I love receiving questions from our community – so thank you for continuing to send in your questions.
This month’s question is important because it demonstrates the multiple points of value that we expect from our partners, and at the same time, helps us understand the different approaches required when you are making requests of our partners.
Step #1: Define what you mean by support
The word ‘support’ is one of those vague terms used by leaders in the context of partnering. There is no standard definition, therefore it is critical that you clarify what type or form of support you are requesting. For example: funding, equipment, volunteers, staff, meeting space, parking, help making decisions, sharing information, and so on. What specific forms of support are you asking from each of your partners? And why is this type of support important?
Step #2: Make sure you are an investment
The second part of the question ask about engaging funds from partners. What’s the most effective way for you to get partners to give you money? It’s important to understand that money comes in different forms, and with corresponding expectations. For example, and investor will invest money because he expects a financial return. Funders (e.g., government, research institutes) provide financial support in exchange for expected outcomes. Regardless of the type of funding, partners will be more likely to provide money when they are clear that you are an investment instead of an expense. All partners want to know that their funding resources are giving them a return. How are you demonstrating to your partners that they money they give you is guaranteed to produce results that they care about?
Step #3: Give to get
Most partners will ask for value before giving it. This happens primarily because we are self-focused, and we are tasked with meeting our targets and deadlines. It’s not a bad thing, but it can get in the way of your relationships. Develop the mindset and habit of offering support to your partners (in a form that they value) before asking for anything. It’s a lot easier to make withdrawals from a relationship bank account when there is already a positive balance.
“How do we successfully engage the support and funding from partners?” Know what type of support you need and why, make sure you are an investment, and start with an offer instead of an ask.
©2016 Enette Pauzé & Level 8 Leadership Institute. All rights reserved
- Posted by Enette Pauzé
- On August 30, 2016