Public policy and politics have vastly different objectives, but are now obviously mixed in the minds and perceptions of voters and citizens. Authentic public participation is the path to recovery.
Engaging people starts with communicating and connecting and that’s just not easy or intuitive for a lot of people. You might think that it’d be easier to do with people that you know and work with everyday, but even that isn’t necessarily true, so imagine how tough it is for some people to engage with… read more →
What people think they’ve heard or read can be very different from what you think you’ve said or written and that’s where the trouble starts. Here’s a 10-step solution.
The title above is one of those cute, arrogant bumper sticker quips that people sometimes wish they could say to a difficult person they’re dealing with. Dumbing it down is a term that you hear from a lot of professionals describing the same basic process of reluctantly simplifying something complex for a non-professional audience. It’s… read more →
Research and neuroscience is revealing more about the elements of trust, including the idea that we often make decisions about trusting others in as little as 100 milliseconds, and also what we can learn about trust from children. Trust is at the core of engagement and conflict. Research shows that we believe we know more than… read more →
OK, so this may not be the most politically correct headline for a blog today, but I will stand by it. For over 20 years, before cell phones made the effort moot, Ma Bell and later AT&T used this slogan to get people to call long distance. It turns out to be more than just… read more →
Consensus is, arguably, the true essence of effective democratic public policy. Crafting decisions that most people can live with isn’t easy or quick, but usually beats simple majority voting when 51% wins and 49% of people become losers. Of course, there are people who see consensus as the naïve and unrealistic musings of Kumbaya-singing unicorn… read more →
If you make presentations to people – and who doesn’t – here are 31 things to avoid.
The United States is in a bad mood. I was talking with a group of smart people recently who agreed that there’s a general sense of malaise these days. I’m not suggesting there isn’t good reason for it, but we’re taking inconsequential things and ourselves pretty seriously these days – maybe too seriously. People are… read more →
Running better gatherings of people is an exercise in understanding human behavior. Here are the simple basics.