Looking at community engagement from a new angle

Community engagement

Too close to the action to see?

The temptation to keep doing what you’ve always done is one that many tend to heed to. Being so close to a problem or a situation seldom allows the freedom to seek alternative answers.

Many groups who want to recruit members or long for volunteers keep doing the same approach. Put an advert on social media. Put a post on your website. Ask the same people if they know anyone. Guess what, they get the same results. Some wins, some short term successes, but any significant change doesn’t seem to come.

Same thinking, same results
Same thinking, same results

A fresh pair of eyes

Sometimes an outside source of changed perspective is needed. Sometimes that inward reflection needs external expertise to help identify what steps are needed. Sometimes that extra challenge to why you do things or what you’re trying to achieve can help open eyes to new approaches.

The old saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll always get the same results is a valid one. If you don’t change you won’t change. Fresh eyes and a fresh perspective leads to an opportunity to find new answers.

One thing I am a firm believer in that if you just focus on what you want, you will struggle to get it unless it meets the wishes of others too. If you focus on who you want to attract then you’re more likely to meet your goal.

Fresh pair of eyes
Fresh pair of eyes

Flip the focus

By flipping the focus, you can direct your attentions to what your desired cohort want or would expect if they are going to get on board. What do they want, rather than what do you want. What are the benefits for others to do what you’d like them to do? What incentives are there available?

If as an individual you see there are more reasons to support a cause or a group, then you are more likely to get involved or ask more questions.

By doing things differently you are more likely to address the reasons there may have been difficulties in the past. You’re more likely to have greater insight into your own operation and an introspective view by taking check of how you’re seen from the outside too.

Flip it
Flip it

My tip..

My tip for any group that is finding a need for some fresh input is to review how attractive your group is to outsiders. You can then build a new offering that is centred on meeting your needs and meeting the desires of potential new members too.

If you’re interested in talking more about this, please get in touch. I would love to talk this through with you if you need help.


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