You’re not making up your viewpoint, your desires, or your pain points.
And neither are your stakeholders.
In organisations there’s a long history of people believing that the “other person” doesn’t really mean what they are saying. That the finance manager is just putting on a show to make a point. That manufacturing are exaggerating the problem, and that the customer service team are not acting resourcefully enough.
The same goes for the sales manager who believes new customers are the key to increased business, contrary to the marketing manager who believes the existing pool of customers should be their focus.
We assume that someone can’t possibly believe that issue is priority. Or they can’t possibly support that new HR policy. Or think that shade of blue is better.
You’re not making it up. Your stakeholders aren’t making it up . And those people who prefer your competitors aren’t either.
When we accept that stakeholders have embraced their perspective, it becomes easier to play alongside them. Not to transform them, not get them to admit they were wrong (and that we were right). Simply to work with them, to take the opportunity to connect with them, to integrate our story into what they see and add our viewpoint to what they hear.