There are three things that have a critical impact on influencing change in your neighborhood.
Change and improvement are the result of influencing your neighbors and local leaders alike. While a single voice can raise awareness, a collective voice that is organized around a specific purpose and goals will influence change. If you truly want to make a difference in your neighborhood, you need an organized group that will:
- Focus on specific issues;
- Establish objectives; and
- Determine a process for addressing the issues and meeting objectives.
A unified, organized group of neighbors is essential in yielding successful outcomes. An effective approach to problem-solving must include the following ingredients:
- Good information: It is critical for you to know the facts surrounding a problem or opportunity in their neighborhood. Understand the cause and effect of how the issue has become a problem or needs improvement.
- Forecasting: Look ahead to the future, and consider: Just how will the intended results go about solving the issue? Can it influence similar situations? Will the proposed solution take care of the problem or what else will bring a better outcome?
- Thoughtful conversation: Understand who needs to be brought into the discussion. Who are the decision makers? Who will help influence the outcomes?
Each of above ingredients depends on open lines of communication. How you communicate is extremely important in convincing others of the value of your perspective. Leaders are most effective when their approach and demeanor is understanding, sensitive, and grounded in facts. Reach out in a friendly manner is far more effective than an abrasive, condescending approach.
The influence of Success:
Success will inspire others to join in. Even small wins can have an impact because it reinforces a ‘can do’ spirit and results in demonstrating to non-believers that change can occur. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner. Success generates confidence and improved attitudes. The momentum of continued successes will cause other barriers to be less intimidating and easier to change.