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Stakeholder Engagement: How to Reach Your Goals Faster

Ever find yourself wishing you could get things done much faster if it weren’t for all the different parties getting in the way?

Stakeholder engagement is an essential part of working together to get things done and there’s no getting away from it. Good stakeholder relationships are based on full engagement not just communication. Achieving this can be tricky, but for me it boils down to a healthy combination of good relationships and aligned goals.

Here are four key steps in setting yourself up to successfully engage your stakeholders.

Step 1: Clarify Your Goals

Start by checking back against your goals. If you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve how can you help others get aligned around your goal.

Step 2: Know your stakeholders

It’s important to identify who your stakeholders are and determine how engaged they are in what you are trying to achieve. Not all stakeholders have equal weight, as some will have more influence on the success of your project, so divert your efforts accordingly.

Step 3: Be clear on how to build the engagement

Next work out what areas you need to focus on with each stakeholder to bridge the gap – do you know their WIIFM and WAMI? You may well have come across “What’s in it for me” before, but sometimes it can be just as useful to come at it from the angle of the “What’s against my interests”.

Step 4: Create and deliver your engagement plan

Effective engagement plans will include actions for aligning goals and building strong relationships. Once you’ve got a key stakeholder engaged don’t just assume they’ll stay onside. Make time to maintain the relationship and keep checking back on alignment of expectations.

  • How compelling is your goal? Does it paint a picture of the future that someone else will want to join you in achieving?

  • What tools and techniques do you use to help you bridge the gap when it comes to building good working relationships?


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