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Seasonal Goodwill – Creating the right mood music

One of the ironies of the Xmas period is that the most frenetic, congested, over-hyped, commercially-crazed weeks of the year is meant to be imbued with a sustained veneer of bonhomie which we often refer to as seasonal goodwill!

There is little logic, but somehow it seems to work, as few people complain about the fact that they must suffer increased aggression on the High street or longer delays in the car park and simultaneously try to be nicer to everyone they see.

Retailers discovered a long time ago that the muzak they play in shops can influence how their customers behave. The Salvation Army also made this discovery. That’s one reason why their Bands entertain us in the shopping centre at this time of the year. Even the dreadful piped pop carols of the 1980’s are believed by some to alter the surrounding atmosphere and create a rather more benign environment.

Creating the right mood music is important for a whole range of human reactions. Those of us involved in community involvement and consultation initiatives are particularly vulnerable. The best prepared consultations will struggle if the mood music isn’t right, and if the right conditions have not been set for holding a particular debate.


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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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