8 Rules to Involve Stakeholders In Critical Decisions

Your stakeholders are key to the decisions you make every day in your organization. When stakeholders feel informed and included in the decision-making process, the result is often positive engagement in initiatives and support for future ideas. The first step to engaging stakeholders is to determine the best method of communication to boost engagement.  Whether the communication takes place via email, phone call, Twitter, video or a face-to-face conversation, there are eight basic rules to keep in mind:

  1. The audience rule: Tickle their ears. What the audience wants to hear is more important than what you want to tell them. Always.

  2. The sales rule: Good communication has a goal. Know it before you open your mouth. 

  3. The language rule: Keep it simple. If your language is heavy on jargon or acronyms, it is less likely your message will be received. 

  4. The repetition rule: Once is not enough. Verbal messages are especially hard to recall, and the listener can’t go back and listen to them again. To make sure they stick, they must be repeated so that the listener knows how important they are. 

  5. The challenge rule: You know more of the questions that can be asked of you and your story than anyone else. Ask them, and answer them, in advance. 

  6. The truth rule: You might as well tell it. Credibility is the most important thing you have to sell. It is more important than facts. 

  7. The bad news rule: Bad news has market value. Bad news always comes out. 

  8. The good news rule: Good news doesn’t last long. Good news is only exciting to those people who have a vested interest in it. 

Communication is skill and skills only improve with practice. A helpful exercise is to determine which is your least favorite communication channel and work  on improving it. If you can’t communicate you can’t lead.

How well do you communicate with your stakeholders? If this is an area where you and your employees need to improve, contact the Ascendis Leadership Academy to take the Organizational Leadership Skills Profile. Please contact Sue Drake at sdrake@drakerg.com for an overview of the Profile and ways in which it may be used in your organization.