No, I am not talking about religions.
When I first joined a large organization, my boss would remind me to see that my proposals are blessed by the gods. Otherwise known as stakeholder management.
The ‘gods’ are the key stakeholders in the company who have the power to support you or make your life miserable.
Over the years, I have managed to refine the art of getting blessings. I had managed to triumph in meetings where I had other stakeholders pitching my proposals on my behalf – the very people I had to convince.
Here are some tips –
Know the gods
Know who these people are – what are their agendas and their temperaments.
Recognize their dominions and territories – you do not want to be perceived invading them.
Build your rapport – introduce yourself especially if you are new to the team, project or company.
Pay attention to the dynamics between different teams and learn how to navigate them.
Pay your respects
I cannot overemphasize the importance of face time.
Not all gods read email and messages.
Nothing conveys sincerity better than face to face interactions. I broke the ice and earned the trust of one key stakeholder when I travelled half an hour just to seek his audience for 10 minutes.
I made efforts to seek stakeholders for their inputs and advices.
Find the common ground
Align your pitch to their goals.
Demonstrate how your proposals can benefit them.
Pitch your beta
Share and rehearse your pitch with the stakeholders as follow-up to your earlier conversations.
You would be surprised how much help and advice you can garner from them.
And, you will have a better chance of their support as the stakeholders’ “views” are represented in your pitch.