Just as with managing employees, managers can adopt a number of skills and techniques to enhance relationships with stakeholders. By correctly managing relationships managers can gain allies and support. Get it wrong, and a project is more likely to fail.
Once key stakeholders are identified, it is vital than managers listen and understand the requirements of them to fully understand their requirements and needs. This can be aided by asking reflective questions and sharing vision (the bigger picture) so that both parties can fully understand what the project is aiming to achieve (and how it will get there). This can aid trust building within the relationship. Managers can ask questions to draw out information,
Being clear and upfront from the outset is vital as surprises may result in conflict or an element of mistrust. It is also vital to provide regular agreed updates on the project to ensure that stakeholders feel part of the process and are not left making assumptions.
Focus is an important element in determining outcomes and objectives of the engagement process. Without focus, it can be difficult for stakeholders to fully understand the bigger picture which may result in confusion or assumptions.
There will be times when certain stakeholders disagree with managers, and influencing skills become vital. Having a personal approach is a definite advantage and can make a manager more approachable and more likeable; building rapport.