Mastering the Verbal Repertoire: 7 Secrets to Building Trust with Your Stakeholders

Building trust with stakeholders is crucial for project managers to ensure successful collaboration and completion of projects. Establishing a great rapport requires honesty, concern, and a knowledgeable approach. When stakeholders trust you, they are willing to work on more projects together. Learn the secrets to mastering the verbal repertoire to build trust with your stakeholders.

Give Them the Facts About Your Organization

Stakeholders want to feel reassured they are choosing the right organization for the project. Common concerns include availability, confidentiality, security, privacy, and processing integrity. Provide a comprehensive SOC 2 Type 2 Report to back up your statements about being the ideal project manager for the job. Knowing who you are is the first step toward building trust.

Convey Information With Credibility and Confidence

Keep the “Trust Equation” in mind when talking to stakeholders, which is Trustworthiness = (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation. Credibility means conveying useful information with authority. Do the research to provide in-depth details that matter to prove you are ready for the project. Prove your worth by offering actionable information stakeholders can use now and in the future.

Be Reliable

Stakeholders want to depend on a project manager and their organization’s team. Reliability is a cornerstone of establishing and maintaining trust. When you say you will call or send an email, make sure to do it. If a project milestone is missed, provide an immediate explanation. Transparency makes you authentic and helps build trust, even when an obstacle arises. Stakeholders appreciate ongoing communication and status updates to feel confident about the course of the project.

Keep It Real

Talk to stakeholders as real people as well as business partners. Let them get to know you and the culture of your organization. Do you enjoy golf on Sundays or reading books about the evolution of technology? Infuse a personal touch into your interactions, so they know who you are beyond the office. People start to trust someone who shares a little about who they are beyond being a project manager.

How Can I Help You?

A project manager needs to ask the question, “How can I help you?” Taking charge of the project should not mean delivering monologues. Encourage collaboration and communication with stakeholders every step of the way. Value their input and be prepared to answer questions with confidence. People trust you more when you listen to them and provide meaningful responses that help to build a productive relationship.

Avoid Trigger Words

Certain trigger words inspire feelings of uncertainty in stakeholders, making them question your ability and intentions. Be clear and forthright in all your conversations. Instead of using words such as “but” that makes people instantly feel cautious, connect thoughts with words such as “and.” Avoid saying “I think” and get to the point right away.

Be a Giver

While project management involves keeping track of work hours and expenses, those factors should never inhibit you from giving a little extra. When a client has a quick question or unique concern, be ready to help. Giving a little more than expected is an excellent way to establish trust and build meaningful relationships that can become more profitable in the future.

Learning the right way to talk to stakeholders helps build trust and long-lasting relationships. When stakeholders like you, they are willing to work on more projects and rely on your ability to provide the guidance and expertise they need to succeed.