I am sitting here listening to Pablo Cruise. Do you remember them? Back when music had a happy snappy playful message. I close my eyes and can see my brother in a white mustang tapping the steering wheel. What was cool then is so nerdy now.
At a recent political event, I had the joy of rallying the volunteer troops. It was fantastic. My basic premise is: if they are volunteers… and you want them to come back… help them connect with one another. This rapport will bring them back and further adhere them to the campaign.
In the new political economy, the human relationship is the true currency. I have said this before. During the 8-minute exercise, one of the campaign people freaked out. I mean it. It was interesting to watch this woman lose her cool. She came running over and completely ignored the person facilitating the connection. (Me) She started yelling, we do not have time for this… we need volunteers NOW! This event is not about you getting to know each other!
She did it with such anger and frustration.
Like Nemo’s dad says in the move “Good feeling gone.”
I looked over at the volunteer table and there was no need for volunteers. People were not arriving yet. We had time. The next 12 minutes, I clocked it of course, we had 2 people arrive. Certainly the campaign people, there were 12 of them, could handle those 2.
Control. I am a control freak. I get it. Really. I remind you today
It isn’t WHAT you say.. it is HOW you say it. Repeat that often. Imagine a parallel universe where the beautiful blond campaign woman walked over to the facilitator and asked, Thank you for doing this… how much longer?
The weird red head would have said, about 75 seconds. The blond woman would have calculated the cost benefit analysis of stopping right then and there. She would have waited. In fact, at the close she would have said a few words.
15% of the volunteers came up to me after and thanked me for caring about them. One guy said ” this is my 3rd event and this is the first time I felt connected.”
Connection is everything. Help people know each other (with out the alcohol lubrication) and the team will be stronger.
I ran a company for years. My firm was not a company: it was a cause. Each of my team had the distinct job to build relationships everywhere we went. There was no hubris.. no circling of the wagons. Build relationships.
At our annual hula hoop off: 250 folks showed up. (We were surprised.) I LOVED that all the janitors in the building, the security, the coffee guy down the street showed up. I LOVED that my team knew their names, the names of their kids. That is rapport.
Of course, politicians showed up too. People other folks pay to see- and the cool thing? My team knew their names too. When they came to visit the office, my team took the time to connect with them.
Campaigns need to run like a business. They are a business. They are in the business of changing the world. They are in the business of giving voters something to believe in and deliver on that promise.
Rapport. It is easy to obtain. One rule. Oh, it is so very complicated. It will be in my upcoming book. Are you ready? It’s a tough one.
Be absolutely FASCINATED with every person you come in contact with. Fascinated. Make it our job to make them feel important by truly believing they are.
One of the women on the campaign apologized to me for the clear slight and gave the excuse, She has been up all night.
I don’t care. I didn’t sleep for 9 months with my new son and still, I had human connection with people. Not sleeping is only an excuse for lowered sex drive. (I can’t believe I just said that.)