Too often I have seen cases being put forward that don’t resonate with their audience. People invest considerable resources and put forward positions that make sense to them but not to the people they are trying to persuade. More remarkably, people are surprised that they keep loosing, and because they spend a lot of their time with people who usually think the same way as them, must have come around to believing that most people think like they do.
By accident of birth, I learnt very early on, that most people don’t share my values. That’s meant that if I want people to support what I want them to, I need to find points that mirror their values and resonate with them.
Politicians, lawyers and lobbyists need to make sure that their words “click” with the people they are trying to persuade. This is a key job part of the job. But, all too often, their words sound like “double-dutch” to their target audience.
Working out how people “tick” and reformulating your message so it stands a better chance of being accepted is not alchemy. It can be learnt.
Is there a way to win over people?
Chris Rose shows how this can be done. In his new book, the leading NGO campaign consultant, explains just how to do appeal to many different groups of interests.
Chris’ book “What Makes People Tick: The Three Hidden Worlds of Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers” is a must read for any campaigner looking to make sure that their message is listened to and adopted.
Do Politicians Need Help?
As public trust in politicians declines they also need to make sure that they communicate their agenda and values so that people can understand what the politician is saying and adopt.
BBC Radio 4’s excellent ‘ Beyond Westminister‘ discussed this question.
You can listen to the programme here.
Can you learn and improve?
How the changing values of the UK public changes how lobbyists, NGOs, and politicians need to change is detailed in IPPR’s Graeme Cooke’s new paper paper ‘Partying like it’s 1995‘.
Speaking to people about what you believe in or how you see the world as a way to change their views is common. It usually just does not work. It does not work for the simple reason that many people don’t believe what you believe in. Why speaking to someone who does not hold your values about your values should change their mind is something I have never understood.
Few lobbyists take the next step about speaking to politicians about an issue in a way aligns with the the politician’s values. But, when you do that, something strange happens – politicians support you and you often win.