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How to Understand the Expectations of Your Key Stakeholders

When we take on a new role we have to build relationships with our new stakeholders, all of whom will have expectations of you. This can make the difference between whether you succeed or fail. Clarifying these expectations can be really challenging as typically, only 1/3 of their expectations will be conscious and articulated to you, 1/3 will be conscious but unspoken and 1/3 will be both unspoken and unconscious. It seems unfair that your success is dependent upon meeting these expectations that you may never hear out loud. Therefore, it’s vital that you take the time to dig beneath the surface and find out what they really expect of you.

It has to be two-way, you also need to be clear with them about what you expect of them. If you can do this before you start your role this can remove a lot of the stress and guesswork. If you can’t, make sure it is your primary priority once you’ve started.


Here are some useful questions to ask upfront:
🔹Who are your key stakeholders?
🔹What do they expect of you over the next 90 days, one year and three years?
🔹How will they know if you have delivered for them? What measures of success matter to them?
🔹What do you expect of them? How can they help to support your success?

What strategies do you have for clarifying the expectations of your stakeholders?

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