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Public Involvement Network News

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Collaboration Training Coming in 2008

by Patricia Bonner, NCEI staff

Collaboration skills are a core competency vital for all, in both our professional and personal roles.  William Ruckelshaus, EPA’s first Administrator, recognized that only by working with our co-regulators, stakeholder and the public could we hope to achieve our mission to protect public health and the environment.   For thirty-seven years EPA has been experimenting with collaborative decision making processes and partnerships with varying degrees of success.

Understanding and mastering collaborative skills, knowledge and behaviors will enable EPA to improve relationships and increase capacity to leverage resources, both internally and externally. By enhancing their collaboration capacities, the next generation of EPA leaders can become more successful professionally, help build a Stronger EPA and improve the agency’s ability to build effective partnerships.

The Working Together workshop is itself the result of collaboration.  National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) staff partnered with the Office of Human Resources and the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center as well as with internal and external practitioners to develop the content.  In November 2007, twenty-four people participated in a beta test of the material.  A revised workshop was very well received at the Innovation Symposium in January 2008.. 

The next step is to prepare people to present the course all across EPA.  Offering the workshop in many regions and offices should enable the agency to put into place a common language and a common set of behaviors and skills that can foster partnerships and more successful collaborative actions.

The National Center for Environmental Innovation is now recruiting up to 30 EPA individuals who will be certified to facilitate the workshop during a 2.5 day Train-the-Trainer event to be held May 6-8 in room 4870 of EPA’s Potomac Yard Conference Center facility [2777 Crystal Drive, Arlington,  Virginia  22202].   The completed applications [only on EPA Intranet site] are due to Patricia Bonner by March 31, 2008.

If you are an EPA employee who is interested and would like to participate, please complete the form.  You are also welcome to share the link with others in the agency who, in your opinion, would be effective trainers.

Soon after the May event, individuals within EPA can take the first step in improving their collaborative capabilities by registering for the one-day workshop “Working Together: An Introduction to Collaborative Decision Making”  [only on EPA Intranet site] when it is offered in their offices, regions and laboratories. In a single day there will be the opportunity to better understand collaborative processes; use situation assessment to determine when, which process[es] to use and their likelihood of succeeding; explore key collaborative skills and behaviors and grow their ability to be a collaborative leaders.

[If you are an individual outside EPA and interested in the workshop, send an e-mail to Pat Bonner requesting she add you to a mailing list of people outside the agency who wish to track the progress of this effort and its possible extension to our partners.  Pat will also send you the Working Together course flyer.


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