Attune – verb at·tune \ə-ˈtün, -ˈtyün\ : to cause (a person, company, etc.) to have a better understanding of what is needed or wanted by a particular person or group
We are bombarded by messages every day online, on TV, on the radio, and in print media.
And we tend to tune out after a certain mental saturation point.
This can make your ag messages difficult to get out there – to the right people, at the right time, in the right place, and in such a way that they won’t tune YOU out.
There has to be a good balance of push versus pull: not only is the information you push out to your audiences important, but how you engage and pull in that engagement to help you craft or modify the information and messaging you provide.
A critical part of the ‘pull’ process is understanding where someone is coming from.
Are they a non-farming, rural resident or a full-blown urbanite? Are they a mother or a hip, young single guy? Are they looking for information to help them make food choices at the grocery store or because they are looking to understand and/or change some part of the food system? There are a lot of possible configurations, but the key to resonating with every single one of them is being sharply attuned to what they want or need.
How can you get people attuned?
Meet people where they’re at – and I don’t mean physically. You need to meet them where they’re at mentally. This means offering up the information they need at a specific point in time (think of it as the points in the purchasing funnel) and ensuring that the information you provide is timely, relevant and factual.
Be a better listener: check your assumptions at the door (you don’t actually know what’s going on inside someone’s head. Don’t create preconceived notions that will only lead to the brain accepting information that agrees with those notions), be curious (curiosity deflates defensiveness), and suspend judgement (becoming too entrenched in your own opinions and beliefs leads to not wanting to hear anyone else’s opinion – to the detriment of furthering your cause).
Attunement is a two-way street: if you listen to, respect and consider others’ thoughts and opinions, they, too, will be more receptive to listening to yours.
 ‘How to Be A Better Listener’, Scientific American Mind, Sept/Oct 2015
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchase_funnel