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10 Ways You Can Ease Resistance from Stakeholders

Project managers are used to encountering resistance from stakeholders. Many give in, some resist, and the majority ignore it. None of this helps you progress towards the intended goal. In this article at Online PM Courses, Dr. Mike Clayton discusses 10 ways you can ease resistance from stakeholders.

Calming Down Resistance from Stakeholders

The reason behind project managers being poor at managing stakeholders is that they have received no formal training. Following tips are given by trained and experienced professionals with which you can ease resistance from stakeholders:

  1. No Need for a Conversation: If they are not ready for a conversation, tell them why they should give you a chance to speak.
  2. Too Busy to Listen: If stakeholders are running in between projects, they might not have enough time to give a listen. Ask them and send an invite to help them remember.
  3. Not Being on the Same Page: The reason behind a meeting with the stakeholders is that you want to share your ideas. You might have run the idea through your mind a million times and it is crystal clear. Your stakeholders should be clear as well, so explain them in their own terms.
  4. Chasing the Wrong Person: While some are simply avoiding you, others might have high authorities they need approval from. Do the background research to know who you should impress first.
  5. Priorities Lie Somewhere Else: You prefer sitting down with your stakeholders regularly while they might think it is unnecessary. Find out what their priorities are so that you have an undeniable reason to call them up for a meeting.
  6. Not a Yes Yet: This does not mean a definitive no but more like a hopeful yes. Maybe they have a few things to consider before saying yes. They like your ideas but might need more details or validation. Just ask what they need to give a go-ahead.
  7. No Need for the Offered Services or Products: They clearly do not like what you are trying to sell them. Acknowledge their decisions and offer something else, if any.
  8. Nobody Has the Required Training: Your proposed software requires skills that the stakeholders do not have. Offer them training sessions to move things forward.
  9. Not Confident About the Capabilities: This reaction is coming more from fear than resistance from the stakeholders. Guide them to adopt.
  10. Personal Dislike: Maybe they do not like the new negotiator or maybe they disliked your approach in the previous meetings. It can also be that your words triggered something that they have a bad memory of. Usher in a new salesperson or ask them if you can start afresh.
  11. Playing Around: Some stakeholders like to play hard to get just because they can. If they are at all interested in this, you can rekindle the conversation. Or else, offer something else or find somebody interested to pitch your ideas to.

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Indrani Roy

Indrani Roy is currently working as a Content Specialist for CAI Info India. She has knowledge in writing blogs, product descriptions, brand information, and coming up with new marketing concepts. Indrani has also transcribed, subtitled, edited, and proofread various Hollywood movies, TV series, documentaries, etc., and performed audio fidelity checks. She started her career by articulating a knowledge base for an IT client, and, eventually, went on to create user manuals and generate content for a software dashboard. Writing being one of her passions, reading books is naturally her favorite pastime. When not lost in the world of letters, she is a foodie, movie buff, and a theater critic.

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