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19 powerful tips on how to manage stakeholder engagement

Peter is an important stakeholder in the project.
We need him more that he needs us. Peter will not take your request lightly, regardless of what you do.
He is not engaged. [iStock/Rawpixel] How about this one?
Dory is a customer of the project. She wants to see the results.
She puts a lot of stress on her team.
Dory is not interested in hearing about the problems with the project.
She is not also engaged. It freaks her out even more.
Does it look familiar to you?
These problems are common for project managers:
Unengaged stakeholders.
It might seem impossible to do anything about it.
It’s not true!
What Kills Engagement?
Let’s be clear about a few things.
Never act as if a stakeholder doesn’t want it. This is wrong, unless it is proven otherwise.
Approach it as a mutual benefit.
Even if someone acts aggressively, passively, or in any other inappropriate way.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are your enemy.
The cause of disengagement is not yet discovered.
It is simple!
Most cases have one of these root causes:
1. Overwhelming
Yes, that’s right! People will leave your project if they get overwhelmed by other tasks or projects.
This is a simple example of when they ignore your requests. They don’t have the time.
It becomes more difficult when someone has to answer your questions due to a policy. She still has no spare time. She receives dozens of these requests per day.
In such cases, a stakeholder might loop your request. Most likely, you will receive a lot of stupid questions in return.
The same goes for someone who may be interested in a different topic or have unrelated questions.
His or her goal is simple.
To purchase some time while you write another mail answering a bunch questions.
What can you do?
Play on her terms. Ask for the best time and day to work on your project. Plan it. Prepared and prepared with the most important topics. Focus on the work session.
2. Lack of knowledge
It is difficult to distinguish this case from the rest.
People don’t like to be vulnerable or show their ignorance. They get creative.
The worst thing is:
It will be twice as difficult to bring them back after they have gotten away from a project in which they lack knowledge.
You will notice an unusual buzz about “following the policies and processes” in the majority of cases.
Also, look out for tunnel vision.
These stakeholders will insist only on a proven solution. Even if it isn’t in line with the project goal.
These are the best ways to protect your back in the event of a loss.
What can you do?
As if they don’t know anything about your project, act as if you do. Even if the stakeholder is an expert on the subject, give him all information. Once he feels comfortable suggesting something, he will tune in.
Do not act as though you know more about the subject. It is most likely not. Most likely, he did not have enough bandwidth to understand the details of your project.
3. Insufficient interest
Stakeholders have nothing to gain from your project. This is the most common and simplest case.
There are many reasons why you might have a low interest. Even highly paid central employees often leave the company because they don’t get much.
These people will be easy to recognize by their attitude:
“Give me a solution, and I will reject it and criticise it.” Continue until the time runs out or I will approve a safer solution.
“Tell me exactly what I should do. Better yet, write it down and I will do it as it is written.”
This is so common, I’m sure that you have seen it many times.
What can you do?
Nothing. In most cases…
You might find something that is interesting for this stakeholder. You should try to delegate it gently to her.
However, do monitor her engagement. In the middle of a project, interest may wane.
4. Conflicting Requests

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