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

Building Meaningful Relationships

We spend so much time worrying about the content and process of the projects and initiatives that we’re involved with that we lose sight of what’s right in front of our eyes. Never forget that ultimately we’re in the people business – the relationship business. That means building rapport by ...
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Impress ‘Em … in the Right Way

When you do the kind of important, greater good work that you do, talking about first impressions or last impressions might sound pretty superficial – not worthy of consideration by serious professional people. But I expect that you realize that public engagement and conflict resolution is at its essence … ...
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Suck it up, Buttercup

You’re doing stressful work with stressed out people in an especially stressful time. Did I mention that we’re all stressed? I’m not trying to diminish the real challenge that many people are facing these days, but doing the work that you do is important and not for the faint hearted. ...
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Engaging Vaccine-Hesitant People

One of the biggest challenges of our time is convincing people that it’s a good idea to keep themselves and each other alive. Sounds ridiculous to say that, doesn’t it? But engaging and influencing people to do what’s in their best interest is often the task of professionals working in ...
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The Game Changer

People who are engaged in the practice of public engagement come to it from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives – communication, the sciences, community planning, engineering, sometimes politics – but those that are most successful almost always have one universal trait in common: the ability to truly empathize. If for ...
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Close Encounters of the Tough Kind

As people become more polarized and it gets increasingly difficult to have or facilitate ugly conversations, we as the potential peacemakers have to tune in better to how we manage ourselves and respond to these encounters. This is a simple little technique that I learned some time ago and have ...
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For the longest time, the work that we do has been referred to as “soft” and I have to admit that’s always bugged me. Describing it this way sounds demeaning, and sometimes I know it’s intended to do so. The underlying attitude is that these soft skills aren’t really important ...
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Health Literacy Saves Lives

In the 1950s, thousands of people died annually and tens of thousands were paralyzed by polio. People celebrated and embraced the science that developed the vaccine that quickly eradicated that disease in the U.S. But COVID-19 has produced an entirely different public reaction and health policy experts are wrestling with ...
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