Free community engagement tips and skills
 

ENHANCING ENGAGEMENT

Including diverse voices and perspectives


#1 Consider 'speed dialogue'

Avoid having a sting of guest speakers address the whole group.  Instead, let speakers have in-depth, two-way conversations with small groups of participants (rotating between groups).  Participants will be more engaged and, ultimately, more informed. 

#2 Remove tables!  

Tables both a physical and mental barrier to working together. By removing tables you can use space more productively (e.g. create smaller group spaces or a large group physical activity). There are times when tables are useful – particularly when you have templates or laptops.  In these cases we like to use smaller café-style tables to ensure the groups can hear each other and work together more effectively. 

#3 Debrief every process

Don't move to the next project or process (or even the next phase if you just completed a major milestone) without a debrief process or any form of review.  Acknowledging and learning from achievements and mistakes is what takes your engagement processes from adequate to great. 

#4 Decision maker buy-in is essential

Reduce the risk of your organisation looking red-faced and damaging (rather than enhancing) relationships by doing some internal engagement and preparation work before you commence your process.  Want to check if you’re ready for a deliberative or high influence engagement process?  Use our free assessment test here. 

#5 Learn to let go at the right time.  

While there's parts of every engagement process that require planning, analysis, and management, there's also moments where an organisation needs to to trust their community or stakeholders and give them a little space.  This will help to build mutual trust and give participants the air head space they need to process information, weigh up issues and work together to provide quality outputs without too much interruption or interference.

 

 

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