Back before the turn of the century (1990, I think) a TV show called Short Attention Span Theater was popular – Jon Stewart was a host. I was a fan and think of it often as a metaphor for the many members of the public and stakeholders we deal with.
Below you’ll find stories about how people think and about how their thinking is changing. Research points to shortening attention spans, and a new study says technology might be affecting people’s ability to think abstractly and see the bigger picture. That’s a challenge in making consensus decisions. First we’ll start with an example of a Federal agency that’s embracing community engagement strategies in a great way. Read on…
For an Example of Effective Community Involvement Programs Look to BLM
We’re lucky enough to work with this agency, so seeing the effects warms the cockles of our collective hearts…
Removing the Technology Cogs from Cognitive
Cognition is about learning, understanding and perception. Perception starts with communication, and technology is the most prevalent way most of us communicate in business and government. So start with sending fewer rude emails…
And while on the subject of better emails, here are five tips you can use right now:
You might think of this as a basic conflict resolution technique: If you need people to get together to consider the big picture, think creatively and resolve a problem, chances are it’s not going to be done solely through electronics. Eventually, you’ll need some face time because the research suggests that technology alone isn’t very good at helping people think in abstract ways:
If Using a 2×4 in Your Presentation Isn’t Practical
I recall an old Arkansas analogy about needing a 2×4 to get the mule’s attention. Before you forward my name and number to PETA, consider that getting people to notice you (and the point you’re trying to make) is the first step in community involvement. Getting them to remember you and your message is second:
It’s worth examining how and why some messengers resonate so strongly with their core audiences regardless of who they are and regardless of the message. Politics – clearly – aside, Donald Trump has a simple, effective formula. As he told Marco Rubio at the February 25th debate, “I don’t repeat myself. I don’t repeat myself…I don’t repeat myself.”
One of my smart-aleck friends used to say, “Sincerity is important. Once you’ve learned to fake that you’ve got it made.” Great communication, like almost everything, is a combination of science and art…data and authenticity:
There may be limits to what technology brings to interpersonal communication, but there are useful apps that can actually help make you a better speaker…
The Truth is Still Worth Telling
I suspect that you believe in truth although you probably wonder if you might be in a fading minority of people that still do. Clearly, getting your point across is a learned skill and here are some lessons:
The formal, bureaucratic culture and legalese of government isn’t doing you any favors in trying to effectively communicate with real people. So, here are some ways to improve that…
Did you ever wonder where all of our goofy professional jargon came from? I found out and I’ll bet this is right in your wheelhouse:
Conflict Resolution Times 5
Conflict is natural and it’s ok. It’s how things and society change and improve. Conflict is ubiquitous; we all deal with it and we all deal with it in one of five simple ways. And by the way, you’ll find more pieces like this on the blog at www.TheParticipationCompany.com:
Conflict Resolution Techniques & Community Involvement Programs
The Participation Company (TPC) has training and workshops open to everyone. If you can’t travel, we’ll come to you. We work with the EPA, NPS, BLM, DOT, USFS, ACOE, BOR and just about every other acronym that you can think of. We work with big and small companies, domestic state agencies, municipalities, NGO’s, tribes and organizations domestically and overseas.
We have existing and build customized workshops on (re)building trust, community involvement, facilitation, collaboration, risk and conventional communication, conflict resolution and prevention, effective meeting design, translating complex science and policy and other related topics.
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The IAP2 Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation 2-Day Course:
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