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Elephants and Figure Skaters‏

Spring formally arrives Thursday, except where it’s still snowing, Rob Ford’s making Canada proud again, and watching college basketball until your eyes are ready to fall out of their sockets will be the biggest accomplishment for the next three weeks in the U.S., so lower your work expectations.

Godec

Why Elephants are Better People than Tanya Harding  

Nothing to add, the proof’s in the story…

http://tinyurl.com/prc835c

Empathy relates to trust which reminds me of a recent client interview. The guy said that his organization’s reputation could be traded like stock. He believed that losing credibility wasn’t a big deal because he could buy it back with a few well-placed community donations. I asked him to think again:

http://tinyurl.com/pngwtc3

A recent Stanford corporate reputation study looked at JP Morgan Chase and how they might fix that monster. The full study doesn’t seem to be online anymore but this synopsis is worth reading:

http://tinyurl.com/l9d9mv3

Stage Presents  

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more tips on presentation and public speaking skills under normal and tough circumstances. So, here are a handful of gifts. If you watched the Oscars a few weeks ago, you saw a few good and bad examples. This isn’t just celebrity fluff, read on…

http://tinyurl.com/jvjrf76

Our ability to communicate and influence has less to do with content and more to do with packaging. Hand gestures can play a huge role:

http://tinyurl.com/obyn9ea

Held Hostage in Public  

Someone once told me that dealing with “the public” felt like being held hostage. That’s kind of a stretch, but dealing with tough issues and people does correlate to hostage negotiation. Here are six really good lessons:

http://tinyurl.com/nk6d5mv

On the subject of hostage taking, I think you’ll like the following article. It sorta ties the previous story to the following one:

http://tinyurl.com/mdo6hkz

It takes all kinds, as mom used to say, and I’m sure that you’ve run into interesting and challenging “publics.” One of those is the bully and, as I’ve long suspected, it seems that bullies are narcissists:

http://tinyurl.com/o8eb2bu

Outsourcing Our Humanity

One of the more talked-about films during Oscar season was Her, the Spike Jonze movie about a guy in a relationship with his smart phone. It raises interesting issues about our connection with technology and how healthy that may or may not be. Wired magazine thinks we’re becoming sociopaths…

http://tinyurl.com/qb6lpns

And how much is too much of a good thing, eighteen hours maybe?

http://tinyurl.com/n6ed6dh

Online communication increasingly dominates how people now exchange ideas and form beliefs.  Every tidbit and variation of information and opinion is just a click away which is astoundingly useful and helpful, except for the outrage porn part.  Everybody’s mad and we love it!

http://tinyurl.com/pyjk7um

We’re addicted to outrage:

http://tinyurl.com/l6mkht9

And, on a related and disturbing note, it seems that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in the process of deciding what new endings it will allow to compete with .com, .net, etc. As of this writing, one apparently still under consideration is .sucks. If this happens, every domain will be forced into buying it to keep it out of the hands of people who don’t like you or want to shake you down. The implications of this truly suck.

http://tinyurl.com/lfx9xmp

No Girls Allowed

This clip has no socially redeeming value at all and, if you’re a girl, just don’t watch…

http://tinyurl.com/qx62lmf

Coaching and Training

We’re working with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) these days and I’ll be part of a group offering a day-long community engagement workshop in the Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (Chicago metro) on May 1st. Click on the link below to learn more:

http://tinyurl.com/ov9xzkm

We train, coach and work with government, corporate and non-profit organizations on engaging the public, managing thorny issues and opposition and moving decisions and projects forward. We facilitate customized workshops and courses with your folks in as little as half a day or as many as five days. Call us.

Feel free to send this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it, it’s ok if you SPAM your friends but we never, ever SPAM anybody and subscribing or unsubscribing is easy.

Remember, Randall wastes his time surfing the net so you don’t have to.

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Posted in General

Humanity, Storytelling and Persuasion‏

I got caught in Winter Storm Pax (the Latin word for peace) in the Southeast two weeks ago. Dealing with multiple flight cancellations and plan changes provided the expected firsthand experience: constant airline busy signals, endless phone trees, seemingly eternal information droughts and rental car/hotel 800 number phone-bank drones reading from scripts. In other words, this was the new norm of big corporations, customers and service.

Of course I wasn’t traveling with toddlers and hundreds of thousands of people were in the same boat. My situation wasn’t a life and death issue…it was just inconvenient, so no big deal. The silver lining was that there were some incredibly gracious and professional people who worked their tails off to help. Of course, they were greatly outnumbered by the throngs of headset-hangers sitting in front of screens somewhere in the ether reciting mantras and pushing keys, but I still appreciated their efforts.

The first set of articles below are dedicated to the brands that I plan to avoid in the future…enjoy!

Godec

Oh, the Humanity…  

These were words used by radio reporter Herb Morrison to describe the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, “the humanity” has vacated too many companies and agencies that are supposed to be in the people business.

In spite of the fact that the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people, we don’t trust companies or other big institutions…

http://tinyurl.com/nyj49by

And employees don’t trust their bosses…

http://tinyurl.com/odzmwbs

Nor do we trust each other…

http://tinyurl.com/ot2y94f

If you were expecting an easy answer to a complex problem like this, perhaps you should be watching Fox News. However, after pondering this for a while, I think the following two stories illustrate an interesting place to start:

http://tinyurl.com/kqz4ctv

http://tinyurl.com/m9kc6jk

What’s Hot in Communication  

Jeremy Galbraith is the chief strategy guy for Burson-Marsteller, the global PR and communication behemoth. He’s listed the 10 Global Communication Trends for 2014, which I think you’ll find interesting and useful. Some of its common themes have to do with personalization, the changing definition of news and good storytelling:

http://tinyurl.com/kvdcugz

And, once upon a time, there was a very good story that really stuck with the people who heard it:

http://tinyurl.com/qcayp3v

Visual stories tend to be most effective. If you’re offended by graphic violence, then don’t watch this next clip. If you’re not, then I’d like to hear your opinion about the effectiveness of the following PSA. And please…remember who they’re trying to reach and persuade:

http://tinyurl.com/n3llszq

And Speaking of Persuasion…  

When I first started working in this field several hundred years ago, I read Influence by Robert Cialdini (then a mere psychology and marketing prof at Arizona State University). It was and is an important work that has influenced much of what I’ve done.   Working mostly as neutrals, it’s been argued that persuasion has no place in what we in the communication biz do for a living. However, good communication of any kind is about transferring information skillfully.

The first article below is a nifty 59-second explanation of one way that persuasion works. The second, that which we call BYAF, is the essence…

http://tinyurl.com/of5lkz5

http://tinyurl.com/b4x9lux

Coaching and Mentoring  

We train, coach and work with government, corporate and non-profit organizations on engaging the public; managing thorny issues and opposition and moving decisions and projects forward.

We facilitate customized workshops and courses with you and your folks in from one to five days. Contact us to explore the options.

Please send this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it. After all, it’s ok if you SPAM your friends, right? But we never, ever SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.

Remember, we waste our time surfing the Internet so you don’t have to!

 

 

 

 

Posted in General

Yellers, Crabs & Credibility‏

As Arizonans enjoy 75+ degree days, I thought it’d be fun to start off the New Year on a nice, negative note so I’m bringing you some thoughts on the loud, obnoxious, angry people that helped build my career.

Chris Christie is graciously giving the SNL writers a lot to work with these days, so I also thought it’d be helpful to revisit the art of apology; take a look at the language that we all use and some other stuff.

Stay warm!

Godec

You’re Going to Hate Me for Getting Mad Again  

As the number of Independent voters goes up, the number of people who self-identify as either Republican or Democrat continues to fall. Extremists get louder, but mostly inside their own “ache chambers” where they spend their days yelling at each other.

We work on tough projects with passionate people from all sides of the issues. Our success is predicated on understanding these issues and working to achieve effective, measured solutions. Conversely, passionate extremists invariably believe that they will succeed just because of their passion – the theory that whoever hollers loudest wins. The problem is that the only people who pay attention to extremists are usually other extremists.

The lesson here is, if you want credibility, don’t get sucked into your own echo chamber:

http://tinyurl.com/pr3ldjx

And, don’t you just hate people who hate stuff?

http://tinyurl.com/k37po3q

Anyone who still picks up a newspaper or regularly checks Web news sites will find plenty to complain about, right? But you also know people who manage to find the black lining in every non-media cloud…the ones who can suck the joy out of Santa and your baby’s first birthday party. It appears there’s a gene for that.

http://tinyurl.com/mwbw5qc

Words Matter

Impeccable is not just an adjective meaning “without pec.” It’s also used to describe how best to use words. Six things to consider before you open your mouth or start writing:

http://tinyurl.com/kf85e86

We see it on almost every project we work on…corporate jargon and government-speak stop communication, consensus and getting things done:

http://tinyurl.com/omn4u98

How Best to Screw Up an Apology

In the past, we’ve talked quite a bit about apologizing. However, the tactful need to do so continues to present itself in the public arena with everything from the Obama Care website train wreck and New Jersey vs. the George Washington Bridge to the latest Hoboken Mayor debacles. It’s a tough pill to swallow for the perpetrator; however, not doing so when it’s the only way to move on is quite simply nuts:

http://tinyurl.com/mpow9yr

This second article is one that I’ve been saving for just such a Chris Christie moment. Technically, it’s just about YouTube apologies. However, it really makes the generic case for learning how to apologize the right way and the monumental importance of the non-verbal aspects associated with being sorry. Truly, nothing is more important when you need to right a wrong…

http://tinyurl.com/l8z4xru

This last one gives props to Christie’s efforts. Now, whether or not he’s still really presidential material is your decision:

http://tinyurl.com/lkwmoxl

It’s Not All About You

This is one of the better and simpler things I’ve run across about establishing rapport with people. You’ll use this…

http://tinyurl.com/qdqxkcf

Communication from Your Handshake Forward

The nuances and analysis of body language sometimes seems over the top and I’d never before run across this level of detail regarding a simple handshake. See what you think:

http://tinyurl.com/lov6pvu

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Please send this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it, it’s ok if you SPAM your friends, right?  But we never, ever SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.

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Posted in General

Extroverted Engineers and New Year’s Eve Jocularity‏

2013 has gone by fast and it certainly has been interesting. I expect the same next year.

Here’s hoping that 2014 is your best year ever and that you find joy in Christmas or whatever holiday you might celebrate.

Godec

The Difference Between an Introverted & Extroverted Engineer? 

An extroverted engineer stares at your shoes when he’s talking to you. I know…it’s an oldie but a goodie. More importantly, it leads to two thoughts on the theme of eye contact and nonverbal communication skill-building.  Eyeball these:

http://tinyurl.com/lulgyha

http://tinyurl.com/lmfdne8

Don’t Argue with Me…

Or with anyone else, for that matter. I’ve spent a lot of space in this newsletter harping about not getting defensive and finding the middle ground of two-sided discussions. And, I’m glad to say that Harvard agrees:

http://tinyurl.com/ndmv9t5

You Talked Me Into It

Much of the time I work as a neutral mediator and facilitator whose job isn’t to talk anyone into anything….sort of. The fact is that persuasion is always in play even if just involves convincing someone that we’re not trying to convince them of anything.

We all have a natural inclination to avoid being persuaded. Here are some ways to help you get around that:

http://tinyurl.com/kfvhhuz

What’s News, Young People?

I don’t know…what’s news with you?

For “Millennials” — people who fall into that 14-to-30 age bracket — credible news comes from places that many other people would never have considered. And while we’re on the subject of Millennials, the second link is a story about that demographic that worries a lot of bosses and managers that I deal with.   What do you think?

http://tinyurl.com/lg49cqs

http://tinyurl.com/mqv39xt

When Will This Meeting Ever End?

 When people start asking for details, that’s when. If you’ve ever contemplated that question while stuck in a room with a group of people that you don’t like very much, take heart in knowing that the good folks at MIT have done the research and have found the answer.

This is actually helpful for facilitators, it’ll help you read the clues:

http://tinyurl.com/ml5vnug

You Can Stop Twerking Now

Although twerk has now been added to the Oxford English dictionary, the only person other than Hannah Montana that actually uses it is Randall, but he’s pretty “afternoonified” anyway. Here are two lists of old school slang that I propose we resurrect:

http://tinyurl.com/kmu2989

http://tinyurl.com/pxcly5k

The Best Tongue Twister

So if your kid goes to MIT, you’ll be glad to know that when she’s not sitting around wondering when meetings are going to end. She’s busy thinking up the best tongue twisters on the planet.

This will be useful after she graduates and moves into your basement. But with this piece of information, I just know you’ll be the life of this year’s New Year’s Eve party:

http://tinyurl.com/makprhr

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Please forward this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it. We never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.

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Posted in General

Lying Bosses, Building Trust and Pulling Your Wisdom Teeth‏

GRA’s public involvement transporter lease is up so I’ve been vehicle shopping. Randall wants a company mini-van; of course he’s basically a powder-blue, loser-cruiser type so that’s not going to happen. After the requisite Internet research, I’ve enjoyed the in-person company of some car salespeople recently. They’re an interesting study in semi-human behavior. But at least now I am feeling better about Congress!

Godec

Your Lying Boss 

In the public anger & opposition workshops and classes that I do, the discussion often turns to how to build trust with the public and other stakeholders when your boss or client can’t necessarily be trusted. One benefit of having your own business is picking who you work for and, overall, I work for trustworthy people. I’m troubled that I’m sometimes the only one in the room:

http://tinyurl.com/bdghct9

Verify but Trust 

Lost trust is so hard to recover. In organizations, the recovery process has to start at the top and with the overall culture. This is elementary but it’s a place to start:

http://tinyurl.com/l6na63v

Because we all like lists, here are 13 specific steps towards cultivating trust in Government. These are straightforward and remarkably accurate:

http://tinyurl.com/pdyd682

And if you’re keen on taking an even deeper dive into this topic, then I invite you to watch this video on trust from philosopher Onora O’Neill. Trust me…it’s worth ten minutes of your life:

http://tinyurl.com/k29bvxr

Believe It

We believe what we choose to believe. Once we believe something, we rarely change for anything or anybody. It’s called confirmation bias. Smart people are aware of it, guard against it and struggle with it:

http://tinyurl.com/n7j4lf7

Should I Pull My Own Wisdom Tooth or Design a New Logo?

The Participation Company, my other activity, recently created a new website and logo. Having enjoyed this exercise-by-committee for clients several times in the past, I initially cringed at the idea of working with four alpha partners and a designer. But it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared and, through it all, we stayed partners.

If you fear this task, this story might help guide your effort:

http://tinyurl.com/mca9zef

Fun with Words

The wordsmiths who read this mailer on a regular basis tell me that they get a kick out of these kinds of stories. So, without further ado, here’s one for them…

http://tinyurl.com/clp3sxq

Classes Coming Up

Risk communication comes in various flavors…one of which is the management of anger and outrage. The first International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course of 2014 is coming up:

  • January 9 & 10 in Chicago

We also customize these and other facilitated workshops for your in-house group. Call or email me anytime if you’d like to talk about it.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:   http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:   http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556 or email jdg@GodecRandall.com.

Please forward this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it. We never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.

Remember…Randall wastes his time surfing the Internet so you don’t have to.

 

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Posted in General

Presos, Deciders, and Mediarology, Oh My…

I was talking to Randall about last week’s poll by Fox News that shows 22 percent of Republicans say they support the Affordable Care Act, but only 14 percent say that they support Obamacare.

No punch line needed, draw your own conclusions…

http://tinyurl.com/mwg55ua

Godec

Presentation Bias  

We’ve talked about confirmation bias here several times in the past; that is, the tendency for us to only look for information that supports what we already think. This story considers how that affects your presentations – believe me, you’ll like this:

http://tinyurl.com/kk4t96w

And while you’re at it, here are eight presentation habits to lose….

http://tinyurl.com/orfpeye

Five habits to pick up…

http://tinyurl.com/ljb2cl2

And 5 mistakes to avoid…

http://tinyurl.com/ny6tf6w

Stupid Decisions

This just seems like a particularly good week to talk about dumb decision-making. Most of us are in the business of engaging, facilitating, nurturing or communicating good decisions, right?

If you’ve ever pondered the things that derail good decisions, here’s a worthy list:

http://tinyurl.com/klyzzse

I’m Conflicted, How ‘Bout You?

Conflict happens in almost every kind of situation. It’s inevitable and it’s mostly healthy. But not all conflict is the same and managing it starts by figuring out what kind of conflict you’re dealing with.   Emotions, needs and values are three different types of conflicts requiring different strategies and tactics. As such, consider looking at it this way:

http://tinyurl.com/kcvsn8u

Mediarology

I’m working with a group of folks on a Southwestern climate change document. One of the issues that we’re considering involves people who just don’t believe that it is happening.

Wikipedia says the scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth’s climate is warming, and it’s more than 90% certain that humans are causing most of it. Research by skepticalscience.com concluded that 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

But popular media always includes the denial voices. What kind of damage is that doing and can/should we be do anything about it?

http://tinyurl.com/kvroquq

And while we’re on the subject, The Wall Street Journal covered a poll of conspiracy theories that we most enjoy in the U.S.:

http://tinyurl.com/lpt6dxq

You’ll Relate to This…

Professionally, it can be extremely helpful to build relationships that go beyond good. In other words, what does it take to build really exceptional relationships? Here are nine solid suggestions:

http://tinyurl.com/c42mvzu

Classes Coming Up

Risk communication comes in various flavors. One of these is the management of anger and outrage. The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course is coming up:

  • October 10 & 11 in Calgary
  • January 9 & 10 in Chicago

IAP2 Public Participation Certificate class:

  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize these and other facilitated workshops for your in-house group. Call or email me anytime if you’d like to talk about it.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:   http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:   http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556 or email jdg@GodecRandall.com.   

Please forward this newsletter to anyone that you think would like it. Remember that we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.

Randall wastes his time surfing the Internet so you don’t have to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in General

Bad Presentations, Good Stories and $#@* Facilitators Say…

Dog Days in the Desert: People in Phoenix get that vapid look in their eyes this time of year, scanning the skies for afternoon monsoons and longing for those coming days when overnight lows will again drop below 80….or 90.

My suitcase is actually tucked back in the closet for a couple of weeks instead of staged for repacking on the bedroom floor, so I get to enjoy the thunder and light show.

Godec

Unacceptably Bad Public Presentations

Last week, I attended a “town hall-ish” public meeting hosted by two congresspersons and their staffs and was reminded of yet another reason that Washington is broken. These two people, elected by us, shed absolutely no light on a contentious, dicey issue by standing at the front of a high school gymnasium and reading indecipherable PowerPoint slides for 45 minutes.

Here are a few slightly different takes on getting better at public presentations that I wish they’d read. If you only have time to click on one link regarding this subject, then click on this one:       http://tinyurl.com/k4u68co

Got a little more time? Then here are seven simple steps for improvement:

http://tinyurl.com/mpz3urb

And a final thought on this subject: Remember…on-line is on-camera. As on-line presentations grow in popularity, I’ve noticed that many people forget some of the basics that we talk about in media (television in particular) training:

http://tinyurl.com/q8kd7xm

Once Upon a Time… 

Stories communicate and break through the clutter of data and information that vie for our attention 24 hours a day. Stories are hard to ignore and compel us to stick with them to the punch line. Make it a story:

http://tinyurl.com/kxgw9de       And I hate to break it to you, but people aren’t reading what you’re writing anyway:

http://communicateskills.com/2013/01/28/read-write-do/

Conversation Killers & the Death of Outrage  

Conflict and controversy aren’t necessarily bad things. They get people’s attention and keep them engaged. But there’s a limit:

http://tinyurl.com/m8xvmlx

You’ve seen the bumper sticker that says, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”  But, of course, people are outraged by just about everything now:

http://tinyurl.com/mj54kx2

Just for Facilitators…    

…Which, as you’ve probably figured out, includes everyone who reads this newsletter. Everybody facilitates whether they call it that or not:

http://tinyurl.com/jvtl8p3       And if you take yourself pretty seriously as a facilitator, then I suggest that you skip “$#@* Facilitators Say:”

http://tinyurl.com/m6xhm9s

Annoy Your Friends with Your New & Improved Vocabulary

Just some fun for all of you Word Geeks:

http://tinyurl.com/ccq26el

Upcoming Training      

Public anger, opposition and mistrust are components of almost every initiative these days.. The Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation workshop is hands-on, effective, and has never been more important.

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course is for people who want to do public involvement effectively. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. Please join us for one of these:

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • September 20 & 21 (preceding the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) North America Conference) in Salt Lake City.
  • October 10 & 11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize these and related workshops for your in-house group to give you the strategy, tools & tactics to move things forward. Call for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:   http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:   http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556

Please pass this on to anybody who you think could use it or would like to start getting this newsletter (we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).

 

 

 

 

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Posted in General

Getting Your Point Across & Things That People Hate About You‏

Summer vacation — I hope you get to take one. They always bring back great memories. I can still smell the grass, hear the cicadas and feel my bike tires hitting every road crack and pothole on the way to Ritchy’s or Skeeter’s house (and those are not made-up names – I promise).
 
I want to bring back mandatory summer vacations along with naps after lunch…are you with me? In the meantime, here’s a collection of useful things that I think you’ll enjoy…         

Godec

Getting Your Point Across

Brian Tracy (one of those motivational guys) says, “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” True dat. It’s an ongoing topic in this mailer and one that gets more responses than almost anything else. Here are some thoughts: 

http://tinyurl.com/ambk37u
 
In this age of information overload, getting people’s attention is Job One. You can always try boring them into submission; however, to really accomplish Job One, both the topic and you have to appeal to their interests.
 
I have always believed that being interesting was grounded in charm and hard to define. But someone has tried:

http://tinyurl.com/atrx78m
 
And, because this is a learned skill, practice and coaching are the only ways to get better. I suggest getting yourself on TV: 

http://tinyurl.com/pew9gjt

What They Hate About You
 
I ran across this article relative to what employees hate about their employment leaders. However, I also find it extremely applicable to how I believe people frequently view their government leaders. What do you think?

http://tinyurl.com/q89lzxu

Influencing by Actively Listening

It’s easy to think that talking is the only way to influence someone else. It’s not…

http://tinyurl.com/cs7c8ue

Getting to ‘Yes’

I ranted in the last issue and feel better now — thank you very much — but the lack of compromise and inability to get anything done in government now seems to be a forgone conclusion:

http://tinyurl.com/pxjch43

Remaining Open Trainings in 2013

Public anger, opposition and mistrust have changed the rules of engagement. The two-day Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation workshop is hands-on, effective, and has never been more important.  

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course is for people who want to do public involvement effectively. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. Please join us for one of these:          

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • September 5 & 6 in Chicago
  • October 10 & 11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize these and related workshops for your in-house group to give you the strategy, tools & tactics to move things forward. Call for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556

Please pass this on to anybody who you think could use it or would like to start getting this newsletter (we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).

 

 

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Posted in General

The Type of Arrant Pedantry Up with which I Hope You Will Not Put‏

I’ve spent most of my time recently not only helping clients engage the public in stuff, but also helping those clients just talk with the public. They routinely like to think that they’re communicating but they rarely are. Language is typically the culprit. It’s not a Swahili-to-English problem, but a jargon-to-human one. 

This issue contains a handful of thoughts about words, and I hope that you’ll join me in this quest to stamp out arrogant obfuscation. Some of these stories are meaningful, some just for kicks. As Winston Churchill once allegedly wrote, “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”              

 Godec

How to Use Words More Gooder

Ben Yagoda is a Professor of English and Journalism at the University of Delaware who writes extensively about language, phrases, and the rules of writing that are no longer necessarily rules. Popular culture and language evolve and change how we communicate:

http://tinyurl.com/bjlf3p9

Comma Comma Comma Comma Comma Chameleon

My professional friends and colleagues know that I’m comma challenged, I write like an ad guy — no rules. That’s why my buddy Marc edits this newsletter. But I’ve come to realize that a lot of people have comma issues:
 
http://tinyurl.com/azf9tga

Remember Tom Swifties?

Just for fun, I thought you’d enjoy looking at all of the trademarked names and terms that you may be using for generic reference. And, you’ll get extra-extra credit if you remember who Tom Swift was:

http://tinyurl.com/qhclyb8

Three Words Clients Won’t Use

It’s incredibly difficult to convince clients to utter three very effective words in public meetings.  These three words almost always give project owners and clients the credibility that they need, but it’s painfully tough for these folks to use them:  

http://tinyurl.com/bghzqt2

Great Words

I was working in Boston last week. The hotels were jammed ’cause it’s graduation time. I thought I’d add some wicked-good past commencement words:
 
http://tinyurl.com/pctce6u

Help with Teens

If you have teenagers at home, then this one is just for you. Although it might not do a thing for you professionally, it still might help to explain all of those sounds that emanate from around your house.

Be sure to watch and listen to the related, embedded video in this story…
 
http://tinyurl.com/q9evnvq

 Stupidity at the Highest Level?

 And now for my May rant: The resolution of conflict is a craft that we’re losing in my lifetime. This should make all of us sad and deeply concerned. Pop broadcast media is a caricature of journalism and gives everyone permission to act like buffoons in public and private. Consensus is an anemic and quaint notion. Beating the crap out of the other side is the goal ’cause it makes many feel tough and massages their egos. I blame Reagan:

http://tinyurl.com/pnxzdju

Training and Coaching Workshops for 2013

Public anger, opposition and mistrust have changed the rules of engagement. The two-day Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation workshop is hands-on, effective, and has never been more important.  

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course is for people who want to do public involvement effectively. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. Please join us for one of these:          

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • NEWLY ADDED July 1 & 2 in Denver/Longmont
  • September 5/6 in Chicago
  • October 10/11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • July 22 – 26 in Milwaukee
  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize these workshops for your in-house group to give you the cultural change, strategy and tactics to move your project forward. Call me for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556

Please pass this on to someone who you think could use it or would like to start getting this newsletter (we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).

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The Pilot’s Always the First One at the Crash

It usually happens like this…

The phone rings and someone says, “We need you to facilitate a public meeting. We have to do it; our managers have already decided the time, place and how it should be done. We know it’s gonna be bad but we need you to control the crowd.”  
 
Here’s my analogy to this kind of call: Hello, we’re plumbers and we’ve decided to build an airplane. We rode in one once so we know that it’s not a hard thing to do. Our managers had us make it out of wood and masking tape. We know that the wings are too big and that the engine is too small, but we don’t have time to fix it or redo it now. We don’t plan to ride in in this plane but we need you to fly it from here to Denver. We’ll wave when you leave and, oh, if anything bad happens, it’s you’re responsibility.

It’s the same call that I get from different people all too often, and my boilerplate response is usually “thanks, but no.” We facilitate some very tough public meetings, but it’s truly stupid to go out of your way to make them tougher than they need to be.
 
It’s sometimes difficult to explain to normal people what facilitators actually do, but my friend and colleague Bea Briggs at the International Institute for Facilitation and Change may have actually done it: http://tinyurl.com/clsn9b7

I hope that spring has made it to your house…see you again in a few weeks.     
 
Godec

That’s Not What I Meant

It’s common human arrogance to expect that what you say will be interpreted exactly as you intend it to be interpreted. The meanings of written and spoken words are constantly lost in translation. And to boot, we’re not very good at judging our own performances!

http://tinyurl.com/8snkfup

The best recipe for a persuasive presentation calls for a savvy mixture of problem, consequence, passion, imperfection, surprise, humor and a dash of wonder:

http://tinyurl.com/aoxyhm3

Or, if you’re looking for the fast food version of what works, here are six fundamental keys to making your presentations better:

http://tinyurl.com/a4kjl8y

Take my wife…Please! You might think that this next idea is on the lunatic fringe, but there’s some wisdom here. 
 
Great presentations have a lot in common with great stand-up comedy. Consider these eight pearls of wisdom…it’s an homage to one my heroes, the late great Jonathon Winters:

http://tinyurl.com/avjtjfw

No News Isn’t Good News

For my government pals: I thought you’d be interested to know that Pew Research has found that only three percent of TV newscasts are now devoted to government and politics. This is down from seven percent in 2006. Forty percent of newscasts are now about weather, sports and traffic. And, it’s reasonable to assume that this three percent is mostly about government shenanigans and crises of some kind. 
 
The decrease in news coverage is the result of shrinking newsrooms. Cable news is now mostly cable talk, and legitimate journalism is increasingly demonized: 
 
http://tinyurl.com/c6q49ug
 
And, if you’re disinclined to comment about your problems, consider the following:
 
http://tinyurl.com/bmetz4d

Wondering about Weiner

Popular Tweeter and former Representative Anthony Weiner is back in the news: he’s off and running for Mayor of New York City. Erstwhile South Carolina governor & famous Appalachian Trail hiker Mark Sanford is rebranding. And then there’s Lance Armstrong…

These apologists present us with an interesting set of questions:

  • Can they truly redeem themselves?
  • Are they really remorseful or just crafty?
  • Are we gullible?
  • Most importantly, does anyone really care?

It also begs the question as to whether apologizing is all that it’s cracked up to be, or whether there is remedial power in just holding a grudge.

If you’re interested in this subject, you’ll find the following collection worth reading:

Making meaningful apologies:
http://tinyurl.com/d8g6mfn

The power of apology:
http://tinyurl.com/cld5tla

Why not apologizing is a whole lot better for your ego:
http://tinyurl.com/brhtoml

Is it reasonable (or even healthy) to forgive and forget?
http://tinyurl.com/c4plsr2

Training and Coaching Workshops for 2013

Public anger, opposition and mistrust have changed the rules of engagement. The two-day Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation workshop is hands-on, effective, and has never been more important. 

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course is for people who manage public involvement. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. Please join us for one of these:          

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • NEWLY ADDED July 1/2 in Denver/Longmont
  • September 5/6 in Chicago
  • October 10/11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • July 22 – 26 in Milwaukee
  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We customize these workshops for your in-house group to give you the cultural change, strategy and tactics necessary to move your project forward. Call me for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

http://www.extraordinarytrainers.com/schedules/

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

http://www.rmdelaney.com/training/iap2-certificate-training-program/

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556

A newly discovered favorite quote:

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Please pass this on to someone who you think might benefit from one of these workshops or would like to start getting this newsletter (we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).

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