Verna Westlake

First and foremost, I would start with addressing the needs of those impacted, because what’s the point of spinning your wheels in place with the first (needs of the decision maker) and second (needs of the decision). You’re not going to get anywhere without first addressing the needs of those impacted. Thus the ‘engage early and often’ approach. Use tools to inform, involve and consult. Speak the language of the people, ask them to develop their own agenda based on the topic/issue. What would they do? This would help to validate their concerns and prove that you are genuinely concerned about their needs and that you heard them.