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6 Principles for Building Stakeholder Trust

This blog post from AITS contributing expert Susanne Madsen explores the importance of trust with stakeholders –  and how that trust can lead to better business outcomes and lasting relationships. Madsen explains how important it is to be trustworthy as a project manager, and how the six principles she lists can help you determine where you fall on the scale. The six are:

  • Listen to others and understand first
  • Have empathy and think in win/win solutions
  • Set a good example as a project manager
  • Be honest and open about project progress and have the courage to ask for help
  • Be proactive and take responsibility for your actions
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude and don't be afraid to have fun

For instance, one principle is to “be honest and open about project progress and have the courage to ask for help”:  Believe in yourself and be honest and open enough to say things the way they are. Never over-promise or feel pressurised to say yes to unreasonable demands. Have the confidence and courage to talk openly about project issues and to ask for help when required. Your stakeholders will respect you for being honest and appreciate being given the chance to help out before the situation aggravates. You will score points for being realistic and for having your project's interests at heart. Painting the picture rosier than it is helps no one. All of the tips point to an earnest accounting of what is going right and wrong in projects, keeping stakeholders involved and aware whether things are going well or poorly, and recognizing when something can be done better. Through internalizing these principles, a project manager can be sure to consistently strengthen their relationships with stakeholders.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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