Business for Scotland launched its Ambassador Training in Dundee last Sunday. Outlining the need for an open and sympathetic approach, the training helped us develop a better understanding of the rationale behind people’s political choices. Ambassador Training is about engaging with values rather than politics, explained Gordon McIntyre Kemp, Business for Scotland founder & CEO.
Covering all aspects of communication from body language to elevator pitches to letter writing skills, the training moved us away from an entrenched psychological need to win political arguments into initiating open and thought provoking conversations instead. Convincing people is not about stubbornly pushing our own vision but starting a cycle of influence that initiates a change in thought based on people’s own ideas and values.
It seems obvious and simple, yet it actually isn’t. We really do need to lose our ego when communicating: individually and collectively. It requires a wilful suppression of our own – sometimes – passionate beliefs for the sake of allowing people who are unsure space and time to think things through. You’ll not often convince them on the spot, but they will go away and think about it, McIntyre-Kemp assured us.
The Ambassador Training gave us practical and thought provoking advice on how to start convincing those unsure of independence. From individual conversations to leaflet writing to creating campaigns, the training offered good guidance on how we can communicate much more effectively.
The discussion of character types was most interesting, I thought – strict parent, loving parent or child – reminding us of the vastly different ways people view the world.
Working with that understanding helps us tailor our communication with much more precision, allowing us to forge better, more honest connection with those who are unsure of independence. And making those connections is exactly our movement now needs to do. If you haven’t signed up, I would strongly recommend you do.
Siobhan Tolland – Independence Group, Dundee and Angus