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All aboard! Achieving Stakeholder Alignment

To get stakeholders aligned you need patience, targeted and customized communications, and change leadership.

By Pepper Foster

You need to shake things up but getting everybody on board and rowing in the same direction is turning out to be a little more challenging than you thought. Why can’t they see what you see? It’s so obvious, right? Wrong! 

When you’re the first to see something it definitionally means that nobody else can see it yet. So, getting all of those stakeholders aligned is not going to be easy. For people to see what you see, and most importantly, for them to feel they are part of the solution rather than the necessary defenders of the status quo, you need patience, targeted and customized communications, and change leadership. 

So, take a step back and show your math. Use coaching techniques to ask questions that will help them join the dots that you’ve already joined. Listen to their reservations and concerns and don’t dismiss them. Explain why change is necessary and what’s in it for them. If there’s nothing in it for them, be honest and open about it and make a call for the common good. Whatever you do, don’t sugarcoat, don’t spin, and don’t yell! Bad managers lie and yell. Good managers explain and tell people what to do. Leaders get people to do things they don’t want to do or feel are impossible. Be a leader!

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