Archive for February 2010

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Moving Toward Agreement from the Extremes

Moving Toward Agreement from the Extremes

Image courtesy of Nihat Dursun – Fotolia.com In the last post, I summarized different ways of thinking about the effect of extreme beliefs on efforts to resolve conflict and solve problems. Elizabeth Bader approaches the mediation context in terms of personality and psychoanalytic theory, while Eggers and O’Leary describe how government solutions to major issues […]

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Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Anyone who’s worked at building consensus on public policy knows the frustration of trying to reason with someone who just won’t change a position or even consider alternative possibilities. They may refuse to accept any evidence that seems to disprove their positions and become aggressive and disruptive in the face of challenges. Sometimes, it’s possible […]

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Will Open Government Policies Build Trust for Effective Collaboration?

Will Open Government Policies Build Trust for Effective Collaboration?

The Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative may well be an historic step forward in meeting the goals of transparency, participation and collaboration. But the way these goals are being translated into practice – and evaluated – at least in this early phase, makes me wonder if the initiative will lead to greater accountability and trust […]

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Consensus Building: Changing Minds to Reach Agreement

Consensus Building: Changing Minds to Reach Agreement

For a diverse group to reach consensus, at least some of the participants – perhaps all of them – have to change their minds. They come into the room with differing, often fundamentally conflicting ideas about the challenges they face. They likely disagree on how to define problems, technical methods that should be used to […]

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