Dinosaurs, Motivation and Loving the Crazy People

Between Donald’s Sterling performance on CNN and Newt Gingrich defending Hillary Clinton against Carl Rove attacks it’s like living in Bizarro World this week. But as always, there are lessons to be learned everywhere, just look around.


Dinosaur Communication  

Back when tyrannosaurs roamed Wisconsin and I was starting college, one of the first texts that an English professor forced me to buy (with money that could very easily have used for beer) was Aristotle’s “Rhetoric.” Of course, at the time I thought it was gawd awfully boring, irrelevant and now, timelessly brilliant. After reading – I don’t know how many – papers, books and blogs over the years, the building blocks of human connection still boil down to credibility, empathy and logic:


The essence of “Rhetoric” is a foundation to the work that we do, and trust and respect have taken on hugely important added aspects of public decision-making and consensus:


Motivating People

I ran across this story and really liked its universal truthiness. All communication should motivate people to think or do something — so think four words: bribe, feelings, progress and cult.  And never forget – story:


At first blush, the title of this story looks like it came from People Magazine but don’t dismiss it too fast:


Choosing exactly the right words is extremely important and most of us know this. But I guess I’d really never given considerable thought to the perception of people’s names. Check this out…


Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Did you see Anderson Cooper’s interview with Clipper owner/train-wreck/facelift aficionado Donald Sterling this week? As we’ve said so many times before, there’s no substitute for authentic apology…and to do it publicly is a learned skill:


Some things Sterling might have considered…


And, maybe he needs a Fred Taylor:


Listen to People You Don’t Agree With

High profile speakers are bailing on graduation commencement addresses this spring because of opposition from students who don’t want to hear from people that they disagree with. This is a bad precedent and probably a really stupid thing to do…


Some Love for Crazy People

News this week about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s style compared to that of the late Steve Jobs reminded me of a great passage:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

— Apple Inc., Think Different

Shameless Promotion and Training

Godec, Randall & Associates Inc. and The Participation Company LLC train, coach and work with government, corporate and non-profit organizations on engaging the public, managing thorny issues and opposition and moving decisions and projects forward. We train and facilitate customized workshops and courses with organizations on topics related to conflict resolution, public participation, facilitation, risk, crisis and technical communication, presentations and collaborative decision making. We help clients connect with the public and the stakeholders that they need to connect with.

* We’re bringing the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) new and improved Certificate course to Chicago October 20 – 24.

* And we’re planning the  (IAP2) Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation (EOP2) course for Austin and Las Vegas this fall, and scheduled to offer the class in Chicago on December 4 & 5.

Call me for details.

The Participation Company LLC is also strategic partner of the Center for Management Strategies (CMS), the provider of International City/County Management Association (ICMA) leading practices for local government.

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