Thursday, July 12, 2012

How will your expert handle public mistakes?

Will Rogers may have called an expert "a man 50 miles from home with a briefcase," but Nobel laureate Niels Bohr was harsher--and more honest. His definition of an expert: "person that has made every possible mistake within his or her field." But can your expert admit that in public or in a media interview--and does she know when that's a good thing to do?

It's one of the questions we'll be discussing at my August 23 workshop for communicators, Be an Expert on Working with Experts, where you can learn about experts' default communications styles and how to work more effectively with them. So what might be standing between your expert and effective handling of public mistakes?
In fact, avoidance, overstatements and blame are poor defenses but all-too-human responses to public mistakes. Helping your expert learn how to admit mistakes frankly, fully and fast (or avoid them in the first place) will build--or re-build--trust with public and media audiences. I hope you'll join me at the August 23 workshop to learn more. What are the issues you encounter when experts admit public mistakes? Leave 'em in the comments.

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