The first stage of engagement is communication and messaging. You cannot engage with it: indeed, you cannot live with out!
A big part of engagement will be when you are taking your community, customers, stakeholders – whomever it might be – on a journey with you, and you need to constantly communicate through that process.
What do you talk about? Well, you’ll want to point to the bright spots.
There are three levels of bright spot:
- The North Star. This is your guiding light, the big vision, the final destination. You have to talk about this at every opportunity, because only when you feel you are talking about it too much are you actually talking about it enough.
- The Planets. These appear to be the brighest stars at night, but they are actually planets that are safely and securing orbiting the sun, just like we are. These represent the major benefits you’ve already seen that you will keep reiterating. Everytime you are drawn into negative discussion, you can remind everyone of what IS working (i.e. what IS orbiting the sun!)
- Constellations. Like actualy constellations that are mini-stories in themselves, these are the stories of success that make it feel real. When we tell stories we link the benefits, the vision and the direction together, expressing it through a story, which makes it visible: just like a constellation does. A constellation is a great way of identifying where you are.
There are some very practical ways to use these bright spots:
- Start every communication, meeting, memo, newsletter and phone call with The North Star.
- Ask people about what planets they are visiting (the benefits they are already getting).
- Share stories of success, and link them together to show constellations.
And what’s important most of all with all of these? That little line – “it’s only when you feel you’re talking about it too much that you’re actually talking about it enough.”
We have the stars every night. So point to them daily!