Motivating & Persuading

The_Hidden_Persuaders_2010DON’T be asking for a “courageous” decision from the risk-averse, when you’re lobbying!

Public sector decision-makers – public servants and politicians both – are diverse:

  • atheists, and devout;
  • socialists, conservatives, and everything in between;
  • middle-aged men, and young women;
  • leaders, and followers;
  • foolhardy, and risk-averse;
  • courageous, and over-cautious;
  • energetic, and exhausted;
  • arrogant, and humble;

and so on.  Believe clichés at your own risk!

The things that constrain, guide, motivate and persuade them are diverse, too:

  • government priorities and policies;
  • Ministerial, and departmental, objectives and priorities;
  • political or stakeholder fallout;
  • the community’s needs and the public interest;
  • professional and public sector codes;
  • public sector processes and rules;
  • their personal ambitions, values, policy interests, ideology, and political beliefs;
  • proximity of the next election or Ministerial reshuffle;

and so on.

Unless you are across these pressures and possibilities, you’ll end up asking someone who’s never yet made a decision, to endorse something that breaches the Financial Administration and Audit Act and conflicts with Government policy – you’re wasting time and resources.

Careful key messages need to be constructed, that demonstrate your proposal

  • solves a Government problem (not your problem!);
  • reflects Government and Departmental priorities and values;
  • is in the public interest;
  • minimises stakeholder conflict;
  • minimises risk;
  • conforms with every code of behaviour and legal requirement;
  • addresses anticipated objections; and
  • passes the “front page” test.

In constructing such messaging, you’re inevitably researching and applying that which persuades/motivates/determines the decision!

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services:; sometime University lecturer; previously Government Relations consultant; before that Labor Party State Secretary in Northern Territory; union advocate with LHMU/United Voice in NT and NSW; hobby – election campaigns!

Posted on October 9, 2014, in Advisors, Culture, Government Relations, how to lobby, Lobbying, marketing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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