Before you launch into your next project, ask yourself “is this question we’re putting to the community just a little condescending?” Unfortunately, all to often, the answer is yes. Condescending community engagement is rife in the public, private and third sectors. Why?
Many years ago I hired a consultant on the recommendation of my boss. She was tall, smart, sophisticated, immensely experienced and knowledgeable, immaculately groomed, well spoken, and generally very impressive. So why did the community I was working with take an almost instant dislike to her?
The short answer is that they felt (and arguably were) condescended to.