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6 Tips to Convince Stakeholders to Talk Your Language

Convincing stakeholders and getting their continuous support is necessary for a project’s success. Project managers know it is not an easy feat, especially when they must cater to varied interests of stakeholders. In this article at TechRepublic, Moira Alexander shares 6 tips to help you convince stakeholders to talk your language.

Winning Stakeholder Support

From sponsors to team members, all can be termed as stakeholders. When they come to a consensus about project deliverables, it allows you to deliver the expected project outcomes on time and within budget. Here are some tips to make stakeholders speak in favor of your vision.

  1. Identify What Makes Them Move: Stakeholders will not be upfront about their likes and dislikes. It is a slow process but gradually you will get to know what can inspire them to agree with your vision. While you can motivate the team with bonuses, a team member might want more flexibility in terms of work-life balance. The more you connect their interests and principles with project goals, the more buy-ins you get.
  2. Be Honest to Earn Trust: One of the foundations of a corporate relationship is trust. From sponsors to team members, all are going to put in their best effort to make the project work. Instead of covering up risks, be transparent. Ask feedback and provide impersonal opinions on the same. Avoid promising something that you cannot deliver or be vague in your commitment. This will impact the relationship negatively.
  3. Let Them Know Their Role: Once you know what motivates them, connect their motivation to your project goals. This will help you clarify their roles in the project and the benefits they would derive from it. Setting up a direct connection between project benefits with their individual profits will bring in more buy-ins.
  4. Remind and Update Stakeholders: In most cases, all stakeholders meet at the beginning of a project. Later, it becomes the responsibility of the project managers to regularly update them on the project status. However, passive participation can cause loss of interest among stakeholders. So, along with frequent updates, remind them of their roles as well.
  5. Stabilize the Processes: As a project leader, your job is to maintain consistency in the project deliverables, communication, and updates throughout the lifecycle. Set up proper communication channels and be available to clarify doubts or receive feedback. This will add meaning to their interest in the project.
  6. End on a Positive Note: When you reach the end of your project’s lifecycle, it is necessary to talk about the challenges you faced. However, it is more important to thank stakeholders for the support they have extended. If you get a chance to work with them again, you do not have to convince them any further.

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