The Uttar Pradesh Sodic Lands Reclamation Project (UPSLRP) funded by the World Bank covers 10 districts in the state and aims to reclaim the 10 % of the total cultivable area that is salt-affected. The project aimed to involve communities/farmers at every stage - planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation - through the formation of farmer organisations at village level. Projects such as installation of shallow wells for irrigation, the building of drainage networks, chemical amendments made top land with gypsum, and crop/horticulture production, have all been initiated by such local farmer organisations. The participatory project implementation was facilitated with the help of local NGOs. Some of the main challenges were to change the top-down outlook of the implementing government body, UPSBN (Uttar Pradesh Bhumi Sudar Nigam), reinforced by the strong class, caste and feudalistic culture, and training was provided to staff to change behaviours and attitudes. However, this training failed in many respects and UPSBN decided to try an alternative approach with a series of training workshops, focused at different categories of participants, where personal attitudes, strengths, skills and their link to the project objectives, were discussed. The authors go on to discuss the experiences gained from these workshops and the strategies and processes involved reorienting behaviours and attitudes. An emphasis is put on the importance of focussing on personal development.