When considering the action you need to take with a certain stakeholder, one of the most difficult challenges is to overcome your preconceived ideas about why they are resisting, or why they may be difficult to handle. It is vital to be able to move away from your assumptions so you can try new approaches.
The exercise that follows is one which works best when someone else is asking the questions. But if you don’t have any Advocates or Critics handy, asking yourself is okay!
Choose a stakeholder to work on and ask the questions below to help you prepare your engagement approach.
- Why have you placed them where you have on the Stakeholder Influence Map?
- What evidence backs up your assessment?
- How does their agenda compare to your own?
- Is their personal agenda likely to affect their agreement or your relationship with them?
- What makes them powerful?
- How does your power compare to theirs?
- How does your goal increase or decrease their power?
- How will they benefit (or lose) if you are successful?
- How do you know this?
- How are they connected to other stakeholders on your map?
- Who else are they close to who is not on your map?
- Who do they turn to for advice and guidance?
- Should these people be added to your map?
- What types of influence might they be open to?
- What strategies have you tried in the past?
- What happened when you tried this?
- How do you see other people influencing them?
- What approach seems to work best?
- What could you learn from this?
- What are your options for action (ideas you could consider)?
If you have a friend helping you, they don’t have to stick to the questions above; ask them to use their intelligence and wander off the script to really challenge your thinking.
You can use this question track for each stakeholder you need to work on. Between each one, make sure to note down your ideas for the action you can take to engage with them. These notes should be just ideas for action at this stage. Later, when you’ve considered the other stakeholders, you can come back and decide on your priority actions.
Colin Gautrey is becoming the most sought-after expert in power and influence by ambitious and talented professionals who are serious about accelerating their careers and their results. But, Colin is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
This resource is one of over 500 articles, and 50 hours of video content he has packed into his Breakthrough Influence Series of online courses.