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___You understand why it's important to get people affected by a problem involved

___You understand that you can get people affected by a problem involved by listening to them

___You understand that you can get people affected by a problem involved by helping empower them to tackle the problems they confront

___You understand that those affected by the problem or issue may vary greatly in social class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or culture

___You have familiarized yourself with your community

___You have a good idea about how people are already involved in civic groups

___You have found out what exists in your community by contacting the mayor's office, the city manager, the chamber of commerce, involved city officials, information and referral agencies, and leaders in non-profit agencies

___You have used public hearings and meetings to reach people who aren't involved in any groups

___You have used listening sessions to invite people to be heard about the issues and problems that are important to them

___You understand some of the obstacles that prevent people affected by a problem from getting involved

___You have asked yourself whether the following obstacles could possibly inhibit participation of those affected by the problem:

  • Preconceptions and attitudes within your organization
  • Inadequate community communication
  • Limited experience
  • History of being ignored
  • Resistant leaders
  • Sense of powerlessness
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of child care
  • Overcommitted leaders or citizens
  • Too many involved
  • Poor organization of existing action groups
  • History of unproductive meetings

___You have motivated citizens to become and remain involved because you:

  • Know your audience
  • Recognize people's strengths
  • Recognize people's needs
  • Support the other interests of these groups
  • Recognize that groups are made up of individuals
  • Ask people individually for their participation
  • Match individual talents, skills, knowledge, and experience with the group's needs
  • Make participants feel welcome by listening to them and taking them seriously
  • Developed good active listening skills
  • Show appreciation for each person's contributions
  • Know yourself, and understand what motivates you and why you are participating
  • Remain organized
  • Defined and clarified the plans, goals, and purposes of the group early on
  • Establish good communication within the group and among different groups
  • Use meeting time wisely
  • Keep a positive attitude at all times