Emotion and outrage

All too often the media portray the break down of a stakeholder relationship as a David and Goliath struggle, designed to encourage the viewer to sympathise with the underdog. While this can be a compelling narrative, the reality is usually more complex. The challenge for engagement professionals is not to view their role as managers of emotion and outrage, as portrayed by the media, but to seek accommodations between groups that reduce the likelihood of conflict occurring. If engagement is considered adversarial, we invite the legal profession into the facilitator’s space. Engagement to inform decision making is more effective than engagement to manage conflict.

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