by Howard Goldman
Mobilization occurs when you interact with people
and create the opportunity for them to act on their commitments.
In mobilization, you design a conversations with others in which
they are freed to act toward what they care about. Mobilization
is a setting for building your relationship with others.
Although mobilization can occur freely and spontaneously,
the following seven steps will guide you in intentionally and successfully
- Make contact. People vote early in your conversation
with them, so making contact is vital to connecting with others.
Smile. Present yourself openly. Check out your body language.
Are your arms and legs crossed or uncrossed? Did I say smile?
Take the initiative to offer your name.
- Get related . Small talk is not needless talk.
Speaking about the weather or where youre visiting on vacation
isnt wasted talk. It establishes a common base of experience
that is at the heart of mobilization. Stay awake to the environment
in which the conversation is happening; it contains information
to which you can build relationship. Be interested in what others
say, and validate their points of view. Put attention on them,
not on yourself.
- Move the conversation along. Once youve
connected, ask what the other person wants to accomplish in the
conversation, and state how youre in agreement to their
aims. Agreeing on common outcomes establishes the background and
- Build possibilities. Now focus on creating
ideas and possibilities that fit within the stated framework of
expectations for the discussion. Clarify and build on what is
being said in the process of relating and creating together. Seek
to both understand and be understood. In the best cases, the conversation
becomes animated and develops on itself. The ideas and possibilities
are proposals for what can happen.
- Make it happen. In your discussion, youve
raised some ideas and possibilities that require a bridge to the
future. Summarize what youve heard and suggest some appropriate
actions. When youve agreed on or amended each opportunity
youve outlined, firm up the commitments to act. Heres
what youll do, and this is what theyll do. Secure
the action in clear timeframes. Yes, its about commitment.
- Look for potential breakdowns. This
step can be a quick and graceful transition to closure, which
follows. Review any immediate concerns or likely problems arising
from what youve agreed. Now is the time to say what could
go wrong. Speak to those possible eventualities in a way that
reinforces your accord and partnership.
- Acknowledge whats been created. State
again what youve agreed. Thank the other person for their
commitment and for the relationship. Appreciation brings closure,
honors the other person, and sets up the cycle of connectedness
for your next contact with them. The circle is complete. You and
they are mobilized for action.
Mobilization is the name of the game. Whatever
game you think youre playing starts and ends with mobilization.
Its time to enjoy the game and get good at playing.