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課程來源:TED
     
Omar Ahmad 談筆墨政改
Omar Ahmad: Political change with pen and paper
 
講者:Omar Ahmad
2010年2月演講,2010年4月在TED上線
 
 
翻譯:                劉契良
編輯:                洪曉慧
簡繁轉換:            陳盈
後制:                劉契良
字幕影片後制:        謝旻均
 
 
 
 
關於這個演講
 
政治人物是奇怪的生物,本身也從政的 Omar Ahmad 如是說到,而與他們接觸以訴說你家寵物問題的最佳方式是,每個月手寫一封信。Ahmad 演示老式的溝通方式為何比電郵、電話或開獻金支票更有效,他並分享撰寫具說服力書信的四個簡單步驟。
 
關於 Omar Ahmad
 
Omar Ahmad 是網路架構行家,也是加州 San Carlos 市議員。
 
為什麼要聽他演講:
 
Omar Ahmad 是 SynCH Energy Corporation 的共同創辦人及 CEO,這是家經營可更新能源的創投企業,在創立 SynCH Energy 之前,Ahmad 創辦過 TrustedID 及 Logictier,並曾在多家公司擔任領導要職,諸如:Grand Central Communications、Napster、Netscape、@Home Network 及 Discovery Channel Online。
 
Ahmad 也是 San Carlos 市副市長,他的主要政策專注於預算改革及財政永續性,他活躍於多個部會,2009 時,他被市議會選為 SamTrans 及 Joint Powers Board (CalTrain) 主席。
 
他常應邀講述的主題包括:統籌能力、創投創新、著作權/網際網路通訊協定議題及網路架構與安全。
 
Omar Ahmad 的英文網上資料
 
首頁:OmarAhmad.com
[TED科技娛樂設計]
已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。
 
 
眾多定義 TEDster 標準的其中一樣是你們將熱情轉化為管理工作,你們真的將關心的議題化作行動,但你們終究會發現,你可能還需要當選官員的幫忙,所以,該怎麼做呢?我可能必需要先提及的是,我職涯早期曾在 Discovery Channel 工作,那份工作多少改變我的整體結構,當你開始想到政治家,你必需先瞭解到這些人是奇怪的生物,他們除了是路癡,還有非常奇怪的繁衍習慣,你要如何和這些人交涉?我們必需要瞭解到的是,趨動政治生物的動力為何?
 
 
有兩件事永存於政治家的心中,其一是名譽與勢力,這兩項是政治家運作的主要工具;其二,不像其他動物都是為了物種的倖存,政治家會自我保守,你可能會以為是透過錢,但那實際上只能算是可以保守自己的替代手段,你要讓自己的訴求有所進展的挑戰,是這些動物不斷地透過媒體被放送出來,所以,想讓你的議題顯得重要,卻往往徒勞無功的做法是哪些?
 
 
你可以發送電子郵件,但不幸的是我收到過多的威而鋼廣告信,你的電郵會被淹沒,變得無關緊要,因為最終都擋在垃圾電郵信箱;你或許想嘗試打電話?但可能的結果是我的秘書會接聽,然後回報,「他們打電話來說他們不喜歡某事」,那無濟於事;面對面談可能有效,但見面的機會微乎其微,說清楚脈絡並實際進行溝通很難;最後,獻金是能達成一些改變,且能為面談鋪路,但仍需一點時間建立關係,所以,最有效的方法為何?答案有點怪,信函。
 
 
我們處在數位化的世界,但我們其實還是類比的生物,信函真的有效,就算是總統本人,每天也都會抽空選讀 10 封由幕僚挑選的信函,老實說,每一位我共事過的官員都會跟您談及他們收到過的信函及箇中意涵,但要怎麼撰寫你的信函呢?首先,你必需要先拿起一項類比裝備,筆,我知道這很難,你可能不太能將手彎成這個角度,但這真的很重要,很重要的是你親手寫信,看到這信真的很新鮮,因為有人真的拿起一支類比裝備親筆寫信給我,第二件我要建議的是,你要採取積極主動的立場,每個月至少寫一封信給你的選區官員,我可以向各位保證,如果你持之以恆這麼做,三個月內,你的選區官員將會開始打電話給您,當該項議題變得重要,他會問:「請問您的高見」?
 
 
接下來,我要和各位分享一封分四段的有效格式,當您接觸這類動物時,你必需瞭解到,他們可能是狠角色,你也必需在接觸時,保持一定程度的尊敬及些許的提防,首先,在第一段,我要分享的事非常簡單,你要感謝他們,你也許不欣賞這個人,你也許覺得他根本無可取之處,但也許你欣賞他們的幹勁,當動物要進攻時,他們會鎖定獵物,他們不會浪費時間打轉,這圖說明一切;第二段,你最好非常直率,說出心中的話,當您這麼發言時,不要做人身攻擊,但要攻擊其策略,人身攻擊無助於事;第三段,當動物遭到攻擊或被逼至絕路時,他們會至死反駁,所以,您必需要給他們一個出口,大多數的情況下,如果他們有路可退,他們理應會接受,很明顯地,你很聰明,如果你擁有正確的資訊,你就會做出正確的決策;信尾,您要讓自己化身為獻策者,你可提供他們避風的安全之境,所以,第四段,你要告訴人們,「如果沒人提供你這項資訊,讓我來幫忙」。
 
 
動物會展現信號,傳達兩件事,要不就警告你,要不就是吸引你,然後說:「我們該成為夥伴」,而人類的展現方式是在信函中簽名並提及一些訊息,諸如你是副主席,你自願服務於某事件,並說明為何這議題很重要,因為這可建立前提那兩樣,對政治生物很重要的衡量標準,其一,你在一定範圍內具有影響力,其二,我的存續操之在你,接下來要講如何迅速達陣,特別是針對聯邦級對象,寫好的信要投往何處?首先,將原稿寄往區辦公室,再將複本寄到聯邦辦公室,如果他們都有按規定辦公,會致電區辦說:「你們有收到原稿嗎」?然後區辦秘書會將你的名字打勾,並說:「噢,這是封重要的信函」,然後你的信便會被放入封夾,選區官員就得讀你寫的信,所以,信件的意涵何在?我要向各位報告,我們是一體的,而政治官員都是愛現火雞(笑聲)。
 
 
我們都愛高談闊論、演講,推售及行銷,但信函是其中少數一樣,我們誠實溝通的工具,我在初次當選時收到這封信,至今,我仍隨身攜帶參與每場政務會議,這是真實對談的機會,如果你做好管理工作且欲溝通,這種對談的力量將是無比強大,當你真的動筆書寫,我向各位保證,你將有如森林中重達 800 磅的大金鋼(意即:具有強大影響力),開始寫信吧!
(掌聲)
 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Politicians are strange creatures, says politician Omar Ahmad. And the best way to engage them on your pet issue is a monthly handwritten letter. Ahmad shows why old-fashioned correspondence is more effective than email, phone or even writing a check -- and shares the four simple steps to writing a letter that works.

About Omar Ahmad

Omar Ahmad is an internet infrastructure maven and a member of the City Council for San Carlos, California. Full bio and more links

Transcript

One of the things that defines a TEDster is you've taken your passion, and you've turned it into stewardship. You actually put action to the issues you care about. But what you're going to find eventually is you may need to actually get elected officials to help you out. So, how do you do that?

One of the things I should probably tell you is, I worked for the Discovery Channel early in my career, and that sort of warped my framework. So, when you start to think about politicians, you've got to realize these are strange creatures. Other than the fact that they can't tell directions, and they have very strange breeding habits, how do you actually work with these things? What we need to understand is: What drives the political creature? And there are two things that are primary in a politician's heart. One, is reputation and influence. These are the primary tools by which a politician can do his job. The second one, unlike most animals, which is survival of the species, this is preservation of self. Now you may think it's money, but that's actually sort of a proxy to what I can do to preserve myself.

Now, the challenge with you moving your issue forward is these animals are getting broadcast to all the time. So, what doesn't work, in terms of getting your issue to be important? You can send them an email. Well, unfortunately, I've got so many Viagra ads coming at me, your email is lost. It doesn't matter, it's spam. How about you get on the phone? Well, chances are I've got a droid who's picking up the phone, "Yes, they called, and they said they didn't like it." That doesn't move. Face to face would work, but it's hard to set it up. It's hard to get the context and actually get the communication to work. Yes, contributions actually do make a difference, and they set a context for having a conversation, but it takes some time to build up.

So what actually works? And the answer is rather strange. It's a letter. We live in a digital world, but we're fairly analog creatures. Letters actually work. Even the top dog himself takes time every day to read 10 letters that are picked out by staff. I can tell you that every official that I've ever worked with will tell you about the letters they get and what they mean. So, how are you going to write your letter? First of all, you're going to pick up an analog device, a pen. I know these are tough, and you may have a hard time getting your hand bent around it, but this is actually critical. And it is critical that you actually hand write your letter. It is so novel to see this, that somebody actually picked up an analog device and has written to me. Second of all, I'm going to recommend that you get into a proactive stance and write to your elected officials at least once a month. Here's my promise to you. If you are consistent and do this, within three months the elected official will start calling you when that issue comes up, and says, "What do you think?"

Now, I'm going to give you a four paragraph format to work with. Now, when you approach these animals, you need to understand, there's a dangerous end to them, and you also need to approach them with some level of respect and a little bit of wariness. So in paragraph number one, what I'm going to tell you to do is very simply this: You appreciate them. You may not appreciate the person, you may not appreciate anything else, but maybe you appreciate the fact that they got a tough gig. When animals are going to make a point, they make the point. They don't spend a lot of time dicking around. So, here you go. Paragraph number two, you may actually have to get very blunt and say what's really on your mind. When you do this, don't attack people, you attack tactics. Ad hominem attacks will get you nowhere. Paragraph number three: When animals are attacked or cornered, they will fight to the death, so you have to give them an exit. Most of the time, if they have an exit strategy, they should take it. Obviously, you're intelligent. If you had the right information, you would have done the right thing. Lastly, you want to be the nurturing agent. You're the safe place to come in to. So, in paragraph number four, you're going to tell people, "If no one is providing you with this information, let me help."

Animals do displays. They do two things. They warn you or they try to attract you and say, "We need to mate." You're going to do that by the way you sign your letter. You do a number of things, you're a vice president, you volunteer, you do something else. Why is is this important? Because this establishes the two primary criteria for the political creature, that you have influence in a large sphere, and that my preservation depends on you.

Here is one very quick hack, especially for the feds in the audience. Here's how you mail your letter. First of all, you send the original to the district office, so you send the copy to the main office. If they follow protocol, they'll pick up the phone and say, "Do you have the original?" Then some droid in the back puts the name on a tick bar and says, "Oh, this is an important letter." And you actually get into the folder that the elected official actually has to read.

So, what your letter means? I've got to tell you, we are all in a party, and political officials are the pinatas. (Laughter) We are harangued, lectured to, sold, marketed, but a letter is actually one of the few times that we have honest communication. I got this letter when I was first elected, and I still carry it to every council meeting I go to. This is an opportunity at real dialogue. And if you have stewardship and want to communicate, that dialogue is incredibly powerful. So when you do that, here's what I can promise: You're going to be the 800 pound gorilla in the forest.

Get writing.

(Applause)


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