Stakeholders – Effective Communication

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Stakeholders play a big role in a project or plan, and have a vested interest in seeing that project or plan work out for the best. So, what are the best and most effective ways to communicate ideas, issues, and to resolve problems that may arise? Here are a few handy tips to ensure good, quality communication to keep everyone as happy and informed as possible.

  1. Stakeholder Analysis and Personalised Communication – A good place to start would be to know who the stakeholders are, and what level of importance and influence they have. Dig deeper and find out what their interests are, and what their future expectations are moving forward. Once that has been established, you can really think about communicating with stakeholders, and how. Give the stakeholders information based on their own personal needs and preferences. Leave no stones unturned!
  2. Two-Way Communication – There will be times whereby stakeholders need to ask questions, investigate further into decisions being made, and give feedback or advice if they feel necessary. Allow this to happen, by providing avenues for them to get in touch. You could go one step further, and seek their opinions and advice by conducting surveys or questionnaires based on performances. The more information that is allowed to flow between both sides, the better. Click here for more about this.
  3. Use Multiple Communication Channels – In this day and age, there is no reason not to exploit and utilise all the different types of communication methods out there. Everybody has a preference when it comes to communicating – some prefer in person meetings, but a virtual meeting will suffice for them. Others are absolutely OK with communicating purely via email, and others may have a preference for communicating instantly via a messenger application, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. For key information and updates, be sure to offer all options, and use them to your advantage to get your messages across loud and clear.
  4. Transparent Communication – There is no room to start ‘fluffing’ the truth with stakeholders, as that will lead nowhere positive for anyone! Always be honest and upfront about issues, risks, and challenges. This way, you may not be telling them exactly what they want to hear, but this will build a level of trust and respect within the relationship. Also, be sure to keep messages consistent. You may be communicating with different stakeholders using different means of communication, so always give out the same message across these different methods, to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications.

And, breathe! Having to communicate with stakeholders can feel pretty daunting, as there are a lot of moving parts, and problems are bound to arise. By following the points above, and adding in a few other methods of good communication, things are more than likely going to run smoother than if you didn’t use these points. Then again, some of us are just lucky and can get away with it, but only if you have the gift of the gab! Take a look here for more information where you are.