Fascinated and Unconvinced‏

Now that it’s stopped snowing for a few weeks in Green Bay and Buffalo, the world feels a little less frostbitten and brighter. The flowers are blooming, Claritin and Zyrtec commercials are filling the air and, gosh darn it, my sippy-cup is half full. I’m confident that this month’s blog will make you slimmer, younger, give you shinier hair and whiter teeth.  Antihistamines effect each of us differently.



“The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”

It may be that the dying words of Spock from Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan, is one of the reasons that it’s one of my fave movies. It sort of defines public participation, doesn’t it, the foundation of the democratic process. The storyline pivots when the logical Vulcan Spock leaves this world in a very human-Spock way. Humanity is in the DNA of successful organizations:


Inconvincible: How Not to Argue  

One advisory-type citizen group that I’m working with has a member who manages to insult and alienate the other members at almost every meeting. In spite of various facilitation techniques, enforcing ground rules, numerous offline conversations, etc., the behavior continues. To complicate things, this individual brings an important and unique perspective, as well as tons of historic knowledge, which adds to the challenge, but this offensive approach means everyone else immediately tunes out when the regular and predictable speech begins.

In my search for some insight and a solution, I ran across the following and thought you might find it useful…


Lots of news coverage during the past two weeks about the ever-growing evidence of climate change caused by human activity, yet the skeptics remain entrenched. Someone recently called this communication challenge the most profound in human history. If so, here’s a thought on this debate:


Successful On-Line Groups  

Talking to one of my less-than-tech-savvy pals the other day, (his Y2K party invitation just arrived) he was lamenting about the difficulty of managing online traffic and ongoing, nasty Web feedback for an issue that he’s dealing with. For starters, I sent him this…


Nailing it Without Crutches!  

Honestly, this is, like, literally the best article on verbal crutches that you will, basically, read today:


When you see or hear a great presentation you tend to know it. You’ll notice a lot of what works but it’s often tough to replicate it because some of the subtleties are a little elusive. This is a nice tutorial that’s similar to what I use in helping clients connect with their audiences:


And just last week I attended a technical presentation in which those immortal words were uttered, “Now, you may not be able to read this, but…”  Please…let’s not utter those anymore, ok?


Coaching and Training  

Godec, Randall & Associates Inc. and The Participation Company train, coach and work with government, corporate and non-profit organizations on engaging the public, managing thorny issues and opposition and moving decisions and projects forward. We train and facilitate customized workshops and courses with organization around topics related to conflict resolution, public participation, facilitation, risk, crisis and technical communication, presentations and collaborative decision making.

In fact, we’re helping the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) with a day-long community engagement workshop in the Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (Chicago metro) on May 1. If you worked for a city or county this might interest you. Click on the link below to learn more:


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