Fun, because most of the people quite naturally focus on fixing the problem areas, working to overcome opposition, root out adversity and clear through the roadblocks.
A few wise ones respond that most time should be spent with their Advocates.
It is quite natural to try to fix the problems stakeholders present, that’s what you’re paid for isn’t it?
But, the very best way to do that is to enlist the support of your supporters. Mobilise their energy and effort to your cause. Advocates are on-side and you have a good relationship with them. Since they are on-side, quite likely they will also be a major beneficiary when you succeed.
Which means they will likely be quite willing to lend a hand. To spend time helping you plan your moves, develop your strategy, or even getting more personally involved. Remember, that while you may have a strained relationship with another stakeholder, your advocate may get on well with them and can influence on your behalf.
Aside from leveraging greater influence by working more closely with your advocates, you will also benefit by avoiding the risk that their support may wane. In the turbulent political environment, alliances can change and it is important that once you have gained agreement, you work to keep it.
And actually, you’ll probably enjoy your work more too. Trying to engage with enemies can be soul destroying, stressful and demoralising. You cannot ignore these people, but you can work with others to lessen the risk they pose, and increase your chances of winning through.
Review the OnDemand webinar Strategic Influencing for Project Managers