Sunday, 6 December 2009

What does good consultation mean to you?

For me - good consultation means:
  • Focus on the future (ask what do people want now and next - not what they did or did not want yesterday)
  • Do it early (ie before the glossy 'draft' plan is produced - do it when things are still very rough)
  • Do it in lots of ways (people are different - don't just stick to one method such as the 'residents survey' I got in the post today from Bucks CC)
  • Do it partnership (with other agencies - this would save so much money - and help join up local services)
  • Ask about outcomes not outputs (how do people want the world to be different not what do they think of the 'X' service on a 5 point scale)
  • Get judgements not just opinions (ie give people information and time to think so that you can get their informed views not off the cuff 'yesterday's headlines' opinions
  • Make it two way (so that the person being consulted is helped to take action afterwards as well! See my posting in empowered citizenship)
  • Get everyone together (make sure the head of housing - say - actually has to talk with a tenant: encourage authentic & challenging conversations between all the people involved...)
What about you - how do you consult?

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