Stakeholders are important people who share an interest in your success. You need to engage with them at the right time so that you can influence them as easily as possible. Stakeholder influence doesn’t just happen; you have to make it happen.
By engaging with your stakeholders early, you stand a much better chance of being able to help them to understand what you want to achieve. Critically, you need to develop a clear appreciation for their stance in order that you can pitch your goals in the most favourable light.
“Proactively seek out, engage, and influence your stakeholders.”
You can find stakeholders in many places. By thinking it through, you’ll be able to identify different categories of stakeholders. You’ll start to notice the balance between those who are for you and those who are against you. This will help to focus your mind on what you need to do to move towards the realisation of your objective. Failure to map these out leaves many opportunities for influence unnoticed.
There are many ways to begin to map your stakeholders out, and I have developed a unique approach that really focuses the mind on what matters most. You can learn how to use my approach in the Stakeholder Mapping Process.
How to Start Engaging and Influencing Your Stakeholders
- Make a list of all those who can have an impact on your goal.
- Indicate which are for and which are against you.
- Add a score against each to show how much power you think they have.
- If you wish, you can add another indicator of how much they could win/lose, or even how much you trust them.
- Start to consider how you need to influence each stakeholder and how you might do this.
- Develop a clear plan to start engaging with them.
The Stakeholder Mapping Process is fast and easy to apply. Once you’ve learned the simple steps, you will be finding new action that you can take within minutes.
Over the last 10 years I have been using this approach, I have witnessed some quite remarkable improvements in influence, all of which began with this simple mapping process.
Colin Gautrey is an author, coach, and trainer who specialises in the practical use of power and influence in large organisations. He has 25 years’ experience helping middle/senior professionals to survive, thrive and enjoy their work.
If you are ready to develop your influencing capability, become a member of Breakthrough Influence. If you are serious about becoming highly influential, fast, engage with Colin and he will help you get there in the most effective way possible.
Other articles by Colin:
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