Amplify Stakeholder Interactions Through Authenticity

Amplify Stakeholder Interactions Through Authenticity Cover
Inga Davids

November 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Do wonders for your stakeholder relationships by amplifying stakeholder interactions through authenticity to create personal connections that build trust.

The digital age has fundamentally changed what it takes to build relationships in the 21st century.

In the not so distant past, when you wanted to connect it meant meeting in person, arranging suitable times and experiencing all the feelings of excitement, apprehension and satisfaction that came with the moment.

Today we’re spoilt with convenience.

Why not just skip all that relationship building awkwardness? Let’s just connect together on LinkedIn, right?!

With a click of button, a tweet or a like, we can connect with a diverse group of thought leaders, executives and peers. Millennials have mastered the art of using social media to build strong online relationships — we can easily start conversations, generate ideas and collaborate together, with little or no face-time.

With the shift to a hyper-connected digital world, we run the risk of eliminating deeper connections with people.

Consider the relationships you build — Are you fully committed to the interaction? Do you take a genuine interest? Are you sincere in your contribution?

Our ability as business analysts to engage with stakeholders is critical in order to effectively investigate situations, consider perspectives, determine needs, evaluate options and define requirements. And by creating personal connections that build trust you’ll do wonders for your stakeholder relationships.

Here are a three ways to begin amplifying stakeholder interactions through authenticity:

Don’t be shy to make ‘small talk’

You have to invest time to get to know stakeholders.

Successful business analysts are able to not only build effective working relationships to gain buy-in, but do so naturally too. By getting to know stakeholders outside of their 9 to 5 activities you work towards building trust. Those 5 minutes before the official start of the meeting is an opportune time to get to know stakeholders in a more informal setting.

Trust is what relationships are built on, and by opening the door to get to know your stakeholders you’re able to gain trust far more quickly. 

Now I’m not advocating for reckless over-sharing. But attempting to find common ground, whether it be learning about what they did on the weekend, or about their family, or even about their journey to get where they are, allows for a more genuine relationship to be formed.

Show the courtesy to be fully present

You have to set those niggly distractions aside.

In a frenzied digital world, interactions are often disturbed by the buzzing of incoming phone calls, the beeping email on our laptop or that blinking social media notification. These kinds of distractions tend to take us off our track and momentarily move our attention from the very purpose of being there at that moment in time.

Being fully present when interacting with stakeholders shows that you’re committed and can be relied upon to advise an appropriate course of action.

Don’t risk wasting months of hard work and effort. By removing distractions you’re showing respect for the time that stakeholder’s set aside to contribute in the discussion, and, when you’re able to focus, you’re more able to think clearly and grasp the crux of problem.

Have the spirit to be yourself

You have to be comfortable with who you are.

Developing a strong professional career, for some, means bringing one half of themselves to work and leaving the other half at home. Often, we hold our true selves or true concerns back because we fear that spoken or actioned truth will be detrimental to how we are perceived, affect our relationships and potentially our future careers. 

Whilst maintaining a professional awareness, lift the veil just a little bit so that you are able to relate to your stakeholders through a deeper, layered connection.

Share your considered ideas and perspectives. The more comfortable you are, the more of a contribution you’ll make. Interacting in ways that align to your personal values demonstrates that you’re authentic in your interactions, and will help to gain stakeholder trust.

As business analysts our ability to maintain relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders is integral to making our stakeholders our closest partners. Build authentic relationships by keeping it sincere, free of distractions and embracing the unique perspectives that you bring to the table.