Sunday, 3 July 2016

THE CHOICE OF MESSENGER IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE MESSAGE

THE CHOICE OF MESSENGER IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE MESSAGE

MANAGING STAKEHOLDERS

Much has been written about stakeholders. The most frequently used model is to group stakeholders according to Power/Influence with those with Power + Influence being carefully engaged and those without Power + Influence being a lesser priority.

If you are unfamiliar with Power/Influence matrix read this blog…
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141209102103-26759263-stakeholders-analysis-power-influence-interest-matrix

I would like to explore a different approach, notably with a view toward what is said and how we say it based on two other models, the first is the DISC model and the second the 7 key influence methods.

In summary DISC suggests that people broadly fall into the following personality categories ..

RED (Dominant) Task/Outgoing: Dominant, Driven, Decisive
GREEN (Influencer) People/Outgoing: Persuasive, Optimistic, Creative
BLUE (Stable) People/Reserved: Caring, Supportive, Calm, Patient
YELLOW (Cautious) Task/Reserved: Cautious, Data-Orientated, Persistent, Analytic

If you are unfamiliar with DISC model read this blog…
https://www.discprofile.com/what-is-disc/overview/

It is useful when working with stakeholders to think about what are their “hot topics”: What do they worry about; What they care about; What do they frequently talk about.

Then, using DISC start to think about how you might present information to them and using the 7 key influence methods think about how you might persuade them.

Do it…
1.    Because you like me, and you’re like me
2.    Do it to reciprocate, repay past or future debt or promise
3.    Do it because everyone else is doing it
4.    This offer is good for a limited time only
5.    Do it to be consistent, with past, with values, with type
6.    You can believe me, I’m an authority
7.    Do it or else (use sparingly!)

If you are unfamiliar with 7 key influence methods read this blog…
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/magnificent-7-ways-influence-avoid-react-tim-hj-rogers

The problem is that often people present too much data to people who want brief summaries [RED (Dominant)] or not enough data to people who want facts [YELLOW (Cautious)].  Similarly too much focus on task may be upsetting to people whose concern is people, or vice-versa.

Moreover there may be a wrong assumption that people are always motivated to do what everyone else is doing [Do it because everyone else is doing it] rather than because the expert think this is the right thing to do [You can believe me, I’m an authority]

I therefore strongly recommend that for big issues which are dependent upon stakeholder engagement it is really important to think about both DISC and the 7 key influence methods.

Time spend carefully understanding the “hot topics” and crafting the “key messages”  is time well spent and choosing the right method, style and timing of communication is key to making sure your efforts are rewarded.

Finally, and importantly, don’t always assume you should be the person doing the communication. People are often more influenced by their friends, family or professional colleagues. This suggests that exactly the same message will be received differently depending on who said it.

Understanding this is vitally important because success it is very often about dialogue through people and the choice of messenger is as important as the message.
   
CONTACT

If you are interested in any of the above and would like to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment, or meet with me to chat about your experiences and the issues and opportunities in your organization I would be delighted to meet and buy the coffee and  croissants for an interesting conversation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Rogers is an AMPG Qualified Change Practitioner, a PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Jersey Post Office, Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest and the integration and incorporation of Jersey Harbours and Airport. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute, a past curator for TEDx, Team manager for Jersey’s Triathlon Island Games Team and Performance Director for Jersey Rowing Club.

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