6 tips for constructive stakeholder relationship management
Learn how maintaining a good relationship with your stakeholders helps cultivate your social project’s success
Stakeholder buy-in is fundamental to achieving the goals for a social project at your company and positively impacting the community.
In order to generate more credibility for your project, it is necessary to practice stakeholder relationship management. The key to fostering these relationships is utilizing the right communication tactics for each unique stakeholder. Creating successful stakeholder relationships will provide you with allies who help you reach project outcomes and champion your decisions.
Continue reading to learn our top 6 tips on how to maintain a good relationship with your stakeholders.
Tip #1: Be transparent.
The stakeholders of your social project have a genuine interest in knowing all the details about the actions that have been completed and the development of objectives that have yet to be achieved.
Adopting transparent policies is the ideal way to make your project’s progress visible to all parties involved. It will also develop an even more stable ethical field, which allows for a closer relationship with the public. By focusing on transparency, you will be able to define initiatives and plan actions that can avoid relationship issues in the short and long term.
Tip #2: Invest in constant dialogue.
Communication from beginning to end of your social project through ongoing and open dialogue is crucial for stakeholder relationship management and overall project success.
You need to know how to present and explain your expectations and ideas, but also listen to what the stakeholders of your social project have to say in order to always act ethically.
Remember: One of the key characteristics of a successful social manager is the ability to communicate, absorb suggestions, track conversations and promote actions with integrity. Through constantly and consistently communicating with stakeholders, you can strengthen your relationships for the benefit of your project.
Tip #3: Hold meetings to present data.
Presenting data to your project’s stakeholders is crucial for establishing links and strengthening relationships.
We recommend holding productive meetings to show data and project results. Be sure to avoid long meetings—bet on objectivity and assertiveness of information. It is also important that you prepare an agenda to guide you during the presentation and set aside minutes to hear the opinions of the parties involved.
In this pandemic era, the online format is the most suitable way to hold these meetings. However, industry experts report that people feel more tired in remote meetings because they require more focus to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of voice, and body language.  To mitigate this effect, you can follow some tips such as: use visual aids to draw attention to specific points, stick to the time set for the call, and interact with people by asking questions and confirming they fully understand.
Tip #4: Show your stakeholders that you value them.
In order to cultivate positive stakeholder relationship management, each stakeholder in your social project should be seen and treated as unique. Follow these simple practices to demonstrate your professionalism and interest in valuable relationships:
- Return calls and emails: A simple message or call can bring you closer to your stakeholder. Be patient to answer questions and clarify points that were not understood. Avoid missing these contact opportunities because omission can result in the end of a great relationship.
- Give and ask for feedback: In any project, feedback plays a fundamental role. Show how the planned actions are developing and be ready to propose solutions. Ask your stakeholders how they think the project is going, what is working, and what can be improved.
- Avoid being late for meetings: During the development stage of your social project initiatives, meetings with stakeholders may be necessary. Avoid being late because it can be interpreted as disregard for the stakeholders, and being on time shows your genuine appreciation for them.
Tip #5: Enforce the project guidelines.
Although many people see enforcing rules as negative, it should be noted that this practice is essential for maintaining a good relationship with stakeholders.
Make clear to each party involved the details of how the project works. With everyone knowing exactly how they should act and why, it is much easier to demand responsibilities and certain attitudes, and to establish limits and restrictions without creating real clashes between the stakeholders.
Tip #6: Utilize a project management tool.
Data management systems can help you improve the relationship with your social project’s stakeholders. For example, software like INFLOR Sociall can be used to exchange information and analyze tailored data. The solution makes it possible to receive complaints or feedback from the most diverse stakeholders in your ecosystem, as well as intensify the relationship with the stakeholders through the mobile solution, even in situations where there is no phone or internet signal.
Your relationship with your stakeholders is essential to the success of your social project, and that’s why you need to create effective and transparent communication with them by any means possible. Refer back to this content as needed to use as a tool for stakeholder relationship management.
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1: BBC | The reason Zoom calls drain your energy