The Role Of Role Of Chairperson For The Mra

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Preparation is essential when acting in the role of Chairperson for the MRA. It was not enough to understand the Elizabeth Quay project and the agenda of the MRA; I needed a thorough understanding of the background, concerns and risks for each stakeholder’s organisation and their contribution to the development. This understanding underpinned the preparation of my oral presentation and provided a foundation to anticipate the agenda of the other parties. An informed position is powerful – I entered the negotiation with a clear agenda, an understanding of allowable concessions, counterarguments to foreseeable challenges and the ability to communicate in an empathetic way. Crucially, a thorough understanding of the Elizabeth Quay development viewed from different stakeholder positions, prepared me to facilitate an open and respectful dialogue. Whilst preparation was an essential element for knowing what to discuss – how to communicate these points determines the success or failure of the overall negotiation.

Communication is the vehicle of negotiation. A negotiation is the process of discussing objectives with the view to reaching a consensus. Further, this process requires respectful, clear communication and active listening. During the process of the negotiation active listening is pivotal - paraphrasing and parroting ensures other parties that their agenda has been understood and considered, creating a feeling of open discussion rather than placing people in the position

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