Lying Bosses, Building Trust and Pulling Your Wisdom Teeth‏

GRA’s public involvement transporter lease is up so I’ve been vehicle shopping. Randall wants a company mini-van; of course he’s basically a powder-blue, loser-cruiser type so that’s not going to happen. After the requisite Internet research, I’ve enjoyed the in-person company of some car salespeople recently. They’re an interesting study in semi-human behavior. But at least now I am feeling better about Congress!


Your Lying Boss 

In the public anger & opposition workshops and classes that I do, the discussion often turns to how to build trust with the public and other stakeholders when your boss or client can’t necessarily be trusted. One benefit of having your own business is picking who you work for and, overall, I work for trustworthy people. I’m troubled that I’m sometimes the only one in the room:

Verify but Trust 

Lost trust is so hard to recover. In organizations, the recovery process has to start at the top and with the overall culture. This is elementary but it’s a place to start:

Because we all like lists, here are 13 specific steps towards cultivating trust in Government. These are straightforward and remarkably accurate:

And if you’re keen on taking an even deeper dive into this topic, then I invite you to watch this video on trust from philosopher Onora O’Neill. Trust me…it’s worth ten minutes of your life:

Believe It

We believe what we choose to believe. Once we believe something, we rarely change for anything or anybody. It’s called confirmation bias. Smart people are aware of it, guard against it and struggle with it:

Should I Pull My Own Wisdom Tooth or Design a New Logo?

The Participation Company, my other activity, recently created a new website and logo. Having enjoyed this exercise-by-committee for clients several times in the past, I initially cringed at the idea of working with four alpha partners and a designer. But it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared and, through it all, we stayed partners.

If you fear this task, this story might help guide your effort:

Fun with Words

The wordsmiths who read this mailer on a regular basis tell me that they get a kick out of these kinds of stories. So, without further ado, here’s one for them…

Classes Coming Up

Risk communication comes in various flavors…one of which is the management of anger and outrage. The first International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course of 2014 is coming up:

  • January 9 & 10 in Chicago

We also customize these and other facilitated workshops for your in-house group. Call or email me anytime if you’d like to talk about it.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556 or email

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Remember…Randall wastes his time surfing the Internet so you don’t have to.


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