The Participation Blog

The Person in the Mirror

The work of government is complex and it’s hard for us mere mortals to understand everything that people working in the public sector do for a living. When you’re doing the work of balancing tough technical facts and data with the vagueness of public policy, it’s natural that an inside baseball level of language develops. That language and the way you deliver it helps you communicate more effectively and efficiently with your peers who learn to speak that same language and adopt a common style. But – and this is a really big But – people who don’t speak your language or communicate in your style are left out of the conversation. You might as well be speaking Mandarin to people who only understand English. Once you’ve learned to speak their language, there’s another critical step in the process of actually communicating and connecting with mere mortals and that’s mirroring.

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