Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder management – What NOT to do

Stakeholder management – What NOT to do

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As part of the Stakeholder Engagement Series to celebrate the launch of our new eCourse which is now available on our website, I recently interviewed Andrea O’Halloran about what can prevent meaningful stakeholder engagement.

Let’s talk about how to create Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement

Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement Andrea O’HalloranWe know good stakeholder engagement is all about communication. But sometimes it’s difficult to identify what we’re doing wrong.

Andrea is the convener of the Diversity and Inclusion Network for The Australian Human Resources Institute. She is passionate about bringing out the best in people to achieve exceptional organisational and individual outcomes. She attempts to engage employees with a holistic approach to diversity that seeks out their unrealised potential.


Points raised in this podcast:

  • There are a number of issues that can prevent meaningful stakeholder engagement, but they are often simple to fix.
  • Meaningful stakeholder engagement is all about good communication.
  • Project managers who work regularly on similar projects can be blind to implied knowledge and fail to fully brief the project team about the desired outcomes or leave out important details.
  • Insufficient resources from inaccurate planning or budgeting can cause issues between stakeholders.
  • An inexperienced or uninformed project manager can quickly lose credibility with their team.
  • Stakeholders are often not given adequate opportunity to give input early in the planning phases.
  • Project managers often think the whole team does not need to know the bigger picture and prefers to delegate tasks. This can prevent team members from working effectively as they don’t fully understand the project outcomes.
  • Sometimes the project sponsor requests that the project manager not communicate with certain stakeholders. This can prevent meaningful stakeholder engagement.
  • Building credibility early in relationships is essential for when difficult conversations need to occur.
  • Keeping stakeholders informed is a process that should be formalised, documented and transparent.
  • Being inclusive and working together as a team from the very beginning is important for building meaningful stakeholder engagement.
  • When people feel threatened or undervalued they will not work well within the team.
  • Measuring outcomes is important, but the culture should still be flexible and adaptable. A project manager needs to have the insight and confidence to make adjustments when necessary.
  • Diversity and inclusion is important. Project managers should know their team well and how to get the best out of their team members. All team members should feel comfortable being collaborative, innovative and expressing their full self at work.
  • What not to do? Don’t overlook stakeholders! Project managers should make sure they identify and reach out to all stakeholders in the early phases of the project.

Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn.

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eCourse: Four Steps for Engaging Difficult Stakeholders

This podcast is part of our Stakeholder Management Series to celebrate the launch of our eCourse which is now available on our website. Tune in each week for the next instalment. If you are already subscribed to our mailing list, we’ll email you a simple recap of posts each Thursday so that you can listen at your own pace. Join our mailing list for updates. Feel free to leave your comments below with any questions that you may have. Join the conversation!



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