A Working With People gallery

Conservationists can learn much from scientists, politicians, government workers, and others who have excellent "people skills". Here are some of those we discuss in Working with People.

John Muir

Life of the party - John Muir

John Muir wasn't a stodgy old codger like some of his photos portray him. He was a wonderful communicator who used Cialdini's likeability principle to save thousands of acres of wilderness for future generations.

Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt - A peaceful guy

Theodore Roosevelt is known for many things including conservation, liberal use of American force, and trust-busting. However, it is little known that he was the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, using some of the negotiation skills we find most effective today.

Battle of New Orleans

Learn from their mistake — please!

By all accounts, the crack British troops engaged at the Battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812 should have won and a critical mistake they made launched Andrew Jackson's career. Conservation professionals can learn from their mistake and avoid it when planning for successful field work.

Paul R. Ehrlich E.O. Wilson Al Gore

Communication Wizards

Great environmental communicators including scientists Paul R. Ehrlich, E.O. Wilson and politician Al Gore have brought significant attention to conservation problems, helping to promote worldwide change. Scientists, managers, and others can learn from their communication styles so their findings can have impact as well.

About the Book

Rachel Carson

She knew how to defend herself

Unfortunately, dirty politics can crop up in work or our personal life. Legendary conservationist Rachel Carson had to use a spirited defense to protect herself against critics who didn't play fair, portraying her as a communist, a hysterical woman and an inexperienced reactionary over her stance against DDT and other pesticides. She was very effective using some of the common techniques used to defend oneself against dirty tricks.

Mbaye Diagne

The best communicator never known

During the Rwandan Massacre in the 1990's, UN Observer and Senegalese Army Captain Mbaye Diagne saved the lives of hundreds of Tutsis and moderate Hutus just by talking his way out of dangerous situations. When driving a truck filled with Tutsis, he was able to talk his way past 23 checkpoints manned by Hutu militia killers in the capital Kigali. This hero did it using communication techniques we call smoothing and verbal judo. These techniques can be used by conservation professionals and others who find themselves in contentious situations.

Lyndon B. Johnson

The Senate's Master

Lyndon Johnson was the 36th president of the United States, but many claimed his true genius was as a legislator. Johnson was able to use many of the principles of influence to achieve his goals.