Tom Reynolds, Director of Education Services for the Maryland Municipal League, kicked off the session by engaging attendees, mostly elected officials, in appreciating the multiple areas where consensus building is required. Nick White, Ph.D., Research and Evaluation Director for Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office opened his interactive session with recommending Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury as the seminole textbook on consensus building. He encouraged participants to invent multiple options for mutual gain in negotiations, and to give negotiating partners a “win” to get to their own “win.” Heather Fogg, Quality Assistance Director for the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office led attendees in actively talking through their differences and articulating opposing viewpoints. Reynolds continued with emphasizing the importance of separating the people from the problems. Fogg highlighted purposeful listening. White concluded by discussing mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Consensus and Team Building took place on Wednesday, August 17 at 1:15pm at MACo’s Summer Conference at the Ocean City Convention Center. One of the Core Sessions required for the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance Certificate Program, the session was moderated by Commissioner President Randy Guy of St. Mary’s County.