Sex, Lies and Listening to Yoda‏

The election is behind us and Thanksgiving is a memory — sadly, in more ways than one. This great holiday seems to have been reduced to just the opening act for Black Friday and the shopping season here in the U.S.

My other commitments the past couple of months have reduced this occasional newsletter to really occasional, but I hope you’ll find it worth the wait. In this rendition, you’ll find stories on better writing, active listening, apologies for past blunders, and sex vs. Facebook (weaving “sex” into anything increases readership, I’m told…) 
Christmas and its nearby holiday cousins are fast approaching, so let’s all find time to enjoy ’em, eh?   

Is Yoda Writing Your Material?

One of my pet peeves, this is.  See if you’re guilty….

And something fresh and crispy for real hardcore word wonks:

The Incredibly Simple Key to Effective Listening

Most people who manage or facilitate public engagement and consensus processes know that active listening — ensuring that people know they’re being heard — is a critical skill.  For people who still don’t know how to do it, here’s a simple suggestion:

A Sorry State of Affairs

Two of my current clients have, shall we say, slightly checkered pasts. They’re not bad people in the traditional sense, but they’re ironically similar in that neither has historically dealt with people in a very transparent or upfront manner. Now, those offended are standing as roadblocks to each one’s future success.

But as I’ve learned, managing public outrage and ego is a piece o’ cake compared to the outrage, anger and ego of some clients. Apologies are tough, but sometimes it’s the only way to move forward.  Here’s another endorsement:

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

We just came out of an election cycle in which an awful lot of pundits and talking heads missed badly on their predictions. Peter Sandman points to data showing that researchers routinely produce results that clients can live with (especially when controversial issues are involved). It’s not because researchers are dishonest…it’s because research tends to be qualitative and subject to interpretation. So if you’re trying to game the system, here are some helpful hints for you (and yes, I’m being facetious)…

And if you’re offended by the idea that researchers or other expert professionals might not be as pure as the driven snow, know that half of what you know probably isn’t true:

And as long as I’m offending researchers and scientists, here’s something equally offensive for self-selected members of the environmental community:

Sex, Nicotine & Facebook

A previous story in this mailer cited research that showed our need to talk about ourselves is impressively high and speculated that it might help explain the phenomenon of social media. Maybe we should add this to the evidence:

The Foundation of Effective Public Participation and the Art & Science of Managing Public Anger and Opposition

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course will be offered in Arizona again in January. This is the foundational class for anybody who manages or works in public involvement. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do in your situation.

January is a terrific time to be in the Valley of the Sun — average high is pushing 70 and there are activities galore. The course location is in Tempe and right on the light rail line near tons of shopping, dining and entertainment.

I’ll be teaching the course with Marty Rozelle and Ruth Yabes, both incredibly experienced and knowledgeable. It’s our once-a-year chance to teach it together (which we have a lot of fun with and students say they love). 

Understanding and working with public anger, protest and conflict is huge these days. You’ll learn about managing it during the two-day IAP2 Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation (EOP2) class — based on the work of Dr. Peter Sandman, the world’s foremost expert on risk communication.

This workshop is hands-on, practical and has never been more relevant. We’re offering it in Tempe at the same location as the Certificate course (noted above) on January 31 and February 1, 2013. Come to Arizona, bring your significant other(s), bag some rays and leave with new skills.
IAP2 Certificate class scheduled:

  • January 21 – 25, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona

EOP2 class currently scheduled:

  • January 31 & February 1, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona
  • April 2013 in Toronto
  • October 2013 in Calgary

We’ll also customize the EOP2 class for your agency’s specific issues. Call me if you’d like more information or if you’d like to talk with one of your clients.
For above scheduled U.S. class registrations click on:

For above scheduled Canada class registrations click on:

And please forward this to anyone that you think might benefit from one of these workshops or might like to start getting this newsletter (We never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).


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