You’ve done your research. You’ve seen the results. You know that the services you are providing are an asset to the organization you serve. So when it comes time to ask for more resources, how do you get the decision maker on your side? Brittney Tachkov, MT-BC shares her take on the importance of language and how to speak to supporters in the video below. The highlights?
– WE not ME: Show the decision maker that it’s not just about YOU and your needs. It’s all about increasing service for the clients, families, and staff.
– Practice, practice, PRACTICE until the perfect language for your message flows off your tongue.
– Explain the ripple effect of supporting music therapy: it’s a force for good for the whole organization!
Read the How To Speak To Supporters Transcript
Kat Fulton, MM, MT-BC: Talk to us about telling your supporters what you need.
Brittany Tachkov, MT-BC: We want to be making that kind of accessible where it is needed. So when we talk to them, we don’t necessarily want to say, “Well we need this whole new position that has X amount of dollars” which is in tens of thousands or beyond. Sometimes it’s about, “We want to help so and so get this service.”
Brittany: “We want this client, family.” I like to frame it as instead of thinking about a me language, just think about it as in we language. So it’s not about me, my program, “I want this funding. I want to have my paycheck every month”, it’s actually about them, and the clients, and the families, and the nurse who doesn’t have to stay as long, instead of staying for three hours, stays for one hour because I was there to help make sure that this person stayed comfortable. So it helps not just the clients and families, it helps staffing, which is a big incentive for those people who are higher up and have some staffing shortages, or have budget-
Kat: Absolutely, and so working that into your conversations, it’s like, “This week I was so honored to get to serve 20 clients and 20 patients one-on-one bedside, which was phenomenal. We got great response. Gosh, can you imagine if we were able to double that number? Gosh. Can you imagine if we were able to double the number of people who are experiencing less pain or less anxiety in their hospital stay”, working that into your language, right? Do you ever practice in front of the mirror when you’re …
Brittany: Talking to myself is one part of the puzzle because we are ingrained to talk about ourselves, and given this language of what I do a music therapist, and talking about definitions, and if we can add that personal contact, if we can add that other person, this isn’t my program, it’s us. It wouldn’t even exist without the clients and the families that I serve.
Kat: Yeah, exactly. Exactly, and yeah. Well, it makes me feel better knowing you talk in front of the mirror too, because if you were a little fly flying around my home then just to watch a day in the life of Kat, then you would notice I talk to myself a lot, and it’s because I’m practicing. I’m practicing what I’m going to say to other people, and I’m doing exactly what you’re talking about, which is reframing it, making it about the clients, the patients, and also and the family members, and also making it about the staff. I think that’s so important. I cannot agree more. So something like, for example the, “Gosh, the nurse Jackie just came up to me in tears thanking me for seeing this patient who was in so much pain, and what music was able to do, what I was able to do with the music was to really reduce that pain, so the patient was in so much more comfort.”
Kat: “Gosh, can you imagine if we had five or 10 nurses just experiencing that emotional relief, knowing that their caseload, ah, oh, I don’t” … It’s so stressful having patients who are experiencing high pain or high anxiety. Having these things at the tip of your tongue whenever it happens can be really, really helpful when you’re speaking to funders, decision makers, donors, and other people who are giving you referrals and spreading the word, oh yes. This is how I can just see it spread like wildfire.
You just start a conversation with someone in the hospital, or someone in the behavioral health center, the wherever you work. It just takes a little bit of practicing our language to make sure that people know what we’re in this for. So I love how you say make sure it’s all about the clients, all about the patients, all about the staff.
Kat: It’s beautiful. It’s we, not I.
Do You Want Funding NOW?
If you’re ready to grow your program but aren’t sure where to start, then check out Funding & Program Development with Brittany Tachkov, MT-BC! By taking the course, you will:
- Learn and practice communication skills that will captivate decision-makers
- Set yourself up for success by building a resource-rich framework for your program
- Advocate for your role and impact within organizations
- Create a proposal to get the funding and support you deserve as a leader in healthcare!