Potty Mouths and Persuasion

We’re pretty excited to be featuring our very first newsletter headline in Latin this month. We’re in the dog days of summer in Arizona so small things like clouds and Latin excite us.

I think we have an ample supply of offerings in this issue and another request for you to take our survey of the public participation practice, if you haven’t yet already done so.

See you in September.


You’re Very Persuasive  

We’re in the most persuading period of our every-four-year election cycle in the US. Estimates are that between $6 billion and $7 billion was spent by the candidates and their PACs in 2012, at that time the most expensive in history.

Estimating the actual price of changing someone’s mind from one candidate to the other staggers the imagination. So, let’s talk about some persuasion basics…


Being effectively persuasive can be really counterintuitive:


As we’ve said before and we’ll say again, repetition is critical. So repeat it. Again.


Community Involvement  

The fear that most public sector managers have about involving constituents in decisions usually stems from a history of doing public involvement badly. Correcting that is at the core of the work that we do. Here’s a nifty piece that lays it out pretty simply:


Public participation, involvement and community engagement go by an assortment of names. People identify and define the field in lots of different ways. Regardless of what you call it, it is grounded in trust and represents the relationship between government and the governed. It’s about having crucial conversations:


Reaching your toughest customers…lessons from the U.S. Census Bureau:


I Swear, I Just Don’t Get It…  

In the course of teaching classes and workshops, I have, on occasion, been criticized on evaluations for using off color words, as someone described it. I don’t take that criticism lightly and I’m not interested in offending most people. However, if I told you the off color words that I’ve used, I suspect that you might loudly say, WTF?!?

Far stronger language was used during the Republican Convention, and by Father Timmerman, my grade school principal. I come from a long, blue-collar line of swearing aficionados — people who viewed good cursing as a creative art form. And, I often wonder if the “offendees” truly are offended or if they’re members of that tribe known as wound collectors, people who search for slights, and look hard for reasons to be offended.

We’ll talk more about this tribe in future newsletters. For now, I’d like to present evidence of the benefits of poopy language…


Mea Culpa  

Apologies aren’t part of politics, although you could argue that they should be. However, they need to be part of public policy. When an apology is warranted, meaning when someone has been truly wronged, nothing less than an effective apology will do:


If the idea of wholehearted apology is offensive to you or your client, at least admit to mistakes when they’re made…


There’s an entire website devoted to doing this well:


We’d Still Like Your Help  

We’ve been getting a very positive response to the survey request that was sent last month and we are looking forward to understanding how our profession is changing.

We want to know the state of the practice from your expert view. Tell us how healthy — or not — the profession is from your perspective. Has the craft changed (and, if so, how) and what do you think the future holds?

The survey, which can be accessed via the link below, is easy and brief. There are numerous opportunities to add comments and we’ve received some great and really interesting input so far+.

We’ll present and discuss the results at the IAP2 North American Conference in Montreal in late September and send you a report copy if you’re interested. So please take a couple of minutes, click on the link below and complete the survey. Our deadline is Wednesday, August 31st.


Conflict Resolution Strategies & Conflict Resolution Techniques

The Participation Company (TPC)partners consult, facilitate and train to help you with your community involvement programs.

Remaining open registration 2016 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) classes include:

The IAP2 Foundations 5-Day Course:

* 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

Click on http://TheParticipationCompany.com to join us, and for more useful stuff on the TPC blog.

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

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

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

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