pa100023_200Consensus Building Defined

Read a definition of consensus building.

Team Profiles

Jeff Goebel
Lena Lencek
Kate Thomsen
Peter Donovan


View a list of clients.


Words from those who know our work best:

” Jeff is an engaging trainer with solid skills. He has the ability to lead a group, without taking them over. As an attendee in one of Jeff’s recent trainings, I was pleased to see the evolution of the group. Group members moved from simply participating when asked to be involved, to being leaders, with minimal direction for sections of the training. As a result, the training connected with every member, and provided a positive learning opportunity.”

— JoAnn Jackson, MBA – Consultant and Mediator, Portland, OR

“Jeff Goebel’s wisdom enables people to expand their understanding and consideration of those with whom they work and play. Workshop participants will find new reserves of patience. They will learn new techniques for resolving tense situations, and how to build mutual respect among people with conflicting interests. Their new knowledge will be valuable in their careers and jobs as well as in their personal lives. Even relatively mature and experienced people will gain knowledge and insights.”

– Beverly Isenson, Governor’s Council on Environmental Education, WA, USA

“Hi Jeff,

Just received a copy of the notes you compiled for the PMH session you led in December. First, you put a lot into the notes alone — wow! But most importantly, thank you very much for the energy you put into taking us through the sessions and all the thoughtful preparation (and life experiences) you brought to the exercises. It was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had in a retreat/learning forum. And yes, I do have much to be gratefull for and many riches in my life.”

– Will Kuhlman, Executive Director, Pullman Memorial Hospital Foundation, Pullman, WA, USA

“Building relationships at home and at work has always been a challenge in my life. Jeff has melded a variety of his personal learning experiences into the ability to provide simple and powerful guidance that helps me from the inside out. It makes sense to me. The consensus building I’ve seen him use and teach others has had an amazing benefit in my home life and for those I work with that have struggled to bring differences together to resolve conflicts and build entirely new respectful relationships. I’ve learned to listen to others with respect rather than jumping into the arena to be helpful or just position myself in an argument. I’ve been amazed at how much better things are when I focus on listening to my wife with love & respect, rather than always trying to be “helpful”. I used to think being attentive, patient, and polite was listening with respect. I had no idea how wrong I was. Beyond my home, I’m even learning how to help others as well by facilitating groups who struggle with achieving any kind of consensus or direction when faced with frustration and disagreement. If you have a chance to spend time with Jeff and watching his ability to create effective learning by experience, then ‘just do it”! I certainly will.”

– Richard King, Federal Employee and Educator, Petaluma, CA, USA

“Thank you so much for spending five quality hours with us at Eclipse Alternative Program. Your ideas were interesting, your presentation style perfect for our kids. I am amazed that you never skipped a beat in dealing with our uniqueness. You demonstrated true integration of your philosophies into your life. Our students need as many good role models as they can get. Thanks for being such an inspiring one.”

– Kari DeMarco, Eclipse Alternative High School, Pullman, WA, USA

“Jeff is a careful, sensitive, and thorough teacher in how to change beliefs and group dynamics. What I have learned from his sessions is that by setting up a different environment, listening is facilitated and people can move in directions that are different from our previous habits. The consensus building techniques and attitudes I learned from Jeff, though imperfectly applied, I feel have been key in implementing an Enterprise Facilitation effort in Wallowa County, and in confronting and resolving some of the issues we have around the control of noxious weeds.”

– Peter Donovan, Editor of ManagingWholes.com, Enterprise, OR, USA

Consensus building seems to be a skill and art you can’t do without nowadays. It is so uplifting and empowering to find common ground with those who seem to have so little in common with us and move forward from such a great place in our minds and heart. Jeff Goebel’s teachings have been of great value to me personally and professionally. They have shown me effective ways to become a better listener and observer and to direct the way I think and act to let go of fears and achieve the best possible outcomes of all situations.”

– Daniela Howell, Educator and Rancher, Montrose, CO, USA

“I found Jeff Goebel’s help teaching to be invaluable. Combining a thorough understanding of Holistic Management and of a successful collaborative decision making process, Jeff helped our people in the field to create positive change in their home communities. As a mentor, coach and teacher, Jeff is an insightful thinker, and a patient and dedicated leader (he walks the talk.)”

– Bill Thompson, former Manager of Challenges and Choices project, and Educator, Denver, CO, USA

“Nespelem is a testimony to survival. It is also a testimony to genocide. The Colville people are survivors. Most Indigenous cultures suffer from a historical unresolved grief. I have spoke of this many times. That is a grief that is accumulated over generations of trauma. I think there has been a spiritual and ethnic death here. Step for step my people have been denied the basis for a collective identity formation. Until Jeff came to work for the Colville Tribe, there was no basin to capture and store my people’s integrity, a place to dip into and quench the parched ache of not being acknowledged. The lesson is, one must get to the heart of the whole. Our own people must talk about change, the path ahead, the options, and how we will make a better future for our children. Jeff worked diligently and patiently here and the holistic goal that still hangs in our Council Chambers as well as myself and others that worked along side him are the evidence. Jeff listened to this community’s many voices. He met the challenge of transformation, and we brought out Sinklipt-Coyote (our teacher) in him. You see in our teachings, there exists a great optimism for the potential to make positive change, change will come. As always it is just a matter of who determines what that change will be.

This is the example I learned from Jeff that I carry with me each day to help me be successful.”

– Lois Trevino, past Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Center for Holistic Management and Colville Tribal member, Nespelem, WA

“Jeff Goebel has made a tremendous impact on our quality of life and the success of our family run business. We have both taken the Consensus Building Workshops, the Planning for Profit workshops and Planning for Abundance in Scarce Times. In Jeff’s workshops we have learned to ‘think outside the box,’ diversify our enterprises and increase the profitability of our ranch.”

– Rick and Kris Finch, Finch Ranch, Pullman, WA, USA

“During a consensus building meeting held in March 1999 in Schoharie County, New York, over 50 farmers and non-farmers discussed the problems facing agriculture in our community. With Jeff Goebel’s leadership and Shannon Hayes’ assistance, by the end of the meeting, participants were motivated by the realization that they themselves have the power to create change and achieve the best possible outcomes for local agriculture. As a result of this meeting, many of the participants continued to meet on a monthly basis and MADE (Marketing Agricultural Diversity and Excellence) in Schoharie County was formed.

The mission of MADE in Schoharie County is to strengthen the environmental, economic and social vitality of our local farms so that our children will want to stay in our community. We aim to make agriculture an accepted and acceptable way of life, build stronger relationships among the diversity of area agriculturists; strengthen and expand local and regional markets and business opportunities, and to engage ourselves in community issues as advocates for local family-scale agricultural enterprises.

We just celebrated our first year anniversary, and had a number of successful projects to toast: in addition to initiating changes in the county’s ag and farmland protection plan, we regularly assist each other with developing and expanding our product markets, we organized a letter writing campaign to explain our concerns to local politicians, hosted an educational exhibit out our county fair, compiled a brochure to collectively market regional agricultural products, began designing our website, and instituted a community-university partnership with the State University of New York at Cobleskill to oversee appropriate college-community development efforts.

We have no presidents, no officers, no treasury, no letterhead. We have instead a renewed understanding of what it means to be a part of a community that honors independent voices and caring relationships. Many thanks are owed to Jeff Goebel for bringing us to a point where we could begin working together in innovative and creative ways.”

– Judy Pangman, Proprietor, Sweetree Farm, Howes Cave, NY and Shannon Hayes, PhD, Cornell University, & partner, Sap Bush Hollow Farm, Warnerville, NY, USA