BUILDING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
|J. Tarpey, N. Crisp, J.P. Costello, and J. Cothern, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 726 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS 66101||
International partnership development must be approached using a variety of awareness and communication techniques. During the last three years, we have initiated, nurtured, and maintained with varying degrees of success partnerships in Russia and Eastern Europe. Fundamental practices of respect, interest, appreciation, and many others are necessary in any developing partnership.
However, those same elements should be enhanced and embraced with the utmost enthusiasm to successfully build, and most importantly, maintain professional and personal relations. Our mission is directed toward environmental preservation and improvement in the U.S. and internationally. The partnerships we cultivate and the quality of that relationship can determine our environmental successes as well. Again, that is true in the U.S., as well as other countries.
There are three ingredients which, if not maintained, can leave both sides with less fruitful results and disappointments attached to initial expectations: trust, professional respect, and cultural appreciation. The selection of individuals to develop international relationships is one of the primary factors in achieving goals. The successful practice of the above actions in an honest and genuine manner is the most critical during the course of creating relationships, particularly internationally.
Transference of technology to our foreign partners benefits all concerned. During this transference, applications of new processes or procedures, both technically and administratively, are routinely questioned due to apprehension of accountability. This element of applying new ideas or technology must be administered with much caution and regard for their highly educated professionals. Firm guidance and visible support of new techniques applicable to another country's structure and system will encourage acceptance.
It should not be surprising that there are occasions when we indeed profit from exposure to some of their practices also. The method used to combine the relationship and technology components holds the secret to past, current, and future international partnerships which produce environmental results for other countries and the United States.
Key words: international, trust, respect
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