Wednesday 17 October 2012

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Often blogs about stakeholder engagement, communication and influencing (such as my blog earlier this week) focus, quite rightly, on: listening to your stakeholders, finding out more about them, talking in a language they understandtaking responsibility for misunderstandings, finding out what motivates them, engaging with them and asking for their input and support.

But you know what - sometimes we do have to be on transmit rather than listen, we do have to focus on our objectives, what we're up to and what we want our stakeholders to do and we do have to tell them what we want and why. And here I mean not keep it a secret, or have them second guessing what we're up to. I can't tell you the number of times I've worked with clients and the cause of the problem is lack of information in the minds of the stakeholder.

That is procurement, or what ever department or individual is wishing to influence a stakeholder, seems to be providing information on a need to know basis - and wrongly assessing how much information they need to share with their stakeholder. The causes for this incorrect assessment are many but might include:
  • making assumptions about what the stakeholder already knows
  • not understanding how much information you're taking for granted
  • making a decision that there is information they don't need to know
  • believing that if you tell them they might take all the credit 
  • believing that if you tell them everything they might do it themselves
  • believing if you tell them they'll break confidence and tell everyone
As a rule of thumb always assume your stakeholder needs more information than you're giving them.

Who do you need to communicate more fully with?  

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective communication within your procurement team
Picture curtesy of Pixabay

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