Why Opponents’ Dirty Tactics are so Effective
Hard problems are hard to solve.
As subject matter experts, most of your solutions will have serious drawbacks.
Do NOT expect negatively impacted stakeholders to like your proposal!
Some will even resort to “playing dirty”, attack you personally, or dispense mis-information to get you to stop.
A listener to our monthly webinar asked:
What can I do when their use of misinformation to lobby decision-makers is successful?
How can I correct the misinformation in a way decision-makers might be able to consider if they are somewhat swayed by the tactics of opponents?
It’s true, you need to be concerned when a policymaker is swayed by the tactics (especially dirty tactics) of an opponent.
You must be careful not to attack the person directly, only his position and possibly behavior.
But take a deeper look at what’s causing this situation.
The reason these tactics work (regardless of how legitimate the opponent’s tactics are) is because there’s some doubt as to how…
- – Fair
- – Caring
- – Responsive, and/or
- – Responsible to the Mission your team was in relation to this opponent.
If there’s ANY doubt that you played fair, that you listened, that you actually cared about the negative impacts your work will have on an opponent — you can expect policymakers to be swayed by their argument.
Even when based on mis-information!
Even if only 1% of what they say is true!
Think about it…
Opponents are MORE effective when they play dirty!
By calling your level of concern, compassion, or fairness into question — they are sure to grab decision-makers’ attention.
These (dirty) tactics are useful information themselves.
Critical information for you.
Dirty tactics are an indication that a stakeholder feels justified in suspending his own need to be fair… His own values.
Opponents who use mis-information and dis-information are sending you a deeper signal: that they don’t trust YOU.
Even more important than revealing these tactics to decision-makers, you need to understand WHY an opponent feels justified in using these tactics.
If you don’t understand why a stakeholder is spreading mis-information, or using unfair tactics, you won’t plug the well from which these ploys spring.
Prevent dirty tactics from having their intended impact, and stay on track to fulfilling your Mission by streaming access anytime to our Consent-Building Library.