Leadership expectations for scientists and engineers often include the ability to communicate the technical merits of proposed projects to diverse and sometimes adversarial or untrusting parties. These parties may have a stake in the outcomes and have a measure of influence on the success of the project.
Industrial facility permitting, land management plans, and environmental remediation projects that require agency approval and public involvement processes are a few examples of the kinds of projects where it is necessary to communicate with diverse parties. Often, these communications and stakeholder engagement processes become mired in confusion and controversy. Special interest groups are becoming increasingly effective at asserting their interests into proposed project development plans.
Many scientists and engineers find it frustrating to communicate the technical merits of a project within these complex social settings. This course provides an understanding of the causes and characteristics of the controversy. Moreover, it introduces alternative strategies and methodologies to the status quo for managing technically complex and socially controversial projects.
The student will take a multiple-choice quiz consisting thirty (30) questions at the end of this course to obtain PDH credits.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Underlying causes and characteristics of controversy
- Advantages and disadvantages of different conceptual frameworks for conducting stakeholder participation
- Practical and proven planning strategies and methodologies for stakeholder participation including:
- How to anticipate and proactively respond to the Spiral of Conflict
- How to match the communication strategy to the nature of the project
- Major principles of effective negotiation
- Common mistakes made during negotiation
- How to assess the need for implementing state-of-the-art processes for managing multi-stakeholder processes
- Major principles in the design and implementation of managed multi-stakeholder processes
Click on the following link to the PDF document to review the course material before taking the quiz for credit.
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