When a stakeholder asks you to  do something, can you distinguish between what they want and what they need? Does it make any difference?

I think it does (otherwise “What’s the point of this blog?” you might ask)

Let us illustrate this with an example. Someone says they would like a glass of orange juice, but is it really what they need? Digging deeper and understanding their situation, you discover they need their thirst quenching. Once we understand that is the real need, it then opens up the possible solutions:

  • A cup of tea
  • A glass of water
  • A cool beer
  • An apple juice

So in a business context I am sure that you can see the parallels. If you drill down into peoples (and the organisations) needs then not only do you bring a solution that is fit for purpose, you also open up the number of solutions available. You also avoid expensive mistakes, whereby leaping into solution mode too quickly, you miss the real point of what is going on.

So how do you find out the needs rather than the desires to “wants”?

It really is not that complicated….. get curious, ask questions, don’t assume they actually know the answer, no matter how convincing they are.

Every month our loyal subscribers get a free resource and in the past they have received:

  • A stakeholder analysis informational  video
  • A stakeholder analysis question sheet

Both of which would help greatly in determining the real needs. If you would like to receive resources like this every month then please subscribe. Depending on whether you are an L&D professional (includes consultants) or manager, you will get different and appropriate resources.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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