Like members, stakeholders are irrational, emotional, creatures too.
Their emotional states will determine the level of support you get for your community.
The biggest mistake we make is relying upon facts. Facts aren’t persuasive.
If you want to get more support, you need to amplify certain emotions.
How do you want a stakeholder to feel about the community?
What kind of emotions are going to get you the kind of support you need?
Look at the emotional wheel below for a second.
What specific emotions are you trying to amplify in every communication with stakeholders?
A few examples:
- Excited. The community is taking off. Activity is rising. The results are coming in. They can’t wait to see what happens next.
- Worried. The community isn’t taking off. They’re going to have to explain to their boss why it’s not working unless they invest in more resources.
- Confident/Safe. Things are going as planned. No surprises. Steady results. They feel smart they made a good decision to invest. They feel safe and secure.
- Jealous. Other communities are doing better in their field. They need to explain to their boss why it’s not working.
The kind of emotion you want to amplify has a big impact on what you measure and how you communicate the outcomes of the community.
If you want the stakeholder to be excited, then be excited. Randomly send through updates with exciting news/milestones achieved. Highlight the new top influencers that joined. Embrace the variable reward mechanism here. Send through unexpected surprises and benefits.
If you want the stakeholder to feel confident or safe, then show how things are going as planned. Provide the facts with context. Be consistent and showcase consistent results.
You will find communicating with any stakeholder becomes much easier once you identify what emotion you need to amplify.