Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday 5 November 2008

Change, yes we can!

Mainstreaming biodiversity is an important part of this CBD workshop. Mainstreaming means a transformational change in a specific sector. Transformational change only happens when interventions focused on the natural environment are combined with measures in the social environment. I am asked to do a presentation on how to facilitate the process of change and how to use strategic communication for change. After so many presentations I propose to make my points by giving feedback to group work. We ask groups to brainstorm what would work in mainstreaming biodiversity. Eight groups present us with the outline of a strategic approach. Each for a different sector. When I look back the next morning at the flipcharts with my feedback notes, I can cluster the following change and communication principles:
* Enough time to establish mutual trust and personal relationships.
* Segment the audience and explore what new knowledge, attitudes or skills they need.
* Simple and personal messages in the language of the target group.
* Understand the psychology of resistence to change.
* Be positive, use 'we'-messages, not 'I'-messages.
* Use participatory approaches that guarantee meaningful involvement.
* Use credible intermediairies to send messages to decision makers.
* Start with pioneers and small steps, like you do when introducing an innovation.
* Understand that communication is part of the instrument-mix of 'stick-carrot-drum'.
This morning - after ´Change, yes we can´, became true - I would add one more principle:
As Biodiversity leaders we should live the change we want to see in the world!
Read more about transformational change in the stories about an IUCN CEC workshop about Deep Change.

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