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How to build trust with your stakeholders?

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What can the project manager do to build trust with his stakeholders so that he can have a more smooth project (and a more secure career)? I can think of honesty as an absolute must for building trust, anything else?
asked 8 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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There are many ways to build trust with your stakeholders, here are some of them:

- Never lie to them: If your project has problems and you're afraid of telling the truth to your stakeholders, then tell them anyway. There's nothing worse than lying if you want to build trust.

- Don't sugarcoat things: If your project is missing the estimates, then don't make it look (by using the the so-called technique of creative accounting) like it's meeting the estimates. Tell them the truth as it is, do not change it (even slightly).

- Work hard: Stakeholders will trust you more when they see that you're working hard and not wasting time.

- Take your project seriously: As a project manager, you are expected to take your project seriously (after all, it's YOUR project). Stakeholders will respect that "ownership" and their trust in you will increase.

- Be a project leader: Stakeholders like their project manager to have some good leadership skills (this means that he's not just a PM just to satisfy his personal ego or to address his insecurities).

- Advance the company's interests over your personal interests: Sometimes, you might be forced to choose between your own personal interests and the company's/project's benefits, always choose the latter. While the first choice may be the right choice on the short term, the latter is always the right choice for the long term. Oh, and stakeholders will appreciate that.

- Be predictable: Don't take abrupt decisions that are not aligned with your way of thinking, be predictable. Stakeholders like that, and will trust you more when you're predictable.

- Don't take conflicting decisions: Don't make a decision one day and then annul it the next day or, even worse, take a conflicting decision.

- Admit mistakes: Admitting mistakes is a virtue that everyone appreciates and respects, including your stakeholders. When you admit a mistake as a project manager, it means that you were able to see the wrong in your decision(s) and you want to rectify it. That's a huge plus when it comes to trust building.
answered 8 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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