3.3(c) Wise Up


To help the group become more street wise in dealing with organisations.

You will need

Your work from the last two activities, activity sheet 25, some pens, some space and at least an hour.

What to do

Becoming clued up about the organisations you want to influence is vital if you are to be successful. It means knowing how organisations work, who to talk to, which meetings to attend and so on. Not being in the picture can stop you from achieving what you want. This activity helps you become a little more street wise in sorting out how to approach the organisations you want to influence and get on your side.

a) Take your work from the last two activities, 3.3(a) We're In This Together and 3.3(b) Knowledge Is Power. Look at the range of organisations and groups you have gained information about. Taking each in turn and using activity sheet 25, decide together where you think they fit in one of the four parts of your diagram. Are they supportive or resistant? Are they powerful or weak? If they are weak but supportive, put them in the top left box; powerful and resistant, then put them in the bottom right and so on.

The four positions are:

A: Lacking influence and supportive

B: Powerful and supportive

C: Lacking influence and resistant

D: Powerful and resistant

The further along one of the lines they are, the stronger their position. The four examples illustrate this:

1: Quite influential and very supportive

2: Lacking influence and very resistant

3: Very powerful and a bit supportive

4: A bit powerful and a bit resistant Example diagram b) Having plotted the range of organisations and groups on your chart, talk over these questions and issues.

  • What does the chart look like?
  • Are there enough people and groups to make the push for change or is there a lot of resistance?
  • If the likely resistance is from very powerful people, what can you do to change the balance of power? Do you need to change your plans, or just be prepared for the long haul?
  • How can you get more to shift in the direction of the arrow, from corner C to corner B?
  • Find out why people are resisting. Do they fully understand your proposal? What are their specific objections? Is there anything they should know or you could tell them that might make them think differently?
  • Ask your powerful supporters to approach those who are powerful and resistant to influence them to become more supportive.
  • Help those who support you but are weak to become stronger. Perhaps various groups in the area could join together to be a more powerful voice. What else could you do for each other?

c) And finally, practise your approaches to different groups or organisations, depending on their position on the diagram. Do some quick role-plays. There is a powerful person or group you are sure is on your side, perhaps the local MP. You set up a meeting with her or him. Act it out. What’s your approach? What are you asking? On the other hand, you know the two local councillors are dead against your plans. And they have a lot of clout locally. What’s your line now? Try it out. You could try a number of role-plays all together or break into small groups to try out different examples so more of the group has a chance to have a go.


Wiki Tools