The Luck of the Engaging Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Always a day of celebration in our family. How could we not celebrate with a name like Delaney, a family March 17 birthday, and a history that, at least on one side of the family, dates back almost 200 years to County Cork?

On a day of green beer and dancing to Great Big Sea and other great bands, it’s important to recognize that great engagement has little to do with luck. Our team of leprechauns has come up with our top seven ways to find “luck” in engagement:

The right people showed up.
You did pre-engagement and understood where and how to promote your engagement opportunity.
There was no conflict.
You had a plan to create and hold a safe space. You ensured that attendees were not strangers and that all felt welcome.
People totally get what you were talking about.
You had a communications plan and implemented your communications objectives thoughtfully.
People connected and felt safe.
You had a physical and psychological safety plan and implemented it with the help of Elders, knowledge keepers, peers, and mental health professionals. You had a strong facilitation practice and created some shared operating values about how the group was going to “be” together.
Staff are more confident in facilitating engagement.
You did a staff orientation, so people knew what to expect. You had clear roles and responsibilities. As a group, you debriefed and celebrated your wins and identified opportunities to further develop.
The decision maker wants to fully consider what was learned in the engagement.
You did internal engagement that included the decision maker. Your engagement work was not a secret. The decision maker was onboard from the get-go and felt they were truly part of the process.
You received valuable feedback that relates to your project.
You had engagement objectives and ensured the questions you asked and topics you explored related to your objectives.

There’s nothing wrong with luck, but you can’t always be lucky. You can always have a plan, so let’s plan on being “lucky”.