Empathy is on the decline. This is pretty startling information because we talk about empathy a whole lot in this work. Research suggests that people are getting less empathic – or empathetic, if you prefer. And, in fact, people are getting more selectively empathic, meaning that we might care about, and can empathize with, people… read more →
If you’re at all familiar with the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum, you know that the range of public influence level categories begins with ‘Inform’. And if you learned about the Spectrum from a licensed IAP2 instructor, you should also have heard that ‘informing’ people, in and of itself, is not really public… read more →
Welcome to the new Age of Unreason. When my opinions trump your facts, when any news that might be contrary to my existing beliefs must be fake, and the only information that I trust comes from sources and people who tell me what I want to hear – you have a problem. OK, we have a problem. The… read more →
Most public sector facilitators will tell you that this work is getting tougher. I suggest that the trend of finding increasingly angry people at public meetings started a couple of decades ago, but the rancor is clearly ramping up. If you want to accelerate hate, nothing beats social media, and bad, anonymous online behavior has… read more →
A Harris Poll just released their 2019 corporate reputation ranking that you’ll find interesting. Perhaps not so much the businesses that occupy most of the 100 listed, but I think you’ll find the institution at the very bottom noteworthy – and check out the listings one and two spaces just up from the very bottom.
One of the factors that tell you whether or not the people that you’re dealing with will be angry or concerned, and to what extent, about your proposed issue or project, has to do with the memorability of the issue. Things that generate a lot of publicity, attention and street talk – true or not… read more →
Communication and engagement is at the core of successfully driving change in any organization or business, and with any kind of issue or project that requires public support. Human nature means that people will almost always opt for the status quo rather than any kind of change because change is risky and scary. Here’s what’s required.
The power of an apology can’t be dismissed. When people feel like they’ve been mistreated, nothing less than an apology by the perpetrator will suffice – if you want some kind of decent relationship with the mistreated. But it’s incredibly difficult for ego driven people to accept or do it. Their excuses are endless but… read more →
That classic and often misquoted quote from Sally Fields’ Academy Award acceptance speech speaks to one of Robert Cialdini’s principles from his groundbreaking book, Influence. The idea being that communication that truly influences people resides in seven factors – one of which is the fact that we respond well to people that we like and not… read more →
Time flies. It’s hard to believe that it was 33 years ago – just last month – that STS-51-L, the Space Shuttle Challenger, exploded 73 seconds after launch, taking the lives of seven astronauts, including Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher from New Hampshire. Much has been written, documented, re-enacted and produced detailing the events… read more →