Good news! I’ve made enough progress planning my next book to give you all a little preview.
As soon as people began to communicate about the results of the 2016 presidential election, I realized three things:
First, this election ushered in one of the most serious situations our country has ever faced. I haven’t seen such fear and anger since the civil rights movement. Never have I seen such inclinations to change our manner of government in ways the authors of the U.S. Constitution wouldn’t recognize.
Second, the situation, while challenging, could also provide an opportunity to build bridges across politics. If we handle it well, our entire society might, ultimately, evolve and emerge better than ever.
Third, people reaching out in the wake of the election to influence others for the better, to plan and organize ways to deal with the situation, or simply to vent their thoughts and feelings, inadvertently diluted, or even sabotaged, their own efforts.
I read well-reasoned statements that were neutralized by a few words that could easily be omitted. I also read statements that could have been exponentially better with the addition of a few words or a rephrase. It frustrated me to see statements that could easily be so much better, if only people learned a few counterintuitive principles of effective communication. I knew I could help.
I tested the waters with my “Bridges Across Politics” series of blog articles. The analytics showed that these posts got many page views, and that people stayed on the blog pages long enough to read them through. That convinced me to write my next book on how to communicate about politics.
The first section of the book, “Below the Conscious Radar Screen,” will explain things that influence human decisions, including positions on political issues, without our ever recognizing the influence. These include subtle, indirect techniques “compliance professionals” use to influence us.
To read about some of these compliance techniques now, go to the search line in the upper right corner of this page (or any other page of my website) and type in “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Persuasion.”
The first section will also cover the way temperament and culture influence our political leanings. For example, the temperament most likely to vote at all tends to vote conservatively.
The second section will expand on the skills I’e discussed so far in my “Bridges Across Politics” blog series. This expansion will allow me to discuss those skills more fully, present additional skills, and, give many more examples in the form of snippets of political dialogue. As in the blog series, I’ll include examples of how people on either side of an issue can use the skills.
The third section will deal with tailoring your approach, depending on whether you wish to communicate with a group or an individual, an elected official or a fellow citizen.
You’ll learn how to approach different people, depending on how they feel about the current administration, and how strongly they feel it. I’ve coined the mnemonic device, “Reach Out to RINOs; Welcome the Wakened; Careful with Cultists.”
At this point, I’m eager for any feedback you may have about these plans before I actually compose the book. Please consider using the comment space below, even if the feedback is critical or suggests changes. Comments on the blog allow me to address those concerns on the blog, where others who have similar ideas can also read them.
But by all means, if you aren’t comfortable commenting below, please give me your feedback on the above ideas in whatever way you find comfortable.
Thanks in advance. I hope you’ll be as excited about this new project as I am.