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Building Trust in EPA
Intermediate Level Training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
This hands-on, custom workshop will help your team understand and manage interactions with angry citizens and activists who seem to oppose everything you do and everything that you believe in. We’ll show you how to get people to trust and work with you. 

Who should take this course?

This course is recommended for EPA staff and managers who have any influence in the credibility of the agency. There are no prerequisites for this course.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will:

  • Understand and learn to manage projects and goals better in the current culture of pop-media and public and political polarity; 
  • Leave with a better understanding of public frustration and anger with public and private institutions and, more importantly, how to overcome the challenges with emotional intelligence and humanizing EPA;
  • Understand the myths of opposition and conflict and why most judgments about angry people and their emotions are wrong in the first place;
  • Leave knowing the specific factors that indicate the likelihood and level of public anger;
  • Learn to recognize and avoid the behaviors that you and your staff routinely demonstrate that only make people angrier;
  • Know the most common behaviors and what to do to reduce public anger and opposition and increase your own trustworthiness, credibility and effectiveness;
  • Leave with a practical and workable plan to move your stalled or challenged project or mission forward; and
  • Leave with the behavioral change, approach, strategy, key messages and capacity to succeed.

What are the logistics?
This intensive and customizable one or more day’s workshop is a mix of participant small and large group discussion and demonstration. This workshop is a practical and active session dealing with the most current research from a variety of global sources applied to tested and proven real world experience. This workshop is designed to actively help you plan for your most serious challenge in an intensive, facilitated workshop setting to produce a workable path forward. Recommended course size is 12-30 participants.

John Godec of The Participation Company (TPC) teaches this course. He is an international trainer, consultant and expert in risk and high stakes communication, conflict resolution, consensus, and public participation, specializing in issues management. He has designed and facilitated hundreds of diverse meetings and advisory groups on controversial projects for federal, state, tribal, and private industry entities, and is a Certified Professional Facilitator.

TPC offers a wide range of courses on public participation, collaboration, communication, conflict resolution and facilitation tailored specifically to EPA and the Superfund program. These courses are designed as stand-alone events or combined in many configurations to create a customized program of instruction for groups or teams.

Is there available background material?
There is no recommended background material. Course documents will be provided.

For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

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