Stakeholder Management - Using The Team To Share The Load

When we manage, we all need a sense of who our stakeholders are. Those key influencers are vital components of our business development and need care and attention. As we learn to recognize the values of stakeholders, we also understand better just what it is that we need to nurture in them so that they are aligned with the outcomes that we are striving for that will often - though not always - be in their interests too, especially in the longer-term.

Of course not all stakeholders are on our side. You can imagine if an airport needs an additional runway, they will are unlikely to have any positive things for those who will at best suffer from additional noise.

Whilst these are unlikely to be the friendliest of stakeholders at any time, in many others situations, the adversary will be a lot more amenable to what you do, so there will be great value in working more closely to them.

To do this, you need interactions. You need conversations. Above all you need the best relationships to be created and for this it's unlikely that one person will have either enough time, nor the right attributes, to get on well with everyone they need to.

In such situations, it's time to bring in the reinforcements that you need to make this work - and this is the team of people you have around you who will support this adventure into stakeholder management.

By having your team along with you as you work to make the best relationships with your key stakeholders, you gain in 5 easy ways:-

1. You have more physical time to apply to the activities that you want to get into with those who can impact on your project.

2. With your team, you bring in a number of different characters with varied behaviors and attitudes who will resonate with the different people you need to influence.

3. You bring into play new skills that will complement your own efforts, because, when all's said and done, you aren't perfect at everything.

4. You build the self-confidence and belief in your people that, because they have been included, shows that you trust and value them and their capabilities to raise their bar as they work with you in new areas.

5. There will be an enhanced sense of 'team' between you all, as you purposefully strive to this goal. Developing the opportunities for the project to succeed by helping each other out in whatever way you can.

The best managers work with their people as they drive stakeholder management within the project or activity they are involved in, pooling efforts to communicate with those who are important and building a broad base of stakeholders which can be utilised profitably.


© 2013 Martin Haworth is a business and management coach and trainer, working worldwide with SMEs & corporates and based in the UK. He has extensive experience in the delivery of one- and two-day training programs on a whole range of tactical management skills to be found at the workshops we do as well...

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