May 28, 2020
Big strategic business initiatives require competent managers that can influence the team positively and effectively to achieve success. The team needs management that can constantly boost their morale and develop trust and effective communication. At the same time, managers need to have the ability to keep stakeholders on their side right from the beginning so that critical situations can be handled without going out of hand.
Keeping everyone in one place and having them agree to one structure and system is not an easy task, especially with the teams dispersed geographically. Building relationships is a big challenge for leaders who are trying to get all their peers, clients and stakeholders to agree to a single initiative and plan. Not to forget that nowadays most of the conversations happen on virtual platforms that are unreliable and easily misunderstood. Hence, getting everyone in one place requires some exceptional leadership and relationship-building skills that can help influence all levels of roles and make any project a success.
In this article, we provide a few techniques that can help drive business initiatives successfully by creating an impact on team members and external individuals connected to a project:
1) Identify and segregate key stakeholders: Understanding the key stakeholders of a project can help identify who is more supportive and who is most likely to cause troubles later on. Then there will be influencers who can open avenues for you that are not easily accessible and provide contacts that otherwise may be hard to get in touch with. Make efforts to assess what connections are strong and which ones will need time to strengthen. Prioritize such contacts as per their importance in the success of a project and work on those special relationships to accomplish more than simple project completion. Being able to differentiate such connections can help gain more business and establish your personality as an influential and powerful manager.
2) Following a strategic route: Once those key stakeholders are identified and listed, it is time to work on how to communicate and build some lasting and beneficial relationships. Stakeholder engagement is crucial for the success of any business initiative and requires a concerted effort by the whole team. It is essential to consult the right people, keep them involved at every stage and make changes as and when pointed.
The best way to get your communications right is by building a timeline for communication with all concerned parties, understand the amount of communication each kind of team or individual will need and list out all plausible channels to conduct these interactions. Having a clear idea on how to talk, with whom and how much will help maintain momentum and build trust amongst all stakeholder groups.
3) Nurturing your style: Everyone has a preferred influencing style. While some may like to present all relevant facts and figures to support their business case, others may like to build up an enthusiastic atmosphere by bringing in stories that paint a future representing their vision of the project or organization. It is important to work out a balanced style that can build up a future based on actual numbers and remember, at the same time, that people on the receiving end may have entirely different ideas and perceptions. Some may prefer a more detailed and formal presentation, others may want to talk through possible implications and results.
The best leaders are able to design a set of techniques and influencing approaches that they can use as per subtle indications on how the receiving party would like to receive the requisite information. They make sure they can readily adapt to the audience and environment requirements and deliver the message in the way that it would be best understood.
4) Getting to know other’s opinions: Your plan may look right and successful to you, but it is always better to know what others think about it and what are their instincts on the proposed business case. Take time to know how the new initiative will affect all involved parties along with their concerns, suggestions or feedback on the operational design and structure. Encouraging an interactive atmosphere will not only bring out a host of new and unique ideas that may shape a great project but also increase trust and engagement from all ends into completing the project in the best possible manner.
5) Aim to make everyone successful: A good leader aims to garner the mutual success that benefits all individuals involved in a project. Chalk out mutually beneficial ways to overcome any resistance from any party and aim to be inclusive of their goals and agendas along with your own. Make efforts to align your proposals with their strategic plans and you can see the results in significant engagement and success for everyone.
The above-mentioned areas are some important ones to work upon to create an impactful leadership style that others would prefer to listen to and work under. The gist is to develop an inclusive way of working that benefits everyone and helps you communicate effectively with the different levels of people and stakeholders involved as this will guarantee long term success for the project as well as the business.