Disposable People and Disposable Mucus Recovery Systems

Working in conflict management means that, on any given day, you may get to work with some of the best and the worst people that humanity has to offer — kind of like tending bar. Little did I know at the time that a part-time college gig would be fertile training for this kind of work. In this issue you’ll find some interesting cultural changes around building relationships and how we’re managing to butcher the English language.



Disposable People  

You know that, at its essence, conflict resolution requires building relationships. There’s evidence to suggest that something very weird is going on with relationships that, in the past, you’ve probably taken for granted.

There was a time when people tended to live, work and stay put for long periods of time. Those days are over…we’re getting increasingly mobile. One consequence of this is that our social ties are more disposable – and nobody wants to be disposable:


Building relationships that nurture communication and manage conflict starts with an ability to connect with and influence people. It also probably requires you to be likeable. Here are 10 attributes that will help make people like you better:


Charisma used to be a hot topic, especially in an election year. This cycle has been entertaining enough without much attention being paid to it. However, it will be an issue of importance at some point as the likability of candidates will play into the election.

One might think that charisma is something that you either have or you don’t, but research suggests it’s made up of acquired attributes. Here are 12 behaviors that you can learn:


Your Disposable Mucus Recovery System…  

…should never be left in your pocket when you do laundry. Words, of course, matter. A lot. Conflict and the public “trust” vacuum exists, at least in part, because big business and government purposely speak a language that real people don’t understand…and that’s not the fault of the real people. Two former National Lampoon staffers have written the book on deceptive language:


You may not know it (or be able to tell) but Federal agencies are actually required to use plain language. The idea’s right but not everyone’s gotten the memo. Yet.


Here’s an interesting spin on how language is being co-opted by one major utility industry group:


And while we’re on the subject, I thought you might like to see how many people speak which languages on one simple global map…


How Crazy Are You?  

I believe it’s safe to say that we’re all a little nuts…the question is how much and under what circumstances? As much as we all might like to think that we always make rational, methodical decisions, the truth is that we’re probably influenced by at least one or more of the following:


Power & Control  

This is a story that serves a lot of purposes. I’ve been working on Zika Virus issues recently and also helping a federal agency with its (lack of) trust issues. One particular behavior is part of the public solution to both challenges. Written by a medical doctor, the following is specifically relative to flu shots…


Conflict Resolution and Community Involvement Comes to You  

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


The Participation Company (TPC) schedules training classes around the country that are open to anyone. And we’ll 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 as well as organizations on several continents.

Workshop topics include (re) building trust, community involvement, facilitation, collaboration, risk and conventional communication, conflict resolution and prevention, effective meeting design, translating complex science and policy and other related topics.

If we don’t already have it, we’ll customize and deliver the right workshop for your group and help you develop solutions to your particular challenges.

* The Samoan Circle (conversation circle) was a SMASHING SUCCESS tonight!  Thank you! 
– Kerri, Champaign IL

* 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

* Thank you for a great opportunity to learn – it is rare nowadays to walk away from a learning experience and feel enrich not only as a professional but also as a human being. Thank you for enabling a truly a powerful experience!
– Elna de Beer, Golder Associates Africa

* 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

* 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

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)

* Anchorage, AK: October 31 – November 4, 2016

* 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

Click on http://TheParticipationCompany.com for the details.

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

We’d be grateful if you’d pass this on to anybody that you think might like it. We promise not to abuse your trust, we won’t SPAM you or your friends, and subscribing/unsubscribing is painless.

Remember: We waste our time scanning the Worldwide Interweb so you don’t have to…

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in General