When you are using the Stakeholder Influence Map to analyse all your key/powerful stakeholders, you need to consider the quality of the relationship you have with each before you can determine their position.There are three elements to this aspect which you need to weigh up…
- Trust. This is the most important and seeks to determine the extent to which trust exists within the relationship you have with the individual. This is a two-way consideration – do you trust them and do they trust you? Make sure to consider the evidence, as we find that many people distrust others on hearsay or events that happened years ago.
- Openness. This reflects the way each party volunteers information. It is one thing to have trust, but this does not necessarily mean that they will go out of their way to warn you when they learn something which could be helpful to you.
- Frequency. Both trust and openness can exist in a relationship; but if you haven’t seen them for years, the relationship is not going to be terribly helpful for you. If you are regularly chatting with them or dropping by for a coffee, chances are high that the relationship is of the strongest kind.
The stronger each of these elements is in your relationship with the stakeholder, the further to the right you will write their name. Likewise, if these elements are missing or patchy, their name is going to end up heading left! If you’re not sure, perhaps because of conflicting evidence, or you don’t even have a relationship with them, their name is going to land somewhere in the grey area of the map.