One of the outrage factors that we talk about in our two-day course deals with issues and events that people find most memorable. And the things that we find most memorable tend to be the more negative and emotionally sticky events of our lives.
Most people working in public service come to it with advanced degrees. They’ve usually learned a specific way of presenting factual information and arguments. That scientific method works great for scoring good grades but not so much for public presentations and documents. Leading with the main point is important. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll… read more →
Spoiler alert: Although it wasn’t intended to be, I see this next piece of research as a pretty good argument for skillful facilitation. The social dynamics of the groups seem to be the root cause. This only references one study from Virginia Tech, so take it for what it’s worth, but I thought you’d find it… read more →
Most government public meetings and presentations are based on some official standing in the front of a room and delivering facts and data to a room full of people who can quickly become mind-numb. Setting the stage and telling stories with pictures and graphics makes all the difference. Don’t just tell ‘em, show ‘em.
We talk a lot in these emails about understanding and dealing with public conflict and anger but we don’t often get into the subject of online bullies and trolls. Fact is, humans are naturally wired to cooperate, but online anonymity is a game changer – trolls have nothing to lose and even normally reasonable people… read more →
Some of our clients’ problems seem hopeless, with consensus among the varying parties feeling inconceivable. But we’ve found, over time, that getting the parties together creates the atmosphere where much is possible.
Power Balance Requires a Facilitator Role The subject of Power is so vast that it’s hard to tackle from any angle. Power is the warp and weft in the tapestry of human history. Power grabs, power imbalances, abuses of power, struggles against power. The subject is just as ubiquitous today as it was during the… 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.
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 →
Running better gatherings of people is an exercise in understanding human behavior. Here are the simple basics.