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Strengthing the Partnership With Extension

Craven F. Hudson
Area Environmental Management Agent,
Cooperative Extension Service,
Durham Co. Agricultural Building,
721 Foster St.,
Durham, NC 27701,
(919) 560-0527

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (NCCES) can be a major asset to wastewater management professionals. We provide useful, research-based information and non-formal learning opportunities. Since our centers are located in each county and the Cherokee Indian reservation, help is only a short distance from any North Carolina resident.

Helping Make My Job Simpler

Look at the Cooperative Extension Service as a vehicle to help make your job easier. The first step is making contact with one of the local agents. Although few of out agents have had highly specialized training in on-site wastewater management, each county has an agent assigned to this subject. In many cases that agent is a Family and Consumer Education Agent. Get to know that person and you will find a person willing to partner up with you to help your client and the general public understand this complex science.

Our agents are experienced in delivering community educational programs. They are also directly tied into the considerable resources of N. C. State University. University specialists and county agents can bring a variety of resources to bear for solving problems and presenting information.

Extension publications

NCCES has developed a number of publications for the homeowner needing information about wastewater management. These pamphlets are written in easy-to-understand language. Nearly all questions potential homeowners could ask are covered. One of the best publications is the Septic System Owner’s Guide. It is a file folder designed to hold important records. It has space to draw the layout of the system and includes maintenance information. You may want to get a small supply of these from your local agent to have for your client.

Visual Aids

A slide tape set and video on septic management are available from campus specialists. Four counties have groundwater models that work well with school groups as well as adults. The models are located in Cumberland county (910-484-7156), Guilford County (910-375-5876), Orange County (919-732-8181) and the Vernon James Center in Plymouth (919-793-4428).

Computer Tools

Another new tool has recently been developed, but all agents do not yet have access to it. COSMO is a computer program that allows users to compute Costs of On-site Management Options. Users input localized construction costs and the type of systems they are considering. Outputs include total materials and installation costs, present value of total O&M costs, total cost over the life of the system and average monthly cost over the life of the system. COSMO assists with decision making where options exist. Going through the process with a homeowner helps them see the necessity of maintaining their ” investment.” Few homeowners look at their systems as part of their overall home investment.

The Internet is a tremendous information source. Every County Extension center has full access to the World Wide Web. Most county centers have a terminal that is not assigned to a staff member. Contact you local center to set up a time when they can show you how their system works. I am sure they would be willing for you to use one of their terminals. The North Carolina cooperative Extension Service Home Page address is https://www.ces.ncsu.edu.

Conflict Resolution Training

We all run into difficult situations and people in our jobs. Managing conflict effectively is an acquired skill. Extension can provide workshops on conflict resolution. Contact Craven Hudson at 919-560-0527 for further information. Basic information on conflict resolution is included in these proceedings.

Supporting Materials: Drama Triangle

Principles Underlying the Drama Triangle

People carry out roles that have become necessary to affirm how they feel about themselves and others.
When the feelings toward self and others are based to discounts, that person must assume a consistent view to make the outcomes of his/her relationship predictable.

Definition of the Three roles of the Drama Triangle



1) Criticizes others without understanding the reasons behind their actions, or assumes a negative intent when it did not exist
2) Usually gives judgmental and non-specific criticism


1) Role assumed when a person discounts his/her ability and relies on someone else to “take care of them” or criticizes them
2) The role is assume when one places the responsibility for their success of failure on someone else rather than solving their own problems (when they have the ability to solve those problems themselves)


1) Assumed when one discounts another’s ability to handle their own problems, or when one takes responsibility for doing for the other person what they could do for themselves
2) Triggered by the persecutor/victim interactions

Strategies for Getting out of the Drama Triangle

Persecutor role
1) Give specific feedback without attacking the person
2) Stroke

Victim role
1) Maintain a “responsible self”
2) Ask for specifics

Rescuer role
1) Stay out of it
2) Enable other to solve their own problems

Summary of the Key Principles of the Drama Triangle

A. Managers are often expected to take on dysfunctional roles: persecutor, victim, rescuer
B. Employees and managers work most effectively when they take responsibility for their own behavior and problems
C. Managers’ expectations of employees are usually met (Pyhmalion Effect)
D. Every victim plays a part in his/her own victimization
E. Rescue/victim transactions usually turn into persecutor/victim transactions
F. The self-fulfilling prophesy makes the Drama Triangle insidious and stable.
G. Getting out of the Triangle is difficult because it is difficult to see oneself playing roles and because it is so stable to play the roles.
H. Getting out of the Triangle requires three steps/commitments:

1. Seeing oneself in the Triangle

2. Taking the risk to get out of the Triangle

3. Using effective communication skills

I. In the long-term the participation in the drama Triangle results in a downward spiral in performance.

Reprinted with permission form Dr. Stephen K. Straus, Political Science Professor, NCSU, 1996

Notes on “Getting to Yes”

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Penguin Books, New York. 1981

1. Separate the People from the Problem

A. Perception

Put yourself in their shoes
Don’t deduce their intentions from your fears
Discuss each others’ perspectives
Give them a stake in the outcome
Align proposal with values

B. Emotion

Recognize and understand
Make emotions explicit
Go ahead and let them vent
Recognize the tactic Don’t react – buy time to think
Don’t get mad, don’t get even, get what you want

C. Communication

Make the effort
Listen to what they say;listen actively
Speak to be understood
Speak for yourself

D. Prevention works best

Build a working relationship
Face the problem, not the people

2. Focus on interest not positions

A. Identify interests

Ask why;why not
Realize that each side has multiple interest
Most powerful interests are basic human needs
Make a list
If negotiating with a hard bargainer:

go around stone walls

deflect attacks

expose tricks

B. Talking about interests

Make them real
Acknowledge their interests
Put interest before your answer
Look forward not back
Be concrete but flexible
Be hard on the problems, soft on people

C. Build a golden bridge

involve the other side
Satisfy unmet interests
Help them save face
Go slow to go fast

3. Invent options for mutual gain

A. Four obstacles

Premature judgment
Searching for a single answer
Assuming a fixed pie
Thinking that solving their problem is their problem

B. How to invent options

Separate inventing from deciding


Broaden your options
Look through the eyes of different experts
Invent agreements of different strengths

C. Look for mutual gain

Look for shared interests
Dovetail differing interests
Trade off preferences
Make their decision easy

4. Use Objective Criteria

A. Criteria need to be independent of each others’ will

B. Developing objective criteria

Fair standards



feasibility (legal, economic, logistical)

Fair procedures

C. Negotiating with objective criteria

Frame each issue as ajoint search for objective criteria
Reason and be open to reason on which standards to choose
Never yield to pressure, only to principle

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