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Taking Time to Build Relationships with Key Stakeholders

Taking Time to Build Relationships with Key StakeholdersAs a best practice, to engage your stakeholder and gain commitment/support for your projects, be sure to spend the time building relationships with key stakeholders. Do this before you need to engage them in conversations about the project or request their support.

Here are just a few simple ways to build relationships with key stakeholders:

  • Get out of your office! Spend time each morning at the coffee machine or in the company cafeteria catching up with colleagues and co-workers
  • Ask to attend department meetings to understand the challenges and successes of other departments within the company
  • Invite colleagues/co-workers to lunch
  • Ask about weekend plans or how the children of your co-workers are doing

When we take the time to build relationships with our stakeholders, it is much easier to ask for their support on a project. For example, let’s assume that we know the head of marketing has a number of challenges that you heard about during a department meeting. If you can align an upcoming project to ways to meet those challenges and solve those problems, you can engage the stakeholder in supporting your project! Additionally, when I need the support of stakeholders, such as, for example, assigning someone from their group to work with me on a project; it is much easier to ask for that support and get it when I have already bothered to establish a relationship with the stakeholder.

Part of your job as a project manager is building relationships with key stakeholders. When we spend the time to do so, we are more easily able to communicate with them and get their support for our initiatives. We may even be able to engage them in supporting initiatives we want to launch!

Even if you spend just 30 – 60 minutes a week engaging stakeholders, you will see it impacts your projects in a positive way.

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