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Unlocking Leadership Mastery – Navigate Stakeholder Traits With Confidence

Written by: Keely Woolley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Keely Woolley

The reality is, we all have characteristics and traits, that show up in different circumstances, and in the realm of leadership and management, understanding the diverse traits of stakeholders can spell the difference between success and failure. Your 'tribe' — whether it comprises internal team members or external clients — brings a unique blend of characteristics to the table.

group of business people meeting in a seminar

To truly lead, it's pivotal to discover these traits and navigate them adeptly.

Challenging characteristics

Dementor – Soul Sucker: Borrowed from the infamous creatures in Harry Potter, Dementors drain the positivity out of a room. They may constantly focus on negatives or resist new initiatives without constructive feedback.

Flogging the Dead-Horse: This individual habitually revisits topics or issues, even after resolution, impeding forward momentum. They persistently tread familiar routes, despite uncertain results, often due to a reluctance to ask challenging questions that might necessitate a strategic shift.

Smiling Assassin: Outwardly friendly but often has ulterior motives. They may agree in meetings but undermine actions behind the scenes.

The Meeting Joker: While humour can lighten moods, the Meeting Joker might use it to deflect serious issues or avoid commitment.

Willing Victim: Always feels targeted or at a disadvantage, turning discussions into pity parties rather than solution-finding sessions.

Fear of Confrontation: Avoids direct conflict, making it difficult to address and resolve issues head-on.

People-Pleaser: Desires to keep everyone happy, which might lead to over-promising and under-delivering.

Head in the Sand: Ignores problems hoping they will disappear on their own.

All Talk, Don’t Walk the Walk: Makes grand promises but rarely follows through.

Conflict Averse: Similar to fear of confrontation, they dodge disagreements entirely, stifling necessary debates.

Emotional Monkey: Swings from one emotional state to another, making predictability and consistent communication challenging.

The Imposter: This individual projects a façade, pretending to have qualifications, experiences, or attributes they do not possess. Their duplicity may create trust issues within the team and lead to unrealised expectations.

Exhausted Willing Horse: Always ready to help but at the brink of burnout, risking both quality and health.

Mystic Monkey’s: Brings in ambiguous or irrelevant arguments, complicating straightforward discussions.

Positive characteristics (strengths)

Spark Generator – Triggers Ideas: The creative dynamo, always coming up with innovative solutions and fresh perspectives.

Astute Judge: An analytical mind that quickly discerns the merits of an idea or plan.

Truth Seeker: Values authenticity and honesty, pushing for transparent operations.

The Sage: Rich in experience and wisdom, a valuable resource for advice and mentorship.

Trusty Champion: – Always dependable, they're your rock during projects.

Fearless Champion: Takes bold risks when necessary, pushing boundaries for growth.

Considerate Motivator: Encourages the team empathetically, understanding individual needs and aspirations.

Omniscience Wizard: Possesses a broad and deep knowledge base, a go-to for diverse insights.

Proactive Orator: Communicates proactively, ensuring everyone is informed and aligned.

Righteous Warrior: Fights for what's right, ensuring ethics and values are upheld.

Logical Thinker: Processes information rationally, making balanced decisions.

Transparent Soul: Values open communication and honesty, promoting a culture of trust.

Corporate Athlete: Balances work rigor with self-care, setting an example of sustainable performance.

Spirit Guide: Provides direction and purpose, ensuring everyone stays true to the mission.

Every person, like the pages of a book, tells a multifaceted story. Within the chapters of our lives, we exhibit a medley of both challenging and positive traits, as detailed earlier in this article. These characteristics don't exist in isolation but interact dynamically, influenced by context and circumstance. Just as one might identify with both the 'Logical Thinker' and the 'Emotional Monkey' at different times, we all oscillate between strengths and challenges.

For a leader, the first step toward harnessing the power of these traits within their tribe is to introspectively understand their own. It's through this prism of self-awareness that one can lead not impulsively, but with deliberation and grace, navigating the myriad personalities that constitute their organisational landscape. This self-awareness is the cornerstone of proactive leadership, ensuring we lead with intention and insight, rather than merely reacting to the world around us.

Recognising these behaviour traits, with our stakeholders, whether that’s with a team, peers, or our internal and external customers/suppliers is merely the first step. Leaders must then adapt their strategies to manage challenging behaviours while amplifying strengths. Remember, everyone can possess a mix of these characteristics. The key is fostering an environment where strengths shine and challenges are met with understanding and guidance. Know your tribe, and lead them towards collective success.

Now we have recognised these behaviour traits, we have another consideration. Within every leader's journey lies the challenge of deciphering the intricate puzzle of human behaviour. As we identify the myriad traits and characteristics within our tribe, it's essential to delve deeper, seeking the origins of these behaviours.

Have they evolved over time? Are they a result of deep-seated programmed behaviour, influenced by organisational culture, systemic practices, environmental factors, or personal challenges faced over the years?

A transformative leader not only recognises these traits but seeks to understand their genesis, offering a more holistic approach to guiding their tribe toward collective success.

Responding with adaptability, understanding, and employing the right tools and strategies is where the journey truly begins. Great leadership isn't just about the destination but the path taken, and the manner in which obstacles are transformed into stepping stones.

Are you ready to master the art of managing diverse stakeholder traits for organisational success? Discover the tools and strategies that can transform your leadership journey! Book a Strategy Call with me to learn how.

A heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable inspiration behind this Leadership Strategy. Malcolm Pope from Loguru Ltd was not just a guiding hand but the very "Spark Generator" that ignited the creation of this piece. His insights and wisdom have been instrumental in shaping this perspective on managing stakeholders. Thank you, Malcolm.

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Keely Woolley Brainz Magazine

Keely Woolley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Keely Woolley, is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Mentor, helping Female Executives, Leaders and Entrepreneurs to bounce back from Burnout, without Compromising their Dreams or Career. She achieves these results, through her "Freedom Transformation Formula", Platimum Online Programme. Keely honed & refined strategies, tools & techniques, following her own personal journey of discovery, and bounce back from full burnout, in early 2020, and her experience over 25 years, as an Executive Coach, Trainer and Mentor within a Global Corporate Environment. She now has a mission to see the light shine in at least one person's eyes every day, when they have their Eureka moment and turn their WHY, into reality.



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