Engage with Community
Empowered to Speak recognises the challenges faced by officers in local government when it comes to interacting with the community. Success at all levels* of public engagement is more than simply following a process or providing opportunities. The ability to engage an audience and hold their attention is critical in establishing rapport and achieving the desired outcomes.
Levels 1 & 2 – Inform and Consult
When informing and consulting it is critical to be clear and positive. Conveying messages confidently and persuasively ensures the best chance of acceptance and valuable, objective feedback is only possible when the right environment is created. Handling different personalities and awkward questions objectively earns the organisation greater respect and cooperation.
Empowered to Speak works with councils to ensure representatives are able to inform and consult professionally. Our supportive and non- judgemental approach encourages people to leverage off their own strengths to develop greater confidence and build effective group communication skills
Levels 3 & 4 – Involve and Collaborate
Involving and collaborating requires effective two way communication to better understand the concerns and aspirations of the community. Strong facilitation skills provide for productive and supportive interactions where the community is engaged and perceives contributions are valued.
Empowered to Speak supports the development of strong facilitation skills through individual coaching and/or group workshops
Level 5 – Empower
Working with the public to implement agreed decisions is most effective when advanced communication skills are displayed.
Empowered to Speak has the expertise to support council leaders with coaching or mentoring to be most effective at working with the community at this level
* The five levels of public participation from The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)
Engage with Business
Good relationships with the business community are dependent on effective two way communication and a perception that council people have a genuine interest in businesses being successful. Ensuring congruence in communication (what is said, how it sounds and how the speaker behaves) and the ability to display active listening skills are essential.
Empowered to Speak provides a range of development opportunities including set workshops, tailored programs and individual coaching to prepare staff to effectively engage with business leaders
Engage with Colleagues
For Efficiency & Relationships
Effective communication underpins productive relationships. Empowering conversations provide for mutual respect, cooperation and collaboration. This in turn provides for powerful teamwork. The ability to handle difficult conversations; the confidence to voice opinions; the readiness to contribute at meetings are all valuable attributes in personal communication that produce positive results.
Empowered to Speak works with individuals and groups to improve personal skills in a range of important areas of communication. Examples are articulating ideas, understanding and respecting different communication styles, and handling difficult conversations. We support leaders in ensuring meetings are time efficient and productive
Engage with Councillors & Executives
Formal presentations to Councillors and the Executive team by council staff are an important channel of communication. Presentations are most effective when they are concise and purposeful. Presentations which convey key messages illustrated with simple, meaningful visuals can dramatically reduce the time invested. These powerful presentations are reassuring for their audience that the staff are ‘on top of the job’.
Prepare to Present is a program designed in collaboration with councils to improve formal presentations so they are effective and delivered as efficiently as possible. Significant productivity gains can provide a substantial Return on Investment (ROI)