Welcome to the 6th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight Series featuring Rebecca Sangster-Kelly, a communications and stakeholder management coach, consultant based in the UK. She believes that meaningful engagement is key to the success of any team, project, and in building influence. Rebecca is convinced that learning is innate and that communications as a professional exercise can get stronger through improving processes, planning, and listening to your audience.
We’ve come a long way since stakeholder theory established the need to engage constituents we engaged with. Very often, stakeholder management is mistaken for program management. Even more when it comes to internal communications. In this conversation, I speak to Rebecca, a communications & stakeholder coach, consultant and expert, who is also a CIPR Member, on the merits of engaging stakeholders meaningfully, the role of listening, how to build influence and key aspects that can be adopted by anyone wanting to get the best results at work and beyond.
“When we communicate with stakeholders, we can influence and move them towards decisions and actions. Effective stakeholder management strategies and tactics enables purposeful stakeholder engagement that supports you to achieve your overarching objectives”, says Rebecca.
About Intraskope’s Spotlight Series
In this series I interview key thought leaders on topics interrelated with internal communications such as culture, crisis, change, executive presence and leadership. The goal is to help unravel why they matter, what can leaders and communicators learn from experts and how we can put insights to practice. Watch these short interviews and get better at understanding these key topics and how you engage with internal communications.
- Why is stakeholder management important for communicators?
Audiences are made up of individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups. When we communicate with them, we can influence and move them towards decisions and actions. Effective stakeholder management strategies and tactics enables purposeful stakeholder engagement that supports you to achieve your overarching objectives.
- What are the key elements of stakeholder management?
Using a Stakeholder Interest/Influence Matrix to map current stakeholder positions and plan where you want to move them to on the grid Understanding how the stakeholder, individual or group, filters information on specific topics or themes, how they value them, and how it ties to their motivations.
- How does meaningful engagement take place?
Ensuring communications with stakeholders is a conversation, a dance. Broadcasted communications is like breakdancing — a spectacle without feedback. Whereas you should be doing a partnered dance like the cha-cha-cha, the stakeholder audience responding to your comms in kind: providing feedback and insights through response that you then use to inform further communication/engagement activities, that build trust and rapport with your audience.
- How does one build influence among stakeholders?
By building trust and rapport through meaningful open engagements that demonstrate that they’re being heard, their feedback incorporated into plans, as well as demonstrating how it benefits them and their interests — meeting them where they’re at.
- What is the role of listening in stakeholder engagement?
Listening should give you insights to apply to subsequent engagements. People want to feel heard, and their thoughts and feelings acknowledged. Also, it helps you collect information that gauges their movement on the stakeholder matrix grid.
- What advice do you have for communicators on stakeholder engagement as they go about their work?
Make time to build rapport with stakeholders and cultivate relationships with key people who provide clear insights and opinions. While we’re busy, these conversations are valuable, so make time for that coffee or check in, and use their insights to improve your stakeholder management.
Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the transcript below.
Missed the earlier episodes? Watch them here: D. Mark Schumann (Culture), Peter Yorke (Executive Presence), Sia Papageorgiou (Leadership Communications), Dianne Chase (Strategic Storytelling) and Gloria Walker (Communication Planning).
You can also look up the ongoing Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring practitioners from around the globe sharing best practices and perspectives.
Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network.
Keen to contribute and participate in the Spotlight series? Write to me at [email protected]
Here are Internal Communications resources you can use:
- Learn: Internal Communications Fundamentals Course on Thinkific or Udemy
- Internal Communications Series: https://forms.gle/KcqmPzLwq7NQi5Km6
- Chat with Aniisu – Internal Communications: https://www.instamojo.com/intraskope/connect-with-aniisu-60-minute-personalized-d/?ref=store
- Internal Communications workshops: https://bit.ly/2zdBRl1
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