Clarity trumps assumptions in stakeholder engagement
“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought” – Marie Forleo
This is one of my favourite quotes about engagement and it’s equally relevant to all types of stakeholder engagement whether it be customer, employee or community.
It often seems easier to make assumptions about what our stakeholders are thinking, feeling or want for the future, and justify decisions around these assumptions.
But assumptions aren’t helpful, they won’t give you clarity, and you’re likely to make wrong assumptions.
Like organisations who assume things should stay the same, because that’s the way it’s always been done. When in fact engaging with consumers might tell a different story.
By making assumptions you’ll also miss the opportunity to gain powerful insights and ideas from your stakeholders. Their input can help you to develop meaningful and relevant policies, programs, services or products.
“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfil our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.” – Miguel Ruiz
Instead of making assumptions, start planning how you will engage with your stakeholders in a meaningful way.
Articulous are experts in all types of engagement and we’d love to support you and your project or organisation. Contact us today to find out more about our expertise and services.