Learning to influence our stakeholders with greater impact is even more critical now with many more of us working remotely.
Perhaps you can relate to this story about Amanda. I have changed her name for privacy reasons.
Amanda is a talented and bright emerging leader in her thirties. She is fully engaged in her job and loves the company and what it stands for. Furthermore, she is respected and well-liked by her peers and colleagues. They see her as an approachable colleague and someone fun to work with.
The challenge Amanda has is her struggle to have her voice heard when it counts. When she has an important proposal to get across the line with her superiors, she loses confidence.
She feels that her ideas are not taken seriously despite knowing her area and the business so well. Her thoughts and concepts get glossed over.
The final straw for her was with her last proposal.
This time Amanda felt pretty confident that her stakeholder – her manager – was going to ‘get it.’ In her mind, not only were the benefits obvious, but he also knew her well, including her passion, work ethics, strengths, and weaknesses.
However, this is not what happened when she presented her plan in his office. He rejected it. Yes – a rejection. A definite NO!
Amanda was left feeling confused and somewhat crushed. Her dominant thought was, “Here we go again!” Her confidence knocked, she started doubting herself and her abilities.
So, what did Amanda miss?
She had assumed that her manager knew her so well, including her thinking on the issue and would, therefore, support her.
However, the manager’s current needs and priorities along with the bigger context the business was operating in were things that Amanda had overlooked.
By not taking this into account, her plan fell flat.
Can you relate to this? Has this or something similar ever happened to you?
Have you ever been left confused as to why people above you, even your colleagues, could not see the value of what you were bringing to the table?
Your ideas and proposal got minimized or worse, discounted.
That is frustrating and disheartening. It hurts.
You are left feeling that you are not a valued member of the team. You start doubting your abilities, even questioning your future commitment to the organization.
It may also leave you doubting your communication skills. Moreover, your proposal is not as good as you think it is! You find yourself imprisoned in a downward spiral of self-criticism, doubts, and feelings of failure.
While these feelings are real and understandable, this is not the full picture. There is a missing piece here as Amanda discovered during our conversation.
There is a more profound insight that will give you the results you want without you feeling like a failure and requiring them to ‘care more’ about what you are presenting.
Because there is a way that you can tap into what they already care about and what matters most to them.
Let me give you a crucial insight here and what needs to happen instead.
It is about having a greater awareness of yourself and your stakeholders.
For example, with your stakeholder – what do you know about their needs and priorities, their strengths and blind spots and the contextual pressures they have on them. Taking these into account will help place you in a more impactful position.
I am planning to share ideas in the form of an online course that will help you step up in your leadership, including your ability to influence more effectively.
Ideas which can position you as someone whose insights are respected, valued, and treasured.
You can begin to establish your role as someone who is a problem solver and solution provider.
This course will be open to a small group of participants.
Registrations will be limited to only 25 students.
The first five to register will get a BONUS copy of my expanded leadership development guide.
Keep an eye here, if you would like to register (or send us your email so we can be in touch).
P.S. Get your free copy of your Stakeholder Analysis Template. This will help you prepare well as you consider aspects from the perspective of your stakeholder before your presentation to them.