I’ve been thinking about influence lately, and specifically, how it shapes discussions and decisions. Having been fortunate enough to learn from some great influencers early in my life and career, a lot of the theory I was later formally taught about stakeholder mapping was obvious to me. I realise that it’s not easy for many people, and the complexity is compounded by the negative connotation sometimes given to this art.
The foundation of what I present and discuss with my clients, though, starts from a positive mindset, one where common ground is sought and common visions developed. I came across a great and short article published by Concordia’s Continuing Education department about the power each of us has to influence a discussion. We often don’t realize that our mere presence in a room influences the conversation in some way. The article is great because it gives some tips that are very easy to apply.
If you’re looking for a more structured approach to stakeholder mapping, have a look at the short guiding document I prepared recently in the context of one of my mandates. Execution of strategic plans is first and foremost about people – making sure employees are on board and sharing a vision with others in our ecosystems. People can be supports, detractors, or advocates. The idea behind stakeholder mapping is in understanding who falls into which category. With some soul searching and good discussions, common ground can form the basis of strengthening support, even from detractors.
As always, reach out if you would like to explore the impact of these factors on your professional or organizational strategy.