Like a Proctologist in Search of a Tax Shelter‏

That is the zeal that I bring in search of relevant material to provide to you each month (ish). Because of that, I had every intention of giving the subject of trust a rest in this installment. After the last blog, I thought we’d done it to death and you were probably sick of hearing, reading and talking about it. Enough already.

And then I heard from you, talking about the not-so-presidential campaigns, Flint, Edelman’s Trust Barometer, USA Today cover stories and on and on. And the workshops and projects that TPC is actively working on – nothing but conflict resolution that requires (re) building trust.

Community involvement and consensus decision-making don’t really happen without it. There’re also a few more topics here to explore, but let’s just accept the need for trust in our DNA.



Smarty Pants’ Trust  

Conclude whatever you wish from this, but it appears that trusting people may also be smarter people. Discuss among yourselves…

It shouldn’t surprise you that more of the information that we find on these subjects is written with a business, not public sector, perspective. However, it’s also not surprising that government types can learn a lot from business problems and solutions. Here’s three ways to (re) build trust and resolve conflict:

People who say they’re looking for conflict resolution strategies often just want to continue doing what they’re doing but get a better result. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Leadership requires being smart enough to adapt and adopt better behaviors, like these:

If you’re wondering why your credibility has tanked, you might consider one of these 10 reasons…and grow a beard:

Say What?  

George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Proof of this appears daily in this political year and in public policy at every level. The people being governed and those people governing are talking past each other in spite of a federal law that requires plain language. Here’s a look at who is resolving conflict by doing it well and who’s failing:

I call it the Aunt Carrie factor: GovLoop prefers the Grandma test. Either way, the concept and practice is a most effective way to help you communicate and mediate with real people better…

In the world of tough subjects and hard conversations, it’s not easy to get your point across. If you’re looking for some guidance on being heard, here are three solid principles to help make sure it happens:

Presentation Tips You Can Hang on a Wall  

Regardless of who you present to or how often, being good at it takes time, practice and understanding the right principles…like these:

Most people are flummoxed and panic stricken about speaking in public, so you’re not alone. And talking to big groups of people who are anxious about you and what you’re there to talk about just compounds the anxiety. Here are some things that will help you handle the butterflies:

He had a weak voice and suffered from stage fright, and he was one of the greatest speakers in history. Winston Churchill always started strong, stuck to a single theme, used simple language, drew pictures in the listener’s mind and ended with emotion:

When you’re ready for the next step, here are 15 examples of ways to take it up a notch:

Conflict Resolution and Community Involvement Comes to You  

The Participation Company (TPC) schedules training classes at several locations open to anyone. But we’ll also bring our classes and workshops directly to you. We work with feds from EPA, NPS, BLM, DOT, USFS, ACOE, BOR and just about every other acronym that you can think of. We also work with state agencies, municipalities NGO’s, tribes and in lots of international destinations.We have or we will build workshops for your group on effective communication, community involvement, (re) building trust, conflict resolution, risk, effective facilitation and other related topics. We’ll help you find the solutions to your particular challenges.

* That was the best training I have been to for EPA so far. I learned so much!!
– Jackie, EPA

* 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

* One of the best training sessions I’ve had in 29 years. John knows the Superfund program extremely well and understands firsthand the issues we face.
– Regional Project Manager, EPA Region 2

* 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 appreciated that the trainer came prepared with materials that were relevant, region specific and current.
– OSC, EPA Region 2

* 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, Booz Allen Hamilton

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

The IAP2 Foundations 5-Day Course:

* Austin, TX: April 18 – 22, 2016
* Great Falls, MT: April 27 – 29, 2016 (3-Day Planning)
* Great Falls, MT: May 19 – 20, 2016 (2-Day Techniques)
* Fort Collins, CO:  August 30 – Sept 1, 2016 (3-day Planning)
* Fort Collins, CO: November 3 – 4, 2016 (2-day Techniques)
* Salt Lake City, UT: December 5 – 9, 2016

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

* Phoenix, AZ: May 4 – 5, 2016
* Chicago, IL: June 15 – 16, 2016
* Austin, TX: July 20 – 21, 2016
* Arlington, VA: (Coming)
* Pacific Northwest (Coming)

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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