Politics How To Votes
The Politics How To Votes section is a follow on from the section on understanding meeting procedures. That section indicated how important it is to understand meeting procedure as a way to have influence during a meeting. While it is vitally important, meeting procedure alone will not get you sustainable influence. In order to achieve that, you need to have a good success rate with your motions being accepted. This section provides some advice on how that might be achieved.
Trust is the key to most success in terms of having people support you in meetings. Trust is a difficult commodity to obtain and a very easy one to lose. In many political situations, trust will be associated with fellow members of a particular niche, group or faction to which one is committed. In many other cases, trust will be personal - and based on your individual relationships with other individuals.When there is not a significant alignment within a particular meeting based on group, factional or personal association, the key is persuasion. Persuasion may be as a result of bullying or use of other inappropriate behavior. In the absence of one of those situations, influence will generally be dominated by either a rational or emotional argument. Clearly, the Politics How To Votes section opens up many possibilities rather than providing a simple solution.
However, in considering how to make the best use of this range of options, it is important to remember that all of them are things over which you can obtain significant control. Some require long term relationship building. The others are based on acquiring skills which can then be applied in the shorter term.
The essence of networking is to develop meaningful relationships where you work to each other's mutual benefit. To do this requires a large degree of understanding of each other's goals and plans. It also requires understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses.The long term, trust related, factors in relation to niches, groups, factions or individuals will be teased out further in the section on networking. The skills that are used in the shorter term relate to effective communication. This is the key to the Politics How To Votes section.
In particular, the most important component BY FAR is to learn to LISTEN. If you can acquire the skill and constantly apply the art of listening, the remainder is very straightforward. As you develop skills in listening, you are able to establish which issues are of real importance to the group. It is then much, much easier to influence the group if you focus solely on those areas. This may seem fundamental - but it is seldom done well even by some of the most experienced.
Listening should focus totally on gaining information about the other person or persons and about what they want. Certain more advanced skills such as reading body language and using appropriate tonal changes are a great help. However, focusing on actually listening and paying attention - and talking only enough to reinforce that you have understood correctly - is the real key to success. If you gain nothing other than a determination to listen from the Politics How To Votes section, indeed from reading the entire site, you will have a very good return on your time!
When you do talk, it is important to remember that everyone wants to hear things with which they are familiar. Even new and complex topics need to be related back to concepts, places, people etc with whom they are familiar. In terms of changing people's minds, people are only ever swayed by rational or emotional impacts. The most effective is an emotional appeal backed with some level of seemingly rational argument. Accordingly, to influence, it is important to express your view with emotion while weaving in the factual support for it. This is especially effective in story format - using a high level of familiar terms. These terms may be language, names or concepts. It is especially important in small groups to use individual's names. Dale Carnegie in his very famous book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" wrote people hearing their own name as the sweetest sound on earth.
While preparing to, and during, your talking, remember that concise speech is the ideal. It is an art form that needs practice. Winston Churchill stated that he needed no time to prepare for a one hour speech but needed a week to prepare for a five minute speech. There is an important message in that! In regards to the Politics How To Votes theme, a concise speech at a meeting is far more effective than a long winded one.
The Politics How To Votes section in summary:
Long term: Build trust through sound relationships.
Short term: Listen long and speak short. Use their names, their language and their concepts in a story that has emotional appeal and a rational underpinning.
When the skills referred to in this Politics How To Votes section have been learned and practiced in a number of small meeting groups, it it time to progress to
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