You’re Special Just for Being You

In an age of high tech/low touch communication, we’re spending most of this month on interpersonal traits that seem to be getting lost in the email, posts and tweets that most of us are becoming more accustomed to. As such, I think you’ll find something useful and/or interesting in this month’s tidbit selection.

I might also mention that we have a few seats still available for next week’s IAP2 Foundations course in Arlington, VA.  So click and sign up below…Doug needs a new snow blower.


The Truth Is Out There  

If you are a Superman comic fan, you’d probably agree that some political campaigns are like living in Bizzaro World where up is down and right is left. The following article refers to a condition called “motivated reasoning,” a fancy, academic term for believing made-up crap that you know is fabricated but you decide to believe anyway. “Belief echoes” describes the influence that this B.S. has on us even when we know it is crap.

The new X-Files series reminds us that the truth is out there — we just have to help people keep looking for it…

Start Talking to Yourself at Work  

The lady was livid, explaining in great detail what an arrogant S.O.B she thought he was. All the while she was waving a printed copy of the email he’d sent to her in his face. From his perspective, it was factual and professional. After reading it out loud, however, he understood why it made her feel like he was talking down to her in a bureaucratic, snotty tone.

So, when you’re writing an email, try reading it out loud to yourself – no really! People might think you’re going goofy but it will help to tell you how it’s going to sound in the head of the reader. Try it:

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful  

Research says that narcissistic personality traits are rising just as fast as obesity rates. Even if you aren’t a narcissist, you probably know one and learning to deal with them is a good thing.  Maybe this will help…

It Ain’t Easy Being a Fed  

Working in government has never been especially easy. However, it’s tougher now than ever before. With a jacked-up political system, a generally angry public and the internal brain drain of retiring baby boomers, we’ve got a whole new crop of people entering the public sector. Now is a good time to revisit the Paradoxical Commandments of the Federal Government:

Internal Communication According to Google  

Amit Singh is president of Google for Work. Here’s what you’re doing wrong in managing your organization:

One particular client has been dealing with growing pains that are forcing changes in key positions within his company. Some people are on their way out while others are on the way in. The people remaining have been on pins and needles with the usual anxiety: Am I gonna be next? Who am I working for now? How will my life change?

Changes over which we have no control can really suck. If organizations handle them poorly, productivity can go out the window. Here are some thoughts about delivering bad news internally:

And here’s the same subject with a slightly different analysis but a similar conclusion:

Science the Sh#t Out of This  

The best line (also Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite) in The Martian is when Matt Damon says, “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.” Most of the clients that we work with can “science” just about anything. The challenge comes when stakes are high, trust is low and the experts and scientists have to talk to people who aren’t experts or scientists. Here are some guidelines for having those conversations:

And the fact is, there’s a lot of science to communicating with people who aren’t scientists:

If You Can’t Come to Us for Training, We’ll Come to You

People who take our workshops and courses come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and just about every other federal, state, regional, local and tribal agency. Others include global governments, NGO’s and hundreds of businesses – anyone who works with the public on difficult issues.

The Participation Company delivers a variety of customized workshops in one- to five-day lengths dealing with public involvement, (re) building trust in government, conflict resolution, risk communication, public engagement for tech-types, group facilitation and many other related topics. We can help you get your job done better.

* If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there…
– Yogi

* As government employees we have our fair share of training. Not many rise to the level, as this one did, where you can say that it is one of the best courses you’ve ever taken.
– Geoff, BLM

* I just wanted to let you know that the class I attended yesterday was the most professional, interesting, and worthwhile class…I ever attended. 
– Catherine, Arizona Highways Magazine

* …We appreciate your skill in presenting so much material and for your keen ability to read and pace to the crowd. That was rather remarkable, I thought.
– Maria, APS

* I am convinced that this course will be of tremendous value to our staff.
– Tom, Urban Systems

* …Thanks again for the hard work you invested in making sure we had a valuable learning experience!
– Ann, Booze Allen Hamilton

Some of  The Participation Company’s upcoming International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) classes, open to everyone, include:

The IAP2 Foundations 5-Day Course:

* Arlington, VA: February 1 – 5, 2016
* Fort Collins, CO: February 2 – 3, 2016 (2-Day Techniques)
* Phoenix, AZ: February 29 – March 4, 2016
* Chicago, IL: April 4 – 8, 2016
* Austin, TX: April 18 – 22, 2016
* Great Falls, MT: Dates Pending 2016 (3-Day Planning)
* Fairmont, MT: Dates Pending 2016 (2-Day Techniques)

The IAP2 Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation 2-Day Course:

* Phoenix, AZ: May 4 – 5, 2016
* Chicago, IL: June 15 – 16, 2016
* Austin, TX: (Dates Pending)
* Arlington, VA: (Dates Pending)

Other 2016 locations are likely, and we routinely customize in-house curriculum and workshops for clients’ very specific issues and challenges.

Click on for details and registration information.

The Participation Company LLC is a strategic partner and provider for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). 

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