"How do we get them to listen?"

Getting the voices of lived experience heard in strategic meetings can be hard, and when done wrong can the experience Today in our conversation on co-production we discussed some of the things that you could do to ensure it comes as smoothly as possible and that the experience is positive for all those involved.

So here are some great tips to help you get voices into strategic meetings.
Being clear about the purpose of having LE at strategic meetings is the probably the first step in creating a successful meeting. That means that the all stakeholders understanding the value of having lived experience present and those who have lived experience being clear why they want to be there.

Training and supporting lived experience representatives so that they understand the function and level of the meeting and ensuring that they are prepared for any meeting etiquette or formalities so as not to be intimidated is important. But so is training other stakeholders so they to aren’t intimidated too so that they can get the best out of meeting. Ensure that there is support around managing everyone’s expectations.

Understanding that time is a key element to before and after meetings. Digesting and understanding reams of paperwork so that you positively contribute to a meeting might be something that you are used too. If not, then receiving briefs, notes or the minutes from the last meeting just a day or so before could be a real challenge and seriously have an impact on someone’s ability to meaningfully engage.

Likewise, sitting in long drawn out meetings without refreshments or comfort breaks is something that you may have had to do and although you may not like it you’ve probably got used to it. But for those who aren’t, is not a little unfair to expect them to? If we did would we be getting the best out of LE representation in the room?

We’ve all heard of mentoring, but how many of us have heard of Reverse Mentoring, I for one hadn’t until today. What would happen if those belonging to boards or strategic groups were mentored by those with lived experience? How much more successful would meetings be if members had the opportunity to learn and truly understand lived experience directly from them?

“Mentors in the workplace are simply people who help other people succeed”. - Neave Hospital Southern Minnesota

What appeared critical in the conversation was the need for peer support. The opportunity to speak to your peers before and after a meeting to get moral support and advice is one part. But we also talked about having the opportunity to meet with them to gather their views prior to a meeting, so that you can accurately reflect them, and then again afterwards to offer feedback.

We know that co-production takes time, and that for some attending strategic meetings might be too overwhelming. Bringing lived experience into the recruitment process of an organisation is a great way to start people on a journey of engagement and involvement. Supporting people to get involved in the interviews of all new staff will not only help develop there interview skills but demonstrate to the interviewee the organisations intentions around involvement and help develop a positive inclusive culture.

But let’s be clear here, what doesn’t work is tokenism and not listening. So the big question coming out of the conversation was “how do we get them to listen?”

The foundation that leads on systems change is the Lankelly Chase Foundation
Co-Resolve can be found here http://coresolv.com/