朝邦文教基金會 CP Yen Foundation

推動對話力, 促進社會正向改變,朝向永續發展的城邦

9月份對話訊息「公部門溝通的創新作法」Innovative Communication in The Public Sector

<刺激銀髮消費>多元對話邀請了產,官,研界,有服務, 產品提供者與消費者參與。由毛院長以及馮燕政務委員開場致詞表示政府對於活耀老化<Active Aging>的重視, 接著短短的三個小時, 參與者熱烈討倫共同的挑戰, 連接資源, 給予政府建議。結束時,有參與者表示, 結束才是力量的擴散, 結束時比開始時更有能力!

「公部門溝通的創新作法」
9月份對話新訊息


公務人員的角色包括政策的制定和執行,在公部門裡政策的制定者和管理者、執行者之間的溝通,往往就是用長官主持的會議甚至是一紙公文的方式進行,以致過程中屢有缺失;如何採取有效的溝通方式,達成目標一致、作法明確的共識,「面對面互動式的溝通」則是關鍵。

「2001年第一次參與開放空間會議之後,開啟我日後使用不同會議進行的形式。」馮燕說。她表示,不僅常推薦他人使用開放式討論(Open discussion),自己在實踐過程中也驗證參與式對話的魔力,在推動議題上有極大的助益;參與者在開會過程中,對主題的參與感、擁有感相對提升,個人感受力也隨之浮現,較會願意更深入去理解眼前議題的真實面貌。

馮燕是行政院政務委員,負責督導社會福利相關政策和青年創業議題。其督導業務的相關部會包括:衛福部(社福相關)、勞動部、內政部(人團與社政)、教育部(青年發展署)、經濟部(中小企業處)、行政院性平處等。以其在社會工作與社會福利三十多年來教書及實務參與的經驗,在行政院扶植推動各項結合社會、民間、企業的政策與行動方案,如:友善關懷老人方案、長期照顧服務與長期照顧保險方案、青年創業方案、促進青年就業方案、少年戒菸反毒方案、完善生養環境方案、社會企業行動方案……等。

以下馮燕政委接受朝邦文教基金會執行長的專訪摘要:

問:參與公部門的繁忙事務,每逢見面您總是展現樂觀且熱情豐沛,這背後支持的力量是什麼?

答:1983年我從美國回來後,擔任教職三十年,歷經各級政府邀聘的委員、顧問等職務,也在教學研究之餘,參與非營利組織的發起、建設、改造,一直都是在民間期待政府能把國家政策、資源運用弄得更好一點。兩年前非常感謝江宜樺院長邀我進入行政院,來做這個政務委員,我非常珍惜這個機會,所以深自期許要知福惜福,努力做事;對我來說:這是很好的學習機會,驗證一切所學,同時也是我們社工專業界集體心願達成的機會,當然很樂意把握每一個可能有所貢獻的機會。

再來就是,我擁有很強的幕僚團隊。辦公室有六位能力強態度好的青年同仁,大家工作氣氛很好,又能互相支援,是我背後的有力後盾。


問:您是什麼機緣認識朝邦文教基金會?

答:2001年參與馬英九市長競選第二任時,由婦女鳳翔計劃發起,在開平中學主廚之家舉辦的開放空間會議而認識的。那時我回國有一陣子了,教書之外身還兼任兒童福利聯盟文教基金會執行長;恰巧兒盟成立快十年,正是共創願景的階段,回想唸書時學到:組織發展到一段期間,要做策略規劃和願景討論,但我實際自己帶起來感覺蠻吃力的,面對每個人意見不同時怎麼辦?剛好那天有婦女福利界的朋友孫麗珠告訴我,有個活動很有趣我一定會喜歡。她說我可以去學一種有趣的討論方法,所以我是去學方法,結果印象深刻!我第一次接觸到Jorie和這種「引導師」的專業名稱。 

 
問: 第一次參與引導會議的經驗是? 

答:那次會議我有三個印象非常深刻的事情:
一,不用桌子的會議,讓大家當作茶敘的時間,一起來談心。這個很棒!
二,參加會議時,每個人都可以講話。以往我們是年輕老師,在一些會議上先進講了一些話之後就不會有發言機會。但在那裡,你還可以去拿一張紙去寫(議題)來談一談東西。這令人印象非常深刻!                                                         三,過程中同時有好幾個討論進行,一直都很感動。結束時,大家還坐成一圈,每個人都講一句話,雖然限制只有一句話,可是每個人還是講個不停。引導師暗示明示發言時間有限,但每個人就是很有感受!後來,我有段時間沒有接觸。後來在聯合勸募參加策略規劃時,又和朝邦文教基金會的緣份連繫上。(註:該次會議採取開放空間會議方式進行) 


問:這次的引導經驗如何影響您日後對於「參與式對話」的重視?

答:在這個經驗裡,出現一個創意──「它顛覆了我們以往開會時,需要的大桌子、固定位子、一個既定的議程。」開會的目的,就是達成共識;而這種開會方式和對話──就是可以達成共識的一種方式,而且每個人都覺得沒有浪費時間。它也開啟了我,之後更擁有開放的心。對於日後的開會、作決策、尋求幫助或蒐集資料……等不同情況,我再也不會只用傳統方法,反而是會去多看、多尋找有沒有更多的方法。後來,我也經常推薦別人用開放式討論 (Open discussion),自己實際帶領過也會儘量使用。我記得引導師Jorie說過:這個方法不論人數多寡,十人、一百人、一千人都適用。當時不可置信,但後來驗證,發現真的可以。
(引導師補充:前置作業非常重要,事前準備充足,結果就會好!) 


問:您目前是政務委員,工作中經常要推動各項專案;專案在執行之前,要先研擬出一份政策白皮書或願景白皮書,這個實際過程是如何做?

答:通常傳統的政策擬定作法是:部會發文相關單位蒐集資料、評估,然後開審查會議定案。如果是跨部會,由行政院主導,如果只是單一部會,則是部會首長主導,然後發文給相關單位,請各部會檢視現有業務,把相關的政策、措施、方案、計劃提報出來,讓其他相關單位回報是否有其他意見,然後是國發會、主計人事等幕僚單位表示意見,或委由政委召開跨部會審查會議,最後由院長核定。這整個過程中主要是用文字溝通,頂多加上表格。每個部會都要產出一份計畫書,主政單位就彙整作出一個總表,裡面有各個負責分工部會的計劃名稱、預期的成果、時間、預算……等。至於各單位之間的各項計畫措施,是否有重複或衝突的情形,則因各個分項計畫書太過細瑣繁雜,整合不易而不得而知。

2013年我八月上任經手的第一個大型跨部會方案,是「第二期促進青年就業方案」,據說這個方案耗時已久,本應在年初就接續推動,但因為各部會提出的計畫措施太零散,修改了若干次仍不理想,所以一直沒有通過,不斷在公文往返敘明理由。這時,我就在思考政策形成的過程都是以文字、公文形式流轉,加上公文層層核批費時費力,但是由於沒有直接溝通,導致大家莫衷一是,並不完全了解其他單位的意見。所以那時採用的第一個方法是直接打電話去問,問了各單位大家的真正意見,才發現之中其實有許多誤解。後來就想到過去體驗過的引導經驗可以派上用場,為什麼大家不能一起面對面來溝通?一個政策的形成,勢必要大家一起做,想要有共識,就一定要有直接的溝通。一個需要被直行的政策,其願景和方向是一定要溝通的,才能被各相關執行單位認養、讓大家都覺得是自己同意的主意才行。所以後來我做《高齡社會白皮書》就採用參與式的多元對話, 請朝邦的引導團隊來規劃與引導。 


問: 剛才提到的「高齡政策研討」,那天會議經過一天的開放空間會議後,彙整出五個策略,會議後如何運用這些結果?

答:我們將那些討論出來的策略與原來各部會提出的政策措施資料比對, 重新排列組合。有些與各部門原先的提案相同,肯定了部會的方案,有了這樣的共識,再回饋給跨部會確認時就很順利了。即使有些不是部會原來提出的方向,當跨部會討論時,說明是大家開放空間會議中彙整出來的重要議題,溝通起來就也比較順利被接受了。當邀請的參與者是對的人時,影響了結論的品質,也影響到它的可行性。

問:您在認識和體驗過「對話、引導」之後,在專案推動上所帶來的幫助又是什麼?

答:
公務員工作常見的死角是,當他不認同時,就會說:「沒有法據,先修法後再來做」,這等於是在雙方之間築了一道牆。但是經過有效溝通,點燃他的熱情之後,他就可以用心想辦法幫你築一座橋,讓你可以輕易地走過去。所以我認為,採取什麼溝通方式會決定不同結果──你是築一道牆來阻礙溝通,還是興建一條橋開展交流。

到目前為止,「面對面互動式的溝通」都頗有成效。參與者在經過討論、提問、回答、辯證,或挑戰別人、被人拒絕、接受的過程之後,所有參與者心裡會升起許多感受,比較會願意更深入理解這到底是什麼意思;參與感和擁有感也會浮現出來。所以人的觀念最重要,溝通中如果資訊充足,任一方就不會採取防衛的態度。


問:「面對面互動式的溝通」有時需要引導師來規劃流程,您是如何看待其中的價值?這個對話過程,在您推動議題上的助益是?

答:
「面對面互動式的溝通」可以有兩種實踐,一是,像是非營利組織(NPO)這種扁平組織,本來就沒有很大的溝通障礙,加上多半沒有經費外聘專家,所以組織內職權裡可以讓好的溝通技術導入進來。二是,政府單位則是層級分明的講究行政倫理的地方,無法總是暢通溝通管道。所以若要導入溝通技術,需要透過外部人士,需要一位中立者就是專業引導師。這個角色非常重要──要能讓所有人信任。信任是指:「我(參與者)說實話不會有什麼不良後果,我可以自由表達。」的領悟,而引導師聽得懂所有參與者說的話也很重要。所以這件事,由專業引導師來做的結果會比較好、比較真。   
                            
這個對話過程它在推動議題上的幫助,一是,讓參與者印象深刻。因為大家從來沒參與過這種會議,一旦經驗過新奇的事情之後就很難忘記。我自己的經驗是,通常每做完一場,後來在不同場合都還會有人給予正向回饋。二是,由於大家可以自由表達,所以談話內容真的比較豐富、多元,也比較有效率!在既定的會議時間中,往往只能有四個或六個人講話;相較於在開放式討論時可以有有三十幾個人、七十幾個人都可以講話的情況下,對話品質就會有所不同。

 
問:在這樣互動、參與式討論過程中,您所遇到的挑戰是?若是要在公部門推動,您的策略是?針對首次舉辦引導活動的主辦單位,尤其首次體驗開放式、引導式會議的參與者而言,您的建議是?

答:
公部門推動最大的挑戰是時間,公務人員個人業務都很繁忙,要選定一個大家都能共同參與的時間,又要超過三小時作較深度討論時,頗為困難;二是,重塑參與者的觀點,因為當一個人業務熟悉後就容易有既定的預設立場,如果碰到不懂或不熟悉的事物會產生懷疑的態度。若是在公部門推動,事前的溝通與準備工作非常重要,最好先要了解參與者是抱著什麼心態參與,是好奇呢?或是被動的僅做個觀察員?

若是首次舉辦的單位,除了說明會議形式之外,也要讓參與者了解開放式多元對話的會議與傳統會議的差別,以及會議活動如何進行?如活動議題、時程安排等內容,並邀請他們事前稍做準備,帶著自己的想法來,最後要讓參與者收斂到可以展開的行動計劃(會議結論)。


問:若是主辦者沒有參與過引導活動,但卻得知您主辦的引導會議有口碑好評。您會如何引導主辦者在會議展開前,對該會議的價值、效益有明確的認知以及影響主辦者能夠放心執行?

答:
我會親自和主辦單位連絡分享我的經驗,這就是口碑Word of mouth的力量!讓有經驗的人去影響對方。你可以讓第一次參加的人去詢問已經參加過的人的經驗──你參加過的收穫如何?或是就直接邀請他們來相關會議體驗看看,就當一個旁觀者或參與者。

 
問:若是公部門在制定政策或凝聚共識時,所有參與者都願意保持開放,您心中所預期的政府效能會是什麼模樣?

答:
很難一言以蔽之。但我認為關鍵是──「誰來引導?誰來參加?」人對了結果就對;只要人來到現場,經過暖場或引導師帶領,過程中自然攪動氣氛,不投入其中也很難!

我預期的政府效能方面,至少有兩種: 一是,人與人之間搭起橋樑,有個認識的人,以後若要談分工合作會順暢許多;以往一份公文被退或有不同回文時,防禦、猜忌、攻擊…等狀況就會減少,所以打破單位間的各自孤立狀況非常重要。二是,溝通共識以後的政策,就不會是人人一把號、各吹各的調。過去我們看到很多情況就是沒有溝通,因為各方的想像不一致,以致於一個公文批下去到各單位手中就有不同解讀。以「高齡社會白皮書」為例,經過共識營的開放討論後,各方在面對高齡社會的各種應對政策推動執行時,至此不論政府內、政府外,或是看似有意、無意的誤解與衝突都已大幅減少。

Photo from the Open Space Meeting "Stimulating silver haired consumption". Multiple perspectives are invited including industry, government, research, goods and service providers and consumers. Minister Feng Yen expresses the Government's attention to "active aging".  Over three hours, participants enthusiastically discussed common challenges, connected resources, and feedback for the Government.  By the end  participants felt much more power together than when they had when the day began!

September Issue of Dialogue News:
Innovative Ways of Communication in The Public Sector



The role of civil servants includes policy making and implementation.  Communication among those who make policies, managing and implementing the policies is critical. Normally, this is done by meetings hosted by senior officials or through “paper journeys” which results in many misunderstandings.  How to have effective communication and reach consensus on goals and strategies using “face to face interactive communication” is critical.

“Since I attended an Open Space Meeting in 2001, I have tried to use different meeting formats when I conduct meetings” said Minister without Portfolio, Dr. Feng Yen. She not only recommends others to use open discussion forums but also benefits from the magic of dialogic meeting.  This method makes the advocated issues more impactful. Meetings become more participatory which also increases ownership of the decisions made.  Participants are more willing to understand the real issues beyond its surface complexity.

Minister Without Portfolio, Dr. Feng Yen  is  in charge of  social welfare and youth entrepreneurship matters: overseeing welfare, labor, interior, education, economic (small and medium enterprise), and sexual equality. Over the last 30 years, she has devoted herself in a variety of initiatives related to elderly care, youth employment, social entrepreneurship, long term care for the elderly, and active ageing.

This month’s newsletter reports an interview with her by CP Yen Foundation Executive Director Jorie Wu.


Q: As a government official, you have very busy schedule. However you always appear to be energetic, passionate and optimistic. What is the driving force that supports you to move on?

A:
 In the 30 some years since my return from my studies in the US in 1983, I have taught at schools, served as a member of committees, in advisory roles, etc. and did quite of research; all with the aim of helping the government make better use of its resources for a better Taiwan. I am really grateful to PM Chiang I Hwa who gave me the opportunity to serve.  It is an opportunity that I have prepared 30 years for.  I am also very fortunate to have a strong team of 6 dedicated and competent staff. 


Q: How did you know of CP Yen Foundation?

A:
 In 2001, I met you at an event that was about a women’s employment project during Major Ma’s second election.   At that time I had just returned to Taiwan and besides my teaching job I was also the managing director of the Child Welfare Federation.  The most challenging task for me was to create a common vision in the organisation.  The Managing Director of the Women Welfare project introduced me to this event and recommended me to learn a new discussion methodology. That was the first time that I heard about “facilitation". Several years later, we connected again at the strategic consensus workshop at the United Way-Taiwan.


Q: Describe your experience of your first facilitation event

A: There were 3 things that left a deep impression on me:  
Firstly, there were no conference tables, just continuous tea breaks where everybody can talk and share. 
Secondly, everybody had opportunity to talk, not just the higher ranking participants. 
Finally, during the whole process, all the participants were so moved that they couldn't stop talking.   (Note: that event was an Open Space meeting)
 

Q: How did this experience affect your view on participatory, dialogic meetings later on?

A: This kind of experience revealed the 'creative impact.' It overturned our traditional mind set of meetings which consists of big conference tables with set seating and a preset agenda.  This new kind of meeting and dialogue facilitates consensus which is the purpose of meeting. Everybody felt the time was well spent. This also opened me up to thinking about the ways I could conduct meetings, make decisions, collect information and ask for help.  From then on I would always look for a better method and not just rely on traditional methods.  Since then I have recommended open discussion to others.  I remember Jorie telling us that this open discussion method can be used in groups of all sized from 10 to 1,000.  I found that to be unbelievable but now I know it is possible. (Note: comprehensive and well done preparation prior to the event is the key.)

 
Q: As minister without portfolio, you undertake many initiatives for policy making. Tell us how policies got made? What are the procedures? 

A: The traditional way which government communicates is by ministries issuing an official document.  If it is across several ministries, the Prime Minister’s office will initiate and send documents to related ministries. This creates a paper work journey that often takes months.  Worse is that since it is all in written words it is often fraught with misunderstandings and worst, defensive walls often go up.

In 2013, I was in charge of a big cross-sector project named “The second stage plan for youth employment”.  I found  all the related documents and proposals have been traveling around and information was not cohesive. I then realised that the best way to reach understanding is simply to pick up the phone and talk to people.

Why can’t people get together and have face-to-face communication? Formulating policy takes collaboration.  To reach consensus, we must communicate. For instance, a vision statement requires communication and needs people to implement it; therefore the ideas need to come from those who are involved in implementation.  This is why when formulating the “White paper for Aging Society Policies “, I invited you to design process and facilitate the discussion.


Q: At the end of Open Space the meeting on White Paper for Aging Society Policies , the discussions converged in to five strategies. How did you make use of the final outcome? 

A: After the meeting, we shared the outcome with various ministries and compared the content with their original report, then we reorganize the priorities. Some of the proposals were similar to their original ones. However, this was a consensus report so we were able to talk more easily to different ministries despite different opinions. The right people in the meeting will affect the discussion quality and feasibility 
 

Q: How has “dialogue, facilitation” helped the projects that you are leading?

A: 
When civil servants experience disagreement they will often suggest amending policy /law first. This creates the feeling of building a wall between two parties. However, with effective communication, passion for solving the disagreement could be ignited and the civil servants would instead work together to build bridges to transcend the issues at hand. Therefore, I believe, the communication format determines the results: whether to build walls to block the communication or bridges to open the communication. Up to now, face-to-face interactive communication has been effective. Through listening, discussion, inquiry or deliberation, participants have opportunities for dialogue, enhancing understanding and decreasing defensiveness even if being challenged or rejected.  Participants would have a better feeling of involvement and ownership in the end product.


Q: This type of face-to-face, participatory group discussion often requires a facilitator to design the process and facilitate. How do you view the value of having a facilitator in the “face-to-face group discussion “? How does it help your work?

A:
 The value of a professional facilitator is key because he or she is neutral and is an outsider.   A neutral facilitator is trusted by the group; the group trusts that they are safe to say what they want to say. The facilitator also needs to be able to tap into the group’s wisdom. In a hierarchical government organisation this is especially important.

There are two primary values in this kind of open discussion meeting. 
One, is that the process is new and fresh for participants and therefore can generate excitement and leave a lasting impression. 
Two, is that in this method everybody can speak, making the content more rich, diverse and effective. Furthermore, participants also include non-government sectors who often bring in constructive ideas. Through face-to-face meetings we are building relationships, and relationships help communication.
 

Q: What are the challenges in hosting the participatory open discussion?
What suggestions would you give to those who will organise this type of meeting first time?

A:
 The first challenge is trying to find a workable time for everybody to meet for at least 3 hours.   Secondly, is to change their mind-set about meetings; enabling them to understand that this will be very different from traditional meetings.  Therefore, pre-meeting communication and preparation are crucial.  Understand participants' intention and expectation is also important. Invite them to bring their own issues to the meeting and through engaging discussion, conclude with actions that they can bring back to implement. The prior preparation facilitators do is critical for understanding the mindset of participants.  


Q: How would you help sponsors who have not participated in any of dialogue events? How would you help them to see the value and establish trust and confidence in using these meeting methods?

A:
 The best way to initiate those who have no prior experience in such non-traditional forms of meetings is by word of mouth. I would personally share my experience and benefits from these meeting approaches.  Inviting them to attend those meetings as a participant or observer is a way to start too.

 
Q:  If the government were to apply participatory dialogue in meetings when making policies or achieving consensus, what effect do you think that would have?

A: I cannot answer in only a few words. The key is who is facilitating and who is participating.  Once they come it is difficult not to participate.  They cannot isolate themselves as silos.  Civil servants tend to be shy and reserved, so two results can be expected:  firstly, bridges are built between participants and the silo effect is reduced; secondly, with better communications and bridges there will be less singing their own tunes and fewer conflicts.

Civil servants have good intentions and are diligent.  The challenge is to incorporate and organise everybody’s ideas into a generally accepted format.  Once everybody has participated previously in an open discussion meeting, people are more likely to accept the outcome as general consensus.  The result is that there is less criticism resulting in greater harmony and efficiency in the execution.

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