Your biggest enemy in a political campaign is not your opposition. It is a lack of understanding of the players, the purpose and the puppeteers.
Grassroots movements begin at a local level — often sparked by local circumstances — and full of passion.
However, such passion can be easily misguided and manipulated if there isn’t a very specific goal to be achieved, and a clear understanding of the game being played.
Don’t for a minute assume that just because you have a good heart that everyone else does too, or that it qualifies for your idea to prevail.
Listening to what is being said (and what’s not being said) and learning as much as you can before commenting in a political environment is what will set you apart from the rest.
Knowledge is power and using it strategically will guarantee your voice will be heard over others.
You may already be vocal when it comes to your local community. But are you being heard or just creating noise?
Here are some strategic steps you should consider when you decide to speak out about something that concerns you within your community.

Who is the right person?
This is THE biggest mistake people make when it comes to politics. Is your issue the responsibility of local, state or federal government? Knowing this will help you line up the appropriate politician for a meeting.
This doesn’t mean they won’t try and pass the buck to avoid meeting with you. Just remember the more informed you are about their role (and responsibilities) the less likely you will get the run-around.

There is power in cohesion
There is power in numbers, but that power comes from cohesion. Instead of fighting or arguing with fellow community leaders on an issue, work with them. 100 seemingly conflicting voices is less powerful than a movement of 100 people with three very clear objectives, communicated clearly and to the right representative (or the media). So, take the time to reach out to other vocal members in the community and you may be surprised by how similar your concerns are. Remember, some people in power will encourage a divide and conquer situation. Don’t let that happen.

Don't become personal
It is easy to be very emotional when it comes to your community and politics. The second you get personal – or take something personally – you weaken your ability to make progress. Once someone knows how to push your buttons … they will. Emotions are also what politicians rely on. They are peddlers of false hope and empty promises, regardless of what side they represent.

Be Businesslike
Politicians are not your friends, they are your representatives. Don’t be swayed by a false “matey” attitude, and certainly don’t be distracted by any supposed “position” or “power”. Most politicians consider their first job is to get enough votes to be re-elected. Sometimes you have to remind them that their job is actually to represent their constituency.

Amanda Rose is Australia’s only strategic connector, business consultant and keynote speaker. Publisher of Business Woman Media and Co-Founder of Western Sydney Women and Western Sydney Advisory. As one of the most influential people on LinkedIn, Amanda Rose (#BossLady) is quoted as an “internet winning blogger” by and contributes regularly to ABC The Drum, HuffingtonPost, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and SkyBusiness Twitter @theamandarose Instagram @theamandarose

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