Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation

A Risk Communication and Conflict Resolution Training Course

NOTE: This course was recently updated and renamed, previously titled: Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation.

The world has changed since IAP2 first rolled out the course with Dr. Peter Sandman a few years ago. Global polls find people are more suspicious and distrustful of large institutions including government, business, media and even large non-governmental organizations.

Angry people can’t represent their interests very well in participate processes and thus ignoring their skepticism isn’t productive.

IAP2 has expanded and refreshed the course materials to help you work more effectively in this changed world. Way beyond just another conflict resolution training class, the newly renamed Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation helps people understand the human behavior and emotional intelligence of working with angry and cynical people under these tough circumstances. Doing so is foundational to the practice.

Conflict resolution training is needed to address the increasing trend of public anger in society. Growing global citizen outrage causes government gridlock, lawsuits, stopped projects, us vs. them attitudes, destroyed credibility, and loss of time and money. The newly updated Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation (formerly called Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation) is a conflict resolution training workshop that builds on IAP2’s global best practices in public involvement, the work of Dr. Peter Sandman, a foremost researcher and expert in public outrage and risk communication, and decades of lessons learned. This course will help you move people from rage to reason and engage stakeholders in building consensus for better decisions.

This conflict resolution training workshop is for:

  • Technical experts (including, but not limited to environmental engineers, scientists, and technical project managers) who want to prepare for project success.
  • Communications professionals.
  • Anyone responsible for communicating with the public or specific communities about projects that impact them.
  • Managers who recognize the importance of developing their teams’ communications skills in advance of a crisis.

This conflict resolution training workshop will allow you to:

  • Identify and assess the root causes of public frustration, anger, and outrage.
  • Understand 12 factors and reasons for people’s negative emotions and be better able to predict and prevent public anger.
  • Comprehend different strategies for the 4 kinds of risk communication.
  • Learn the 6 main ways to prevent or reduce public wrath, to make room for reason, and to allow effective public engagement to take place.

You’ll also learn:

  • Strategies for managing public opposition.
  • How to use outrage management in public participation plans.
  • Specific tools & techniques for working with the angriest people.
  • Stakeholder analysis and motivations.
  • How to remove internal barriers to outrage management.
  • How to ask questions with value and empathy.
  • Who should do what in the process.
  • How your attitude impacts public and stakeholder anger.

This practical, hands-on conflict resolution workshop is a fresh, two-day mix of lecture, video, small and large group discussion, and authentic, real-world exercises that give you the tools and ability to manage the tough public issues that you face and help you move your projects forward.

Minimum Class Size: 15
Maximum Class Size: 25 unless noted otherwise by specific location


Class Days Standard Early
Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation 2 days $770 $720

Special Discounts

The Participation Company offers a discount to active members of AICP, IAP2, ICMA and NCDD. Make sure to check out our Early Bird Registration deadlines to take advantage of the discount.

Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation (2-Days) Member Discount = $40 valid through the Early Bird Deadline date.

For member discounts to apply, you must note AICP, IAP2, ICMA or NCDD and Your Member ID# in the COMMENTS box on the registration form, then choose the appropriate price level at checkout. Member discounts expire on the Early Bird deadline.

View Course Locations and Dates

What to Expect: After you have registered, you will receive details specific to each training location via email four (4) weeks prior to the training dates. If you need assistance, please contact us: 720-237-9175 or

For complete details please view our Policies.

AICP Credit CM I 6 CM per training day completed.

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