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5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

communicate the outcomes

communicate the outcomes from an analysis. It is important to remember, though, that the process of analysis itself is a part of managing conflict. Done well, the process itself can help foster trust and mutual understanding.An early agreement on the individual and collective concerns and opportunities can help establish the stage for positive negotiation of emerging issues. 3.3. Capacity Building Undertaking a process of analysis often requires capacity building. Some stakeholders will be familiar with negotiating from a business perspective. Others will see negotiations as embedded within their own culture and society—the way they negotiate and problem solve will be different. Others may use legal frameworks or a scientific approach to analysis. Again, addressing the process of analysis is itself a part of the overall approach to managing conflict. Capacity building skills and tools may need to be deployed at an early stage. Identifying and responding to gaps in conflict management skills or to gaps in resources requires a sophisticated approach to capacity building backed up by appropriate levels of resourcing (e.g., for training and stakeholder support). Building capacity is best seen as an ongoing activity rather than a linear one. Highquality capacity building forms part of addressing inequalities in power relations. Strengths and needs analysis and some form of training needs analysis are important first steps in 18. Negotiations and Conflict Management 133 Name of person or party A B C Position or stance in relation to the conflict Needs Concerns, anxieties, or fears Attitudes toward the others Assumptions about the others Values and beliefs Historical issues (e.g., past misunderstandings) Types of power (e.g., moral, financial, political) Figure 18.3. Matrix to help analyse conflict. capacity building. 176 Capacity building actions also need to be linked with reflection, so that interventions can be monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis. This process, too, helps to build confidence and trust, when people appreciate the fact that someone somewhere is taking responsibility for empowering key stakeholders to participate effectively. 3.4. Effective Communications Building and maintaining effective communications are key aspects of conflict management and multi-stakeholder partnerships in forest landscape restoration. Providing, managing, using, and facilitating access to information is part of any communication strategy. 177 What is additionally important in conflict management is ensuring that these things translate into meaningful understanding. Indeed, effective communications are vital to generating and disseminating the high levels of understanding of different stakeholders’ perspectives and needs that good conflict management requires. Some aspects of effective communications relate to general communications strategies: the frameworks and mechanisms for enabling stakeholders to engage with one another on relevant matters. This includes documents, meetings, the use of different media, and an overall information, communication, and monitoring management system, such as a logical framework or 176 Bartram and Gibson, 1997. 177 Dalal-Clayton and Bass, 2002, Ch. 8.

134 S. Jones and N. Dudley “On-off listening”—drifting off into personal affairs while someone is talking “Switch off” listening—words that irritate us so that we stop listening “Open ears–closed mind” listening—we decide the speaker is boring and think that we can predict what he or she will say, so we stop listening “Glassy eyed” listening “Too deep for me” listening—when ideas are complex or complicated there is a danger we will switch off “Matter over mind” listening—when a speaker says something that clashes with what we think and believe strongly, we may stop listening Being “subject-centred” instead of “speakercentred”—details and facts about an inci- action plan. Other aspects relate more to interpersonal communications, such as getting the balance right between telling and asking, or become a good listener (Box 18.3). In dealing with conflict, one important distinction is between telling and asking. Giving free information is an important part of building communications. However, if one is usually “telling” people, this can be perceived as aggressive and dominating (e.g., “I’m going to tell you what the law says—and that is the end of the story”). Asking relevant questions in an involving, open way can communicate a sense of concern and interest, that someone has bothered to identify questions that may help mutual understanding. Of course, a balance between the two is needed. 3.5. Creative Thinking People and agencies tend to think and react in the ways that they always have done. The way we think is constrained by many things, including our experience, worldview, education, and degree of comfort with new ideas. Creative Box 18.3. Barriers to Good Listening dent become more important than what people are saying themselves “Fact” listening—we try to remember facts but the speaker has gone on to new facts and we become lost “Pencil” listening—trying to put down on paper everything the speaker says usually means we are bound to lose some of it and eye contact is also lost “Hubbub” listening—there are many distractions that we listen to instead “I’ve got something to contribute” listening—something the speaker says triggers something in our own mind and we are so eager to contribute that we stop listening An awareness of the above barriers to listening can be a first step in avoiding them. Adapted from training materials, Centre for International Development and Training, University of Wolverhampton, UK. thinking is about breaking these patterns to look at situations in new ways—thinking “outside the box.” Creative thinking is an important asset to conflict management at all stages, not just analysis. Often, a breakthrough can come when creative thinking allows the situation to be reframed—changing the way we construct and represent the conflict. 178 Reaching agreement requires strong skills in synthesis—thinking creatively about how to develop an agreement and monitoring process that everyone can live with can be challenging. A number of tools exist that can help enhance people’s creative thinking skills. One-on-one and in small groups, good facilitators and trainers can help to build creative thinking skills. Where things get trickier is moving through organisations’ management and decisionmaking structures to translate the creative, useful thoughts into actions that are helpful. Creative thinking is culturally embedded. Indeed, culture plays a major part in resisting 178 Lewicki et al, 2003.

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