Understanding & Managing Stakeholders

Once you have identified and mapped out your stakeholders, you need to understand more about their position and motivations, to define the types of engagement activities to use.

View Tools & Resources for practical examples to help you in your work.

Understanding Stakeholders

To understand your stakeholders, you must gather information on their background, their motivations and reasons for current behaviours and beliefs. In turn, this will help you define how best to engage and communicate with them. In researching each stakeholder, you should establish:

  • Political stance
  • Financial source
  • Interest in your organisation/your work/your area of engagement
  • Opinions on your organisation/your work/your area of engagement
  • Relationship history to your organisation/type of engagement
  • Groups influencing them
  • Who they influence
  • Who their customers/clients are
  • How and what they would want to hear from you
  • What relevant issues they hold positive opinions on

Once you understand your stakeholders, you will know those who support your work, those who oppose and those who are neutral.

Managing Stakeholders

Of the stakeholders who oppose or are neutral towards your work, there will be some you need to engage with and influence so they become supporters of what you are doing.

A ‘Readiness for change matrix’ is designed to help you determine the stakeholders to focus your efforts upon, such as those you need to win round, or those whose support you need to retain.

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There are other models to help you analyse stakeholders in this way – view Tools & Resources to find out more.

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