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Listening to politicians – Those seeking to implement change in our public services should study the views and attitudes of our elected representatives

It is so fashionable to denigrate politicians and to counsel them to ‘listen to the people’ that it may appear counter-intuitive to suggest that just for once, we should listen to them.

Civil servants and Managers attending Institute training courses, Masterclasses or Roundtables frequently complain that one of the biggest challenges they face is overcoming “the politics.” By this they do not necessarily mean party politics – but typically the extreme reluctance of MPs or Councillors to agree with controversial changes, especially if constituents want to oppose them.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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