Ambassador Training: learning to win

Gordon McIntyre-Kemp

UPDATED 5th JUNE  Over 200 people have already signed up for Business for Scotland Ambassador training. You can join the programme with this link here

Business for Scotland is planning to train 1000 Ambassadors in time for the next Independence referendum.

Irene McEwan reports on the session she attended in Glasgow last week

around 50 representatives from the Yes movement attended the launch in the training rooms at BfS’s Glasgow HQ.

A summer’s evening in Glasgow city; commuters are hurrying to get bus, train or car. We however, representatives of our local Yes group, find our way to a tall, orange brick building and take the lift to a modern, bright, sun filled room and a warm welcome from the Business for Scotland staff.

The room fills up with representatives from a the airts, keen to learn about the Ambassador Training

Business for Scotland Yes training scheme launch in Glasgow
pictured l-r Gillian Mair and Edward Smith

programme. Outside the sun glints on the fresh new leaves of a tall tree. Inside the room it is full of friendly, dedicated people, happy to chat about their groups and their great wish for a better future in an independent Scotland. These are people who have never stopped campaigning.

Gordon McIntyre-Kemp listed the focus for each of the coming months from June until November. These include a focus on Farming, the Clarity Manifesto in August, the Annual Business for Scotland Dinner in September and the October Brexit deal which should provide us with a  clear picture of “Who is best to look after us ?”. A Clarity Conference will be held in November. This account of the programme ahead was delivered with skill and clarity and humour. The introduction caught the attention of those present. We understood that we in the Yes movement could look confidently onwards to the coming campaign.

Bill Dale’s knowledgeable talk on Reframing gave valuable advice. Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. It is our brain finding a narrative to fit us into the real world so we know where we stand, where we feel comfortable. There are two important attributes of frames.

1 Any words, images, sights or smells we associate with a frame will intensify our belief in that frame.

2 All frames can be weakened by others giving facts, telling a story or asking a pertinent question.

The campaigner’s main task is to weaken and change frames. Challenging those who say we are too poor etc just reinforces people’s views and from now on I will always refer to the Scottish Health Service not the NHS! We must talk Scotland up and engage with our young folk on Instagram or Snapchat if we can.

Michelle Rodger’s talk on Social Media and Communication reassured me that helpful materials were available and in fact even personal support for particularly difficult situations.

Deneka MacDonald is Director/ Lead Instructional Designer at E-Learn Design which is an on-line learning facility with the aim of providing a community of helpers. Sounds just what we need!

Gordon McIntyre-Kemp’s advice on talking to the undecided was particularly welcome, The Yes group that I belong to has tried to build our skills to enable more progress to be made but it was obvious from learning about the  Ambassador’s programme that our attempts  were clearly lacking, and often counter productive. On completion of the training and using the techniques learned we would be fully able to achieve success.

We left the launch very much more optimistic that with the tools available to the Yes movement through this programme we would go forward much more confidently to achieve our goal of Independence for Scotland.

I believe we will win.

This article was updated on 5th June with photographs provided by Business for Scotland that had become available. The reference to the talk on social media has been corrected. It was given by Michelle Rodger not the former MP Michelle Thomson.