This stage moves the community toward a greater comfort with the sponsoring company’s goals and with the notion of givebacks for the burden being shouldered by the community.
This stage develops the group’s willingness to accept that there is “reasonable cause” for the project. The goal is not that group members endorse or support the objectives; it is enough for them to acknowledge the existence of a rationale that is driving the sponsoring company to move ahead with its project.
This stage also defines the notion of a “package of givebacks.” The discussion could cover the philosophy behind the giveback approach; the criteria; and the boundaries (such as, “What is the financial maximum amount we can ask for?” “Is anything out of bounds?”). The reality is that some individuals will see this discussion as leading to what they perceive as a bribe, and this view should be acknowledged.
Substantive decisions about givebacks are usually made in negotiations between affected stakeholders and the sponsor/leader. Many of these decisions are made subsequent to holding negotiations off-line. In some cases, the negotiations are conducted in a problem-solving style with the whole group.
While the community weighs in with feedback on the project and decisions about givebacks, the process is not neutral; the sponsor is seeking a specific outcome.