BREXIT and the refugee crisis are shaking Brussels and the EU member states. Coalition-building has become more difficult than ever. Three lessons that help solve political problems just as much as they serve to get a new job:

  1. Make friends when you don’t need them

Strong coalitions are usually built on long-term friendships. The ones you only start building when you need something are difficult to sustain, so build a network of people in your area and be a loyal companion. If you can be trusted, you will receive trust – important especially in the tough times.

  1. Be clear about what you want

Honesty and authenticity is important in strong coalitions. Coalition partners need to want the same thing, even if they differ on how to get there, and even if this is not their only interest. Keep looking at the bigger picture and pursue this goal with partners in your network.

  1. Offer something in return

Common goals are sometimes built on exchanges. You want something and someone else can help you achieve it – so what does that someone want, and can you help achieve their goals in return?

You can start practicing right away and see if you can do better than the EU’s political leaders – for instance at the upcoming Public Affairs Conference on 17 and 18 March:

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