I’m often asked about my definition of advocacy. So here it is: Advocacy is the process of building and strengthening relationships with those we are trying to influence, and then utilizing that relationship (in a good way) to ask for and accomplish what we want.
A friend and much respected colleague, Scott Dudley, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Florida League of Cities and one of the best lobbyists in the business, shares it this way, “Advocacy can be summed up in three words…relationships, relationships, relationships.”
And he’s absolutely right. Just like you, leaders want to work with people they know and respect. An example is state and federal lawmakers. If you’ve ever witnessed them working with their colleagues, in most cases their relationship goes beyond business or political. They’re friends, and their families are friends. If they’ve been elected for more than a few years, the working relationship has evolved. They trust and rely upon one another to work together.
You can learn from this example. And while you don’t have to be best friends, having that level of confidence and camaraderie will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
A strong, healthy relationship with leaders you’re trying to influence is the very foundation of becoming a successful advocate. If it doesn’t exist, you won’t be successful. It’s that simple.
Want to know to get started today? Take our Relationship Test and then quickly review my September 18th blog about The Journey’s Roadblocks, for some tips to get you traveling in the right direction on your journey to advocacy success!
Your Partner in Advocacy….Kathy