As I shared in my last post, the summer for advocates is anything but “lazy”! In fact it’s the time of year when you should be busier ever examining your relationships to ensure the are where they need to be when it’s time to influence leaders. To help you become the advocate you want to be, I’d like to share a brief story and some tips on how you can ensure your relationship with lawmakers is strong.
This post is a bit long, but I hope you’ll read it to the end. Trust me…it’s worth the time!
When I worked with the Florida League of Cities, they had a program to identify relationships between local and state officials. The purpose being so when it was time to contact lawmakers about a bill, they had a list of local advocates who could help them.
Unfortunately on occasion, those relationships were exaggerated and that eventually backfired, especially when the legislator made it very clear the relationship was not nearly as strong as perceived.
To prevent you from getting caught in this situation, think about the acronym I.N.F.L.U.E.N.C.E. It stands for I need to fully list, understand and evaluate the nuances of my relationship and commit to excellence.
So here are some questions to help recommit to and encure you’re read to influence leaders. But be very honest in your responses! Like in golf, cheating on your score doesn’t make you a better player, it just gives a falsehood to brag about and could put your city, business or organization in an awkward position that may be difficult to explain!
- Can I easily list their name and the anmes of the family?
- Do I know their profession and do we have anythign in common in this area?
- If I saw them socially, would we seek out and interact with each other?
- Are they a veteran or actively serving in our country’s military?
- What is their educational and professional background? Do we have aything in common in this area?
- If they run a small business, what type of business is it? Do we have anything in common?
- If asked, could I share their legislative priorities or campaign platform with some else?
- Does one of their priorities align with that of my business, city, or organization? Are they aware of this and have I offered to help them advance it?
- Who are the people on their staff and have I made any efforts to build a relationship with them?
- Would they contact me about my city, business, or organization if they had any questions I could answer?
- Have I made an effort to familiarize them with my city, business or organization?
- Do I follow them on social media and comment on any of their posts, tweets, and the like?
- Did I congratulate them on their election or re-election? (when applicable)
- When was the last time I said, “Thank you for your service?”
If you answered honestly, then this quick assessment can serve to highlight the area on which you need to work, which is a good thing? Knowing there’s room for improvement can help you focus on the strategies that will turn the no into ayes, thus leading to further success as an advocate!
Want to learn more about these and many other strategies for advocates? Be sure to check out a copy of my new book A Journey To Yes.
What readers are saying about A Journey To Yes:
After reading this book, I want to get more involved as an advocate, and I feel Ms. Till has given me clear-cut steps to do so. The book is well-organized, specific, thorough, encouraging, and positive. She liberally uses personal experience as examples which makes the book compelling. I believe anyone could be a successful advocate if they follow the advice in this concise, easy to comprehend book. – Dr. Nancy Kendall
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy