Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3 Speaking Tips for Police Leaders to Communicate More Effectively with Citizens

Imagine  being able to enter any public forum where you have to give a presentation, respond to an incident, or persuade a Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) that your police department is proactively addressing their needs. As a police chief, command staff, or supervisor, your ability to influence and persuade citizens within your jurisdiction hinges on your ability to tap into their self-interest and deepest concerns. The following three (3) tips will put you on the road to becoming a more persuasive public speaker:

1. Understand and articulate the problem. By understanding the problem that plagues citizens, you can become more empathetic when you speak. What pain are citizens facing that you are empowered to solve?  Is there a short-term or long-term solution? Will you need buy-in from other sources to achieve a desired outcome? By becoming emotionally and psychologically clear about the core needs of citizens, you can easily persuade them through understanding their pain and speaking directly to it. 

2. Become a better storyteller. Police leaders who merely recite facts are the least persuasive. As you delve into the emotional pain of your citizens, tell a story that suggests that they are not alone. Individuals often believe that they are the only ones having a particular experience. By vividly describing a similar event that happened and its resolution, it brings comfort to citizens.  Citizens want solutions that are immediate or just around the corner. 

3. Develop a call to action that creates a partnership with citizens. There is an old saying that people support what they help create. Make sure you include citizens in the brainstorming process and ensure that there is some accountability and monitoring by them. Without a partnership, the relationship between a police department and citizens becomes one-sided.  In other words, citizens look for a police department to solely solve problems that citizens are in the best position to facilitate.  For example, recommend that citizens keep regular logs or videos as evidence to helping solve crimes, and then police personnel can facilitate the enforcement component, which police are responsible for doing.

Citizens can be your best allies or worst enemies. By understanding the emotional and psychological needs of any group, you are in a better position to influence behavior that not only cuts down on crime, but mobilizes political action by citizens that will be a benefit for gaining greater departmental resources.

To receive more information for developing persuasive public speaking skills for law enforcement leaders, visit:

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