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Best Strategies For Strengthening Relationships with Stakeholders

18th Jan, 2024
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    Best Strategies For Strengthening Relationships with Stakeholders

    Being a project manager or leader isn't just about planning and overseeing tasks. It's important to be good at talking to people and building relationships. 

    To succeed as project managers and leaders, we need to create strong and trusting connections with stakeholders, who have a big impact on our business. 

    In this article, I'll share easy tips to make your relationships with stakeholders better. Being skilled at building lasting, trusting connections with them is crucial for doing well in project management and leadership. 

    In today's business world, companies led by managers who are good at building strong connections with stakeholders have a big advantage. Come along as we explore simple ways to improve your ability to create and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders.

    Benefits of Having Good Relationships with Stakeholders

    Before I jump into the strategies for strengthening your relationship with your organization's stakeholders, let's take a moment to understand the importance by exploring these benefits: 

    Effective Communication: Good relationships facilitate clear communication, ensuring everyone understands project goals and expectations. 

    Enhanced Support: Positive stakeholder relationships garner active support, increasing the likelihood of project success. 

    Proactive Problem-Solving: Strong connections help in early issue identification, allowing for proactive problem-solving. 

    Constructive Conflict Resolution: Trust fosters a positive approach to resolving conflicts smoothly and constructively. 

    Increased Satisfaction: Valued stakeholders result in higher project satisfaction, contributing to overall success. 

    Flexibility and Adaptability: Trust promotes flexibility, making stakeholders more open to changes and adaptation. 

    Credibility Boost: Strong relationships enhance the project manager's credibility, gaining support for project success. 
    Now that we've covered the advantages, let me share practical strategies for project managers to strengthen relationships with stakeholders, promoting collaboration and ensuring project success.

    Strategies for Strengthening Relationships with Stakeholders

    Before I get to the actual strategies, there is one vitally important thing you need to remember when asking yourself how to achieve them: communication! It is the key to every strategy described below. 

    Let’s begin! 

    1. Build Trust

    This one may seem pretty obvious, but it’s a lot more difficult to achieve than most people think. Even a single breach of trust might ruin good relationships with stakeholders. Building them from scratch might not even be possible, so it’s better to stick with openness and honesty.

    To ensure that your relationships with stakeholders are built on trust, give them a reason to trust you. For example, you should always speak openly and avoid speaking about people behind their backs. Trust works both ways: if you don’t trust a person, he or she will not trust you.


    • Reclaiming trust can take years, so it’s better never to breach it
    • Trust works both ways
    • Speak openly, and don’t speak behind someone’s back

    2. Seek first to understand before being understood

    This rule applies to all relationships: by listening and showing interest in others, you help them be more open and interested in what you have to say. If you prefer not to listen because you’re in charge, prepare yourself for some misunderstandings, tense relationships, and even conflicts.

    To avoid that, do your best to engage and gain a deep understanding of the position of stakeholders. Ask their opinion. Make eye contact. Consider them friends. You can speak up about your position and agenda when you understand why they think this way.


    • Invest time and effort in understanding stakeholders
    • Engage and understand their position
    • Listen and ask questions

    3. Take responsibility for your actions

    Stakeholders appreciate it when project managers and leaders take responsibility for their errors and resolve issues efficiently. The ability to change a situation for the better and eliminate negative consequences is very valuable when building and maintaining good relationships with them.

    Of course, no one knows how a project will perform and what future challenges await. Stakeholders understand that. They are really interested in the response of the managers and leaders to these challenges.


    • Take responsibility for your actions to gain the respect of stakeholders
    • Look for effective and durable solutions to problems faced by them

    4. Be honest and open about project progress

    It is the duty of project managers and leaders to inform stakeholders about the performance of the company. Presenting inaccurate information, in this case, means a breach of trust, and we already know what happens after that.

    Always provide accurate and reliable information to avoid ruining good relationships. Don’t feel pressured to agree to unreasonable demands, and never overpromise. If a project encounters some issues, be open about them. “Years of working in an essay writing service have taught me that hiding something from stakeholders can become a huge problem if that something grows,” says Mark Whittaker, a project manager. “It’s better to inform them right away if a problem emerges.”

    Your stakeholders will appreciate and respect you for being open and honest. Moreover, they will be more willing to help before the situation goes out of control.


    • Be honest because painting the picture rosier may get out of control very fast
    • Have the courage to talk openly about issues
    • Don’t overpromise and agree on unreasonable offers

    5. Maintain a positive mental attitude, and don’t be afraid to reveal yourself

    A positive attitude is great to have in the modern fast-changing business environment. Your stakeholders may not always radiate positive energy, but you certainly should. It’ll show them that you are confident because you are in your comfort zone.

    Don’t be afraid to joke and show yourself as a human with history, unique features, and interests. Thus, you’ll reveal yourself to the people you interact with every day, and they will appreciate it. For example, you can talk about music, food, sports, or other interests.

    These conversations with stakeholders will make you more likable and interesting. Eventually, working with you will become a fun and engaging thing to have to do.

    6. Leverage the stakeholder relationship management platform  

    Effective stakeholder relationship management (SRM) goes beyond influencing decisions and actions to achieve short-term goals. Instead, it will create a successful stakeholder engagement plan with a proactive mindset to balance the organization's interests and stakeholders. A recent survey has revealed that only 23% of stakeholders and project managers are aligned at the end of the project timeline. 

    Various organizations with large numbers of stakeholders at all levels and long/complex projects depend on specialized Stakeholder relationship management platforms to manage and centralize all the engagement activities with greater efficiency. It will give you a customizable workspace where you manage every input from the stakeholders and key individuals in the project. 

    Besides organizing processes and tasks into perfect workflows, it will also provide automated reminders, task handoffs, and approval times to give you more time to work on the project outcome. In addition, certain stakeholder relationship management platforms can be integrated with leading business apps, including Slack, Google Drive, Trello, and Microsoft 365. 

    With the SRM platform, you can see any potential downsides as they occur and can correct the workflow through direct communication. It aids in the management of all four types of project communications, such as performance, change, knowledge, and awareness, in a single space, ensuring every collaboration with stakeholders carry out with improved transparency.   

    Some of the key features of the best stakeholder management platform should have as follows, 

    • Tracking – Keep track of problems or concerns raised to ensure that nothing slips through the gaps. 

    • Mapping – Aiding in innovative relationship mapping to interconnect the stakeholders and the roles they possess 

    • AI tools – Leverage the advancements in machine learning to gain insights into stakeholder engagement. 

    • Reporting – Provide up-to-date information to the leaders and stakeholders. 

    • Advanced analytics – Analytical tools used to engage deep into the data to understand better the results of each method employed in the project lifecycle. 

    • Engagement – Encourage every stakeholder to participate and incorporate meaningful project contributions. 

    • Compliance – Making sure that the whole team stays and works by the laws, agreements, and regulations. 

    7. Schedule periodic one-on-one meetings 

    Once you have got a stakeholder for your project, it is important to maintain communication to drive the engagement rate. However, they also have jobs and other tasks to focus on. Therefore, you need to be proactive and keep your message short and sharp, highlighting the ultimate results of your efforts. 

    It is challenging to get hold of the stakeholders for meetings, especially those who hold key positions at the executive level.  

    However, it is important to keep them informed about your decisions. If the respective stakeholder group is small, you can schedule periodic or pre-organized one-on-one meetings with them.  

    Similar to personal meetings, you can also add brainstorming sessions to collaborate with the stakeholders to make them a significant part of the process. Moreover, such an initiative creates a strong relationship and keeps you and the stakeholders on the same page. It will allow you to identify any potential issues on the project and solve them. 

    In addition, you can opt for different communication modes to update the stakeholders with the latest progress. 

    • Compose Newsletter – Newsletters are an effective way to keep the stakeholders engaged and informed about the project. It will let them know about your decisions and why you choose them. This will increase their trust in your organization. In a nutshell, it is vital to spend time in engaging newsletters that present accurate project information in an easy-to-understand structure. 

    • Progress emails – If you are on a big project and making quick progress, it's time to try sending out a dedicated and formatted email regarding every progress. Make it simple and precise to read with a chart or bulletin points so stakeholders can review it easily. 


    Building strong ties with stakeholders is crucial for project managers. The key is effective communication, trust, and staying actively involved. I’ve found strategies like building trust, understanding stakeholders, and being transparent are practical ways to create lasting connections. Tools like stakeholder relationship management platforms can really make collaboration smoother. I've also seen that regular one-on-one meetings and different communication methods keep everyone in the loop. Ultimately, these approaches make stakeholders feel valued, leading to happier collaborations and successful projects. By putting these practices into action, we not only strengthen our relationships but also boost the overall effectiveness and credibility of our projects. .

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How do you build trusting relationships with stakeholders?

    Trust is integral to the process if you are focused on building positive stakeholder relationships. Here are some ways to achieve it – research your stakeholders, analyze their history with engagement, ask questions to discover what is important to them, be honest and transparent about what they can expect from you, follow up with them on every upgrade and be proactive with them to seek out the possible and productive solutions. 

    2How can stakeholder relationships be improved?

    Improving stakeholder relationships will open the biggest door to career growth. Here are some ways to effectively keep them aligned and grow the collaboration. 

    • Take an interest in the stakeholders' goals and share your visions, to design a plan and work smart together. 
    • Ask for their feedback regarding the project at an early stage and often. Staying ahead will give you more opportunities and time to prepare. 
    • Go for different communication modes, including personal meetings, progress emails, and one-on-one meetings. 
    3How do you bring stakeholders together?

    Stakeholder engagement and management are the most important aspects of successful project completion.  

    It involves various ways to attract and align individuals or organizations who are interested or affected by a project or might affect the project's outcome. Some of the ways to bring stakeholders together in decision-making and execution of projects are, 

    • Early identification of potential stakeholders
    • Listen and understand the stakeholders 
    • Meet with them in person to keep them engaged 
    • Share updates and concerns regarding the project. 

    Tom Jager

    Blog Author

    Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at Awriter. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. 

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