Behavioral Science:

Behavioral science is the science of how people behave. Or not. Working with the public, you know that human behavior can be hard (but not impossible) to predict and uncivil at times, delightful at others. Here you can read a collection of the latest news, handpicked by our seasoned and expert facilitators and trainers. Keeping up to date with the latest in behavioral science helps you better understand the people with whom you work and those you represent. And better understanding leads to better anticipation and preparation. As a result, better communication and facilitation is bound to happen. Read on, fearless facilitator, and be sure to send us a note about your reactions.

Behavioral Science

Trust Me, You’re Biased; We All Are

Regardless of how smart or “woke” we think that we might be, the facts are that humans are driven by...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Talking With the Infectos of the World

We’re not on the same page. People in the U.S. aren’t even in the same library, it seems. Having or...
Read More
Behavioral Science

The Fake Pandemic

I suspect you know someone who doesn’t buy into the COVID-19 issue as that big of a deal or they actually believe that it’s some...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Staying Sane

As the novelty of camping at home slowly evolves into growing agitation and anxiety, we’re all going to have to learn how to better deal...
Read More
Behavioral Science

FaceTime Still Rules, Kids

As people rely more and more on email, text, social and all other impersonal ways to connect to others, we...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Peanut Butter, Bread & Ham from the Deli

I’m ok remembering three (3) things when I go to the grocery store, but if the list blooms into four...
Read More
Behavioral Science

The Issue with STEM Classes

Lord knows the world needs experts in science, technology, engineering and math. And those STEM experts need to be able...
Read More
Behavioral Science

The New Normal is Now

As a facilitator and evangelist of civil discourse, it gives me no pleasure to say that civil discourse feels dead...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Conspiracy Theories

In an age of unchecked, professional propaganda, keeping people on edge and jumping at boogiemen and shadows is a very...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Bill Gates and Elon Musk Aren’t Happy with How People Think

We spend a lot of time thinking about how people think…or not. Or more precisely how people feel as opposed...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Midwest Nice and the Other Not-as-Nice Parts of the Country

Growing up in America’s cheese state and having lived, and then worked, all across this country has shown me that...
Read More
Behavioral Science

10 Best Lessons from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a lovely, thoughtful film. Whether you or your kids grew up watching Mr....
Read More
Behavioral Science

Stuff I Wish I Knew When I Started

This story was penned by an experienced academic and practicing mediator, but everything in it really resonated for me and...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Trust Requires Empathy

Competence, integrity and empathy are key ingredients when it comes to who we trust, which explains why many people have...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Once Upon A Time

Roger Schank is a cognitive scientist who said, “Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Anger as a Motivational Tool

Facts and data will inform, but emotion is what motivates change and decisions. Emotional triggers are behind every behavior, including...
Read More
Behavioral Science

You’re Gonna Have to Face it You’re Addicted to Loath

You might also consider that aside from the bot-generated posts and the active campaign to game the online world, real...
Read More
Behavioral Science

A Lot of Hot Air

If you’ve ever wondered if one of your more extrupulent (Yeah, I know there’s no such word … but it’s...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Sorry is Still the Hardest Word

The power of an apology can’t be dismissed. When people feel like they’ve been mistreated, nothing less than an apology...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Investigative Science and the Challenge of Outrage

This story supports the old adage of no good deed goes unpunished. Most of the people that we work with, particularly...
Read More
Behavioral Science Trust

Women Really Don’t Trust You

We’ve often referenced the Edelman Trust Barometer as one credible source for a lot of ongoing evidence that shows people...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

It’s a tough work environment for people in a lot of organizations these days with forced changes, shutdowns and shifting...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

You Work with Millennials

Millennials, who are now assuming the lead in government and other institutions, have the dubious honor of fixing the problems...
Read More
Behavioral Science

People are Funny

We’ve frequently talked about facts versus perceptions in past issues of this newsletter, and how differently people tend to view...
Read More
Behavioral Science

And it Turns Out That Some People Really Are Jerks

A pretty credible study concludes, in part, Teenage males were more likely than average to be self-centered, but this proportion decreased...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Heart First, Head Second

It’s been mentioned before but it bears repeating: most of the best information that we have about motivating human behavior...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Change for Engineers

This isn’t about changing engineers (that’s just creepy), it’s about helping technically oriented people understand how and why people resist...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Managing Yourself in Tough Meetings

If you’re ‘lucky’ enough to deal with public confrontations and tough meetings in your work, you know that managing your...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

You Can’t Read Anybody

Empathy is a big part of our craft and we talk about it in many of the courses that we...
Read More
Behavioral Science

White People Own Flashlights

Good issue and stakeholder assessments are key to planning and executing effective public participation projects. The more we really know...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Your Imposter Syndrome

Working with the public and facilitating groups, especially oftentimes upset people, isn’t for the faint of heart – it takes...
Read More
Behavioral Science Collaboration

Lessons from a Snickers Commercial

Most meetings and hearings are naturally scheduled evenings when more people are available, which makes perfect sense most of the...
Read More
Behavioral Science

People are good enough, they’re smart enough, and doggone it, you oughta like ‘em.

One of the behavior changes that we talk about is giving affirmation and respect to people. And no, I don’t...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Can You Hear Me Now?

You might have noticed that listening is one of the 10 rules in the previous Ted Talk, so these next...
Read More
Behavioral Science Consensus

Beware the Trolls; They’re Us

We talk a lot in these emails about understanding and dealing with public conflict and anger but we don’t often...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Dumb & Dumber

The “Curse of Knowledge” suggests that experts in almost any field find it difficult to communicate and connect with people...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Ego is a Monster

Our courses on outrage spend time differentiating among true outrage, self interest and ego. Ego is one monster requiring special...
Read More
Behavioral Science

You’re Odd

And by you I mean we – we’re all human, different, and irrational sometimes. And most of the time we...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Being Soft is Hard

The world and working in it will continue to evolve at an astonishing pace with technology growth and artificial intelligence...
Read More
Behavioral Science Trust

Trusting Strangers

In spite of what Mom said, I frequently ride in cars with strangers. I travel a lot so I’ve come...
Read More
Behavioral Science Community Engagement

I Can Explain It To You But I Can’t Understand It For You

The title above is one of those cute, arrogant bumper sticker quips that people sometimes wish they could say to...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Humor is a Funny Thing

The United States is in a bad mood. I was talking with a group of smart people recently who agreed...
Read More
Behavioral Science Community Engagement Consensus

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

Running better gatherings of people is an exercise in understanding human behavior. Here are the simple basics.
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

Let’s Talk About Me, Me Me

You either already are, or will be, dealing with true-blue narcissists, those folks who are … shall we say …...
Read More
Behavioral Science Consensus

Why You Hate Those People

I really dislike the Bears, Lions and Vikings. People and the groups we belong to don’t like other people and...
Read More
Behavioral Science Communication

There’s One Thing That You Want People to Remember

Ellen Degeneres, the comedienne and talk show host, regularly uses the line – and titled her book, My point…and I do...
Read More
Behavioral Science

Attitude, Commitment and Training

In addition to actually doing this work, we train a lot of other people to do this work. Invariably, people...
Read More
Behavioral Science

You Work with Millennials

Millennials, who are now assuming the lead in government and other institutions, have the dubious honor of fixing the problems...
Read More
Back to Top

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. We protect your data, learn how here...

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close