1. Identify Who to Focus on First
Don’t try to work with everyone all at once. Focus your energies on a small group who can help you create a “tipping point” or “ripple effect” that touches and changes the rest of the organization.
2. Evaluate Key Influencers
- Identify who is in the group by name.
- Decide where each person falls within these dimensions.
- Power – Do they have high power within the organization (ability to get things done, highly influential, others follow their lead and listen to them) or low power?
- Advocacy – Do they already provide a high level of advocacy for your department/ services (recommend you to others, volunteer to help you, stick up for you when negative things are said) or provide a low level of advocacy?
Plot the names on the grid below.
3. Decide on Strategies
The quadrant each person falls into will guide your strategy in working with them.
- Quadrant I “Blockers” – This group is where you want to focus most of your energy. They are the ones you want to win over by initiating and building solid relationships and demonstrating your value to them. Or, repairing damaged relationships if needed.
- Quadrant II “Allies” – This group is already in your corner. Continue to maintain good relationships with them and spend time with them, but don’t spend as much time here as Quadrant I.
- Quadrant III “Irritants” – This group may be a minor thorn in your side, but they don’t have much impact either. Know who these people are and have the discipline to ignore them and not spend much time on their issues and complaints.
- Quadrant IV “Friends” – This group are nice, ego boosters to have. Again, know who they are and have the discipline to not spend much time with them just because it feels good.
4. Make a Relationship Plan
Create an action plan of who, how and by when to initiate and improve relationships with the appropriate parties.