One of the keys to working successfully with stakeholders and maintaining a productive environment of psychological safety is to always advocate for the outcome.
Recently, a client of mine shared a powerful story about working with a stakeholder who was very forthright in why relationships had broken down in the past. This stakeholder’s negative past experiences made them reluctant to interact on any level going forward.
Rather than getting into a ping-pong match on what had happened and whose fault it had been, my client asked the stakeholder to share their experiences and acknowledged how they felt.
More importantly, they emphasised that we can’t change the past, rather we can only move forward, so let’s learn how we can work together.
In this way, they clearly expressed that they wanted an outcome, and they wanted to work towards it together.