Episode 1 of our Leading Communities podcast focuses on making those in charge at a policy level listen to us in our communities. Tom McNeil (policy advisor for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commission), and Ben Twomey (Head of Policy and Research at the National Youth Advocacy Service) field questions from Kit (Director of Aspire4u) on behalf of aspiring leaders. Marieanne Delaney of iDeal Directions Marketing presents with That’s All Media CIC as host.
- Firstly we begin with a key insight into policy makers’ mindsets. This follows from Daryl Chambers’s question (CEO of InPower Academy CIC). Understand the thought process of the powerful to get your agenda to the forefront of future policies. A key attribute of being a good policymaker is ‘knowing what you don’t know’. So all effective policymakers ensure they are out in the communities, listening to real people about the issues they face.
- Furthermore, policymakers view themselves as the ‘good guys’. So frame your needs to them with this in mind to get what you want. Ben used a cup of tea analogy. “If you’re approaching your partner saying ‘you never make me a cup of tea in history, and your family has never made me one either, so you’re probably not going to make me one this time’ is only going to make unnecessary enemies and result in another negative reaction. However, ‘I’ve had a long day in meetings, they never once offered me a cup of tea, maybe you could make me one’ is more likely to be persuasive. In fact, it frames the issue as a way for them to save the day and be the hero.
- Furthermore, one of the biggest challenges in affecting real change is getting yourself in the room with decision-makers. With this in mind, Tom and Ben also offer up tips on how to get closer to policymakers. Start the conversation with them about the issues you or your community are facing so that you can take steps that will eventually help to accomplish your goals.
Who Is This Podcast For?
- For community leaders who looking to access policymakers and bring about positive change. This podcast is a great way to gain knowledge from those working in this environment.
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