Third Thursday Tips
With every interaction of every day, we are communicating verbally and non-verbally with those around us. Not all of those interactions are easy or pleasant, so in this newsletter we've decided to offer a few tips on how to communicate with with difficult people. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions for future issues of The Third Thursday. Let us know what you like about us, areas for improvement, or topics that you'd like for us to address. Thank you for reading!
Three Public Involvement Tips For Dealing With Difficult People As we perform our public involvement duties, we continually communicate with people. And they’re not always happy to see or hear from us. From their perspective, we’re going to tear up their roads, make it harder for customers to access their businesses and shock them awake early in the morning to the loud sounds of heavy equipment.
Scott Henriksen, one of our project managers, is especially effective at talking to people. We like to tell about the time that an angry farmer met him on his porch with a shotgun. An hour later, Scott left with a cold can of Dr. Pepper and an invitation to return anytime. Here are some tips that we use to deal with an angry, frustrated public.
Listen to them. It can be tempting to just tune them out and think about Taco Tuesday, but people can usually tell if you’re actively listening. Even if they’re ranting, nod and comment and show them that what they are saying is important to you. If they know that you are listening and value what they have to say, it will help to calm them down. People want to be heard.
Don’t agree with everything they say. It’s also tempting to try and appease the speaker by just agreeing with them. But this can make the situation worse. Silence can also be interpreted as agreement. Always be positive about the construction project and emphasize the benefits of the completed project.
If possible, switch extremes into facts. Negative people often speak in extreme terms that match their views. They talk about “never” and “always,” such as “this road is always under construction.” It can sometimes be helpful to switch them to fact-based statements.
Something like, “it’s true that there has been construction here before … I worked on that project. But it was three years ago, and the population in the area has grown, so they need to widen the road to accommodate current and future growth.”
Not all situations will end with a cold can of Dr. Pepper, but most situations can be diffused with a calm and positive attitude, active listening and the emphasis of the positive and long-lasting benefits of the project. Good luck!
Productivity is Easier When You're Healthy
In order to be productive, we have to make sure we are taking good care of our physical body. Without good health it is much harder to focus and achieve.
It's interesting to me that we all know the things we should do to be healthy: get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, exercise regularly, eat healthy foods (balanced by the occasional chocolate chip cookie!), drink lots of water and meditate (according to many). It's on my to do list, some day hopefully I'll get it added to my daily routine.
I have two challenges for you this month. The first one is to watch this video on the amazing benefits of walking. One of my friends shared it with me recently, and I LOVE it! The second challenge - figure out how to fit walking into your day. And even though it's a great time to also listen to music or audio books, considering walking without a mobile device. Just walk, breathe, and enjoy the beautiful world we have the opportunity to live in!
Here's the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce0yxolt0Cw. It's only 6 minutes -- go watch it now, and then take your family for a 30 minute walk after work today!
Meet Our New Associates
We're happy to welcome two new "Associates!" Many of you are already familiar with Megan Jacques, who returned to J&A after recently graduating from Utah State University. Megan first started working for J&A delivering flyers when she was 12 years old. Even then, she had no fear of talking with the public and loved meeting new people. She has worked on more than 20 projects for J&A, many as the project manager. At the ribbon cutting celebration on Lehi Main Street, Mayor Bert Wilson stated, “Hiring Megan, with her great attitude, beautiful smile and problem-solving abilities, was the best decision we made on this project.”
Megan resides in Cottonwood Heights and leads our work in Ogden and Salt Lake City.
We are also happy to welcome Ashley Frost, an intern from BYU's Public Relations program. Ashley brings a wealth of PR knowledge and experience to our project team. Ashley is very familiar with campaigns, having spent time as Intern for Mitt Romney while he was running for president. In addition to creating public relations plans for the Romney campaign, she has also created plans for LIV International and the BYU Marriott School of Business. Ashley also has experience implementing Public Relations plans with Squeeze Media. Welcome Ashley!