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Your staff may hold the key to extending your political career
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As an elected politician, the one thought that is probably on your mind most of the time is how you are going to stay in office. Don’t worry, all elected officials are thinking the same thing. I’ve got some good news for you. As you go about doing the work that you were elected to do, it turns out that you just happen to be working with the people who are best suited to help you retain your office: your staff. You just need to know how to convince them to lend you a helping hand.
All Staff Are Not Created The Same
One of the most important things that you need to realize is that not everyone on your staff is the same. What this means is that you have both leaders and followers working for you. This means that you’ve got some work to do. You’re going to have to figure out who the leaders are that you have working for you.
One of the ways that you can figure out who’s who is by conducting a survey of your staff. What you are going to want to discover is who talks to who. Your natural leaders will show up as “center points”. These are the people with whom everyone seems to connect with.
Once you’ve figured out who these people are, you need to take action. Work out your approach and then ask them to a team meeting. In this meeting get them to sign your petition / take action / brainstorm for an idea / etc. What you want to do is to get this special type of staffer to become engaged in the issues that you are working on. The more that they believe in what you are trying to do, the more likely they are to support you in the future as you attempt to hold on to your office.
You’ve Got To Be Seen & Heard
Hey, I understand that being an elected official is a full-time job. However, if you want to get your staff to rally behind you and help you to remain in office then you are going to have to connect with them. Sitting behind a desk all day or spending your time on the Senate floor is not going to allow this to happen. Instead, what you are going to have to do is to take the time to spend time with your staff.
A great way to connect with the people that you work with is to ask them for their opinion. Everyone has an opinion on every topic and if you ask your staff to let you know how they feel about something, you’ll instantly gain their respect. You need to take the time to listen to what they have to say and then ask them questions so that they know that you are interested in their opinions.
Another great way to connect with your staff is to use an intranet to send messages to your entire staff. If your official web site has been implemented using GSL Solution’s HillTop service then you have a robust intranet available to you that allows both you and your staff to create an post web pages that only you can see. This allows you to comment on your staff's inputs and to show them that you have been listening to them.
What All Of This Means For You
As an elected official, you need to always be thinking about what it’s going to take to hold on to the position that you have. A key factor that can help you to remain in office is the support of your staff.
In order to make sure that your staff is on your side, you need to take steps to show them that you respect both them and their opinions. One way to go about doing this is to ask them for their opinions and listen when they tell you what they are. Using an intranet, like one provided by GSL Solution’s HillTop service, allows you to communicate with your staff by creating internal web pages. This allow you to keep them up to date on issues that are important to them.
Getting elected is hard work. Staying elected is even harder. If you realize that some of your biggest supporters may be working in your office, then you’ll be well on your way to staying in office. Take the time to listen to your staff and use intranet tools like those provided by GSL Solutions’ HillTop service to communicate with your staff. Do this well and you’ll be in office for a long time.
- Dr. Jim Anderson HillTop – Political Web Sites That Get The Vote!™
Question For You: How often do you think that your should meet with your staff to ask them for their opinions?
GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides politicians with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a political website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at: www.HillTopCMS.com.
Tags: staff, support, opinions, intranet, in office, leaders, followers, political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues