Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Do you feel like you have reached a ceiling on your success? Many leaders feel like they should be performing well because they are doing everything they know to do with their team. However, sometimes you need help from people who do not work for you. These leaders may have different priorities and be motivated by different KPIs. In today’s episode, we are talking about how to identify the key stakeholders in your organization, develop relationships with them, and leverage these relationships to help you and your team achieve your goals.
What are key stakeholders?
These are people who do not report to you but are instrumental in your success. Many leaders never identify these people or nurture the relationships because they are focused on themselves and their team.
You will only find success as a leader when you can get people who do not report to you to work for you.
Q: Do you like working with other departments? Why or why not? What do you think causes departments to struggle to work together? If you have ever been involved in a successful interdepartmental project, describe it. What made the project so successful?
Why is working with key stakeholders challenging?
You often need your stakeholders more than they need you. While your work may be connected, they are more focused on the goals and objectives that are the key performance indicators for their department.
Q: What are the goals for your department this week? Ask a coworker on a different team what their goals are for this week. Are the goals different? Why or why not? How can you connect different goals to a larger purpose within your company?
How to bridge the gap
Identify all of the stakeholders.
Understand what your stakeholders want. What are their objectives?
Understand why your stakeholders want the things they want. What is important to them?
What can you do to influence key stakeholders?
Treat them how you want to be treated.
Put their needs in front of your own.
Ask how you can help.
Don’t give to receive. People can smell a fake a mile away.
Keep lines of communication open.
Call out inappropriate behavior on your team.
Never use force, always drive results with influence.
Q: What kind of person do you like to work with? Do they do any of the things above? Do any of them stand out to you? Why do you think these are successful ways to create influence?
Listen to your stakeholders and strive to meet their needs, regardless of their difficulties. Following the principles listed above will help you create trust and show support. In the long run, your projects will be more successful because you will have increased unity and clarity across your entire company! Navigating and managing difficult stakeholders takes empathy, awareness, and practice, but this is where you can distinguish yourself as a leader.
Identify your stakeholders. Make a list of who they are, what department they are in, and any other connections they may have. If you are having trouble, think about who you go to outside of your team when you are working on a project. Do you need another team’s manpower? Technology? Design abilities? Creativity?
Once you have identified your key stakeholders, think about your relationship with them. Do you communicate when you do not need something from them? Do you dread talking to them? Take some time this week to invest in whichever relationship needs the most work. If you need to apologize or take ownership of an issue, do it. If you need to build a more relational connection, consider asking them to have coffee or lunch. As you develop the relationship, you will begin to understand their personal and professional motivators.
Think about your communication system. Do you have a method for inter-departmental communication? If so, is it being used? Set aside 10 minutes at the beginning or end of your workday to update your key stakeholders on anything that may affect them. Improving your communication will improve your rapport with your key stakeholders and make it easier to work together.
JUNE 30, 2021