  • On and Off the Record: Colosi on Negotiation by Thomas Colosi, 1993
  • One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaisen Way by Robert Maurer
  • Principled-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey, 1992

Attitude Formation … Basis for Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

  • The Magic of Conflict: Turning a Life of Work into a Work of Art by Thomas Crum, 1988
  • You Are The Message by Roger Ailes, 1995
  • Influence by Robert Cialdini, 1993  

Goal Setting … To Assure/Persuade

  • One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaisen Way by Robert Maurer
  • On and Off the Record – Colosi on Negotiation by Thomas Colosi, 1993

Dealing with Fear, Anger, Conflicts

  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, 1991
  • The Magic of Conflict: Turning a Life of Work into a Work of Art by Thomas Crum, 1988
  • On and Off the Record - Colosi on Negotiation by Thomas Colosi, 1993
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, 2002
  • Leadership Effectiveness Training L.E.T.: The Proven People Skills for Today’s Leaders Tomorrow by Thomas Gordon, 2002
  • “Risk Communication with Grieving Communities” by Melissa Finucane,
  • Getting Pass No: Negotiating Your Way From Confrontation to Cooperation by William Ury, 1993
     
For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at conley.tina@epa.gov

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