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5 love languages in stakeholder management

Stakeholder management is a very wide theme and important part in any function in the organization: any tasks that you need to complete has an element of stakeholders that may be impacted, informed, asked to act on the topic, etc. Therefore it is important to understand who are your stakeholders, how make them believe in what your are proposing and make them support the idea.

What kind of stakeholders may be?

Normally you can categorize stakeholders to various different groups, like internal and external stakeholders. Then the ones who make decisions and the ones who are rather advisors. Another categorisation is according to the impact of a change or result that you want to achieve. Based on all these categories you address your actions and communication towards different stakeholder groups that would help you to achieve the target that you are after. But is it only angle to think about?

How to approach different stakeholders to achieve results that you are seeking for?

While thinking about stakeholders wise man advised me “people are making decisions and providing opinions, not representatives of an organization with no identity or personal thoughts or way how to get their consensus”, therefore it is worth to think about stakeholders as people who have their needs and different approaches based on how to make them happy so that needed decision or support would be provided.

Same as in any relationship, there are different ways of how to reach the consensus between your stakeholders. 5 love languages in stakeholder management:

  1. Favors – some people operate in a way that if you want to make something done, you should show, that you will go an extra mile, for example: if you need to have 2 project outputs achieved like business case and business requirements which is a responsibility of a stakeholder that you need to work. If you will ask everything to be done by that person, you may get a pushback with a saying “you are dropping everything on me, what you gonna do?”. In these cases it may be easier to offer help rather than arguing why it is this persons job. The only slippery slow is that people may get used to that, so it is important to explain, that "because of common good i am here to help you, but please be aware next time, that this is something that you are in charge off".

  2. Advantage – here is important to present what will be the tangible value that the stakeholder will get: maybe he will need to spend less time on some tasks after your change is implemented, maybe it will allow to perform more sophisticated functions or it will allow the stakeholder to gain new skills that will set the scene for growth.

  3. Spotlight – maybe the stakeholder that you need to work with likes to be in a spotlight, this means that it may be important to have the stakeholder’s name named and visible as he being part of the process.

  4. Recognition - for some group of people it is important that their opinion is valued, recognized, they feel engaged and in control, which means without them no action will be taken. In these cases make sure that you mention that the reason you are approaching the stakeholder is because you value his opinion and that he will be approached if any changes to the action plan will appear.

  5. Common values – this love language is one of the most difficult, as while trying to make your stakeholder happy you need to appeal to his values, by painting the topic from the angle of which values will be addressed, for example: maybe your task will raise a better awareness and accountability about the money management in the organization, which is a concern for your stakeholder.

Final thoughts

Every stakeholder is a person who has his own needs and ways how he wants things to look like. While trying to achieve the consensus between your stakeholders try to understand what are the driving motivational factors for the stakeholder to give a support that you need for the topic to be implemented.


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