More and more, engagement is a promise about the level of involvement in decision making on offer. Being clear about that promise is often the most difficult aspect of engagement. Your promise might be to share information about a decision already made. It may extend to empowering others to make a decision. No matter your intentions, honesty up front, saves a tonne of heartache anguish down the track.
Engagement is important to everyone. Governments, organisations, communities. Collaboration around decision making builds stronger and more sustainable societies. With more voices and perspectives heard, decisions will be more robust and enduring.
Whichever definition you prefer, it's clear that 'engagement' has an outcome in mind. It is never an end in itself. At the very least it can build better relationships with communities and stakeholders.
Your attitude and approach to engagement helps achieve that outcome. It can determine whether you are keeping a promise or preparing for war.
Promise or battle? It's always your choice.
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