Consensus, agreements that people can live with, is typically the goal in finding group solutions. You need to bring differing positions to common interests. Without consensus, projects are frequently roadblocked, conflicts grow, and relationships are broken. Existing conflicts require the need to bring the splitting factions back in to alignment. For your consideration, we have collected our latest perspectives and news that we have found to be useful on the subject of consensus. Please read them all here. And if you don’t agree with us, we’d like to hear about that too – please drop a note, we’ll find consensus.



Information and News Literacy

Have too many of us lost the ability to think critically? Maybe. One of the toughest challenges that we face is finding and agreeing on common, evidence-based facts. We’ll never agree on the truth until we can do that. Public engagement requires a collective, common understanding of information – thus the Inform level of the …

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Changing Minds

Civil, open minded conversations feel like relics of days gone by. People are welded to positions, opinions and beliefs in ways that are more steadfast and strident than in the past. The work that we all do is typically about pushing beyond just those hard and fast postures to explore answers that fulfill the needs …

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I’m Sorry

A sincere, well stated apology is the most important thing to deliver when you’re dealing with someone who has, or feels like they have been wronged or mistreated. If you’re dealing with someone or some group that has a real grievance, it’s the only way that you’re going to get beyond their animosity directed at you and your organization. Clients often have …

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Urban Public Involvement Works

The most effective public involvement being done these days seems to be in communities where public services are already closer to the people using them. Urban planners are significant users of public engagement and many of them have asked us for some examples that are a little out of the ordinary. So we thought we’d …

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My colleagues and I have the privilege of working with lots of smart people and over the years we’ve seen inevitable changes supported by new research that shows we’re slowly losing some innate and critically important abilities. Interpersonal communication skills are waning in people who have been focused on pure science, technology or some other …

Persuasion read more →

Government Doesn’t Operate Like a Business

Because it isn’t a business, it serves a different purpose and the goals just aren’t the same. Government can learn a lot from good companies and C-suite managers, but government isn’t a capitalistic enterprise and it shouldn’t be. Sometimes corporate arrogance oversteps wisdom when executives make the jump to the public side of life. It …

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Power and control usually manifest as arrogance and that makes people angry. We use different terms and euphemisms – reducing public anger and outrage, calming the waters, lowering the temperature, building trust – for the same basic goal: getting people to the point of having a reasonable dialogue or debate or interaction with you. If your goal …

Humility read more →

Words Matter. Context Can Matter Even More.

Much has been said, written and accusations made about the use of words. There’s no question that words stir, inspire and enflame people to feel and act – history is clear. But it’s not just the choice of words, it’s the context of who says what and how those words are used.