Whether you’re an individual contributor, manager or in the C-Suite, you have one thing in common.

You have stakeholders.

Stakeholders are people who have an interest in what you do and a say in how well you do it. And the quality of your relationships with them makes all the difference in your career.

You can’t always choose your stakeholders, so it pays to be able to manage them well.

So before you give up on plucking up the courage to get in front of your skip-level boss or give in to the urge to lash out at the annoying department head (who you need to okay your proposal), consider how your stakeholders can help you if you manage them properly.

Here are five advantages your stakeholders can give you when you manage them well.

5 Advantages from managing your stakeholders well

1. Move your projects forward

If you’re doing something with big impact, it usually involves multiple people, groups and even organizations. And most of the “juice” and innovation happens when you combine the capabilities of multiple parts of the organization.

Your stakeholders can help you to get the resources you need and buy-in from other parties to get results.

2. Advocate for you

Whether it’s from senior management or other important stakeholders, third party testimonials are more powerful than saying something yourself. Of course, they need to come from a credible party so choose your stakeholders well when it comes to advocates.

If you struggle with self-promotion, having your stakeholders on your side as advocates is especially helpful. And all of this contributes to your personal brand at work.

3. Create new opportunities

Stakeholders can provide insights and advice that help create new opportunities. For example, knowing the priorities of other areas of your organization provides key information you can use to be more innovative in coming up with ideas and proposals that will land with senior management.

Getting input from stakeholders across the organization is priceless because you’ll gain a broader perspective. Then you can take that new knowledge and create approaches to benefit the organization.

4. Make new connections

By tapping into your stakeholder relationships, you can broaden your network internally and externally. And as the saying goes, “your network is your net worth”. Having access to a broader range of people helps you do your work better and advance in your career.

5. Manage conflicts

Conflicts are inevitable in an organization. But when you have good relationships with your stakeholders, there’s greater trust and you’re able to clear up misunderstandings before they spiral out of control.

And when you have good relationships with influential stakeholders, they can help broker a solution with other stakeholders you don’t know well. For example, when two other stakeholders are holding up your joint project.

This is an essential capability for career success

Getting good at stakeholder management is an essential capability for doing your job and propelling your career forward.

So, how is your stakeholder management?

Which one of these benefits would most move the needle for you in your career?

  1. Move your projects forward
  2. Advocate for you
  3. Create new opportunities
  4. Make new connections
  5. Manage conflicts

Leave a comment and let me know.

Want to learn more about stakeholder management?

To discover how to manage your stakeholder relationships and improve your opportunities and career prospects, join me on February 23rd for Career Mastery™ Live: How to Manage Stakeholders to Propel Your Career Forward.

In this monthly live coaching session for Career Mastery™ members, you’ll discover:

  • How to determine which stakeholders you need to build relationships with
  • Strategies for engaging with key stakeholders, no matter how busy or senior they are
  • How to handle stakeholders with conflicting interests
  • Common mistakes to avoid that even the smartest people make
  • And more

Become a Career Mastery™ member to join me live every month, get your questions answered and access the replays. Plus more membership benefits to help you excel at work and advance in your career.