Last week I attended an 'ENGO Advocacy' workshop in Ottawa. (ENGO = Environmental Non-Governmental Organization). One of the hand-outs we received was titled "Twelve Key Principles for Influential Advocates". It lists tips for people who are meeting with decision makers, and I think this is relevant not only to people who work for non-governmental organizations, but also for anyone who is advocating for something. So I'm sharing the list here.
1. It's a Conversation - don't bring a laundry list.
2. Stay Calm, but be Yourself - show that you're confident.
3. It's about Relationships - the first question should be "How are you?".
4. Be Mainstream - if you say you're on the sidelines, you will be seen as such.
5. Do Your Homework - make sure you know who the person you're meeting with reports to, and what they're able to make decisions on.
6. Focus on Solutions - research what works and be prepared to share that information
7. Responsiveness - this is essential.
8. Work All Levels - political, senior and junior staff, agency, regional if applicable
9. Get Representation Right - don't go into a meeting representing a group or entity that you don't have the authority to speak for.
10. Timing - some things just can't move sometimes and it's better to ride the wave and wait for the right moment.
11. Put a little water in your wine - you almost never can get it all.
12. Thank - whether you get what you want or not, maintain the relationships of those you trust.