In the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of live community forums in South East Queensland. While attending these forums it struck me how much has changed in community engagement practices in the past ten years. More recently live community forums, with open invitations, seem to be making a comeback.
What are the elements that make for a good communicator, or conversely, a poor one? Why is it that some have the gift of presenting and some do not? How do presenters stand out when most follow a very similar formula?
I am intrigued by the fear of a potential technological revolution. Will technology steal away my livelihood? Will it mean we are devoid or lacking of skills required to fully embrace new technology?
Here at Articulous we have been working on a very exciting start up project which promises to be a game-changer in the world of engagement and evaluation.
It is a fine line between engaging the troops and spooking the horses when your organisation is faced with significant change. I have been involved in a number of transitions, mergers and acquisitions and it really can be a scary time for teams. Maintaining a positive organisational culture is key to change success. So how much is too much information? What is important to those working in the team versus the executive management who are managing the change?
Ethics in engagement is vital. We need ethics to keep the process open, honest, inclusive, far-reaching, respectful, fair, collaborative, and informative. Without ethics, people lose faith in the engagement process, they don’t trust it, they feel used, marginalised, unheard and irrelevant.
Articulous has been fortunate to be working on a number of projects in 2017 in the Rockhampton and Yeppoon areas and our best wishes go out to residents affected by flooding as a result of Cyclone Debbie.
Drawing from my own personal experience, there is one exceptional leader who I will never forget. He had a way of connecting and cutting through. His authenticity, energy and commitment to delivering his vision was palpable, you could feel it simply by entering the room. He acknowledged that as the face of a successful company he was never alone, he explained that his success was a collective effort of his team and that he was “standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Communication is so much more than the spoken word. While many of us like to verbalise how we feel or think, it’s often the expressions that go with our words that add meaning. The question begs then, could we analyse only those expressions to gather rich and meaningful data?
Millennials certainly are creating change and challenging our traditional beliefs when it comes to how work gets done. Managers who are traditionally accustomed to a Baby Boomer workforce will need to engage new strategies to retain and motivate this growing group of Millennials.
In community engagement, we talk a lot about collecting people’s ideas and feedback. We talk about the power of active listening. But, if you really believe in community and engaging at a deeper, more meaningful level, then empathy should be the key focus throughout your planning, strategising and most importantly-engagement activity.
I recently had the pleasure of travelling throughout the Surat Basin in south west Queensland with a client of Articulous for a week, facilitating community information sessions. There were a few key lessons that I took away from that week that I thought were worth sharing, purely from a practical perspective.
The level of animosity in public discourse seems to be at an all-time high. So how can we ensure than we communicate effectively, yet steer away from inflammatory rhetoric?