by Roger Pynn
This item from LeadingBlog about Diana Smith’s new book “The Elephant in the Room” reinforces the role public relations can play in building mutually productive relationships and achieving consensus … particularly in stressful times. If, as Smith describes, two egos as large as Roosevelt and Churchill could learn to accept each other by looking beyond their personal opinions to understand the other’s perspective, it would seem there are very few who can’t.
In a world so complex and full of messaging, however, isn’t that what public relations people really ought to focus on … bridging misunderstanding as opposed to simple promotion? Whether you are trying to build understanding of a brand, position a product for sale or overcome misperceptions of an individual’s positions, what we really do is create an environment in which negotiation can take place without tension.
In the end, what I think isn’t nearly as important as what the person I am negotiating with perceives. If I can see the world through their lens I’m far more likely to understand the barriers to them adopting my position.
That’s the first step in leadership.