(Issue #482) Political Pyrotechnicians

Unfortunately, because they refuse to listen,
a fruitful give-and-take becomes more of a chimera.

I bought a t-shirt on the Savannah waterfront that has the picture of a dog on it. While the image reminded me of Roxie, the words on the shirt caught my attention.

Dogs speak but only to those who know how to listen.

I believe this sentiment is true for us humans as well.

Why would anyone want to speak to someone who will not listen? Or someone whose intent appears to be to insult, not to listen and learn. Rather than ask an authentic question, they bait, goad, and instigate.  People intent on calling out others simply because they can.

Perhaps you have heard some people describe themselves as “political pyrotechnicians.” I just heard of the term recently. And I believe I witnessed one at a recent community meeting.

Not interested in listening to any opposing viewpoints, this person rudely challenged the panel over and over and over again. Not interested in dialogue. Only interested a monologue. Sabotage the meeting.  Engage in explosive rhetoric.

Sometimes the fireworks come in a post or an email to a larger group (after all, this person thrives on audience for effect). They claim the other is always the offending party; never stepping back to examine where they may have erred.

There is irony in this, however.  You see, the political pyrotechnician may actually have pertinent and valuable information to share.  Unfortunately, because they refuse to listen, a fruitful give-and-take dialogue becomes more of a chimera.

Who wants to speak to someone unwilling to listen? And, yet, that remains the challenge that great leaders take on endlessly. Attempting to get people to the table to engage in meaningful conversation.  While we seek understanding and conversation, it remains true that some people do not want a seat at that table of reason.

This week let’s continue to search for those people who raise tough questions, present clear-headed ideas, and listen.


Video Recommendation of the Week

This week, in this space, I want to share three video snippets from podcasts I produced this year.


My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon.  More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes.  I will be conducting (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.  The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

About stevepiscitelli

Facilitator-Author-Teacher
This entry was posted in accountability, call-out culture, Civility, collaboration, Communication, political pyrotechnicians and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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