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Lend me your ear...
In the public arena, interpersonal dynamics govern the outcomes that are generated through the communicative process. Effective interpersonal skills foster the rapport that is necessary to advance ideas and proposals, in short, for being heard. Whether you find yourself before Congress, a public board at city hall, or before the board your condominium or neighborhood association, you must deal with the unique challenges that those who appear before deliberative bodies encounter.


Conflict...

Conflict is a universal phenomenon: it is everywhere. Conflict that occurs in the public arena have an emphasis on identity and power and have many stages. Conflict is too often met with avoidance, aggression, or dismissal. How conflicts are handled greatly affects how matters are perceived by community decision makers. Conflict in the public arena is a result of the people involved, the setting, the structure, and the matters of power and identity.


Power...

Power exists both formally and informally throughout the public arena and is often not balanced. It is often achieved by gaining a position and influencing events and outcomes. In the political arena, how officials act or react to proposals before them determines the power they may achieve or squander.


Trust...

The public is rightfully concerned with the reliability of commitments that are made by those in the public arena. Officials, petitioners, consultants are all challenged as to the veracity of their statements. These concerns create many obstacles to the open dialog that is needed to advance your proposal. Petitioners and officials must work together to forge a lasting trust.


Facilitative Leadership...

Facilitative leaders impart influence through their actions and behaviours, making it possible for fractious factions to reach a resolution.


Focus...

Maintaining focus can be challenging as divergent issues arise. Pay attention to how your meeting will be structured. Be mindful of the fact that what you want to achieve depends on how you hear, receive and manage opposing views.


Communication...
The addition of personal bias, fears and aspirations distort the message being sent. In the public arena, there are multiple personalities that increase the distortion of the message that is being sent. The challenge for the speaker is to ensure that their message is being received as intended.


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Contact the Author: Email: mohalloran@comcast.net
Phone: 781-891-7304