It is somewhat ironical, but the higher one goes in the management hierarchy, one has to rely more on “external stakeholders”. Stakeholders are people who can have a huge impact on your program (positive or negative) and at the same time, you have no direct authority over them. They may be in either another department, working for other managers, or theymay even be in a different company.
Undoubtedly, the lack of formal authority makes it extremely challenging to ensure that their contribution is positive and consistent. At this point, it boils down to your inter-personal skills and your ability to establish rapport and forge constructive partnerships with other people. Some are born with excellent social skills and seem to be able to get alongseemingly without even making much of an effort.
For others however, it tends to be hard. Several managers get stuck forever in the middle-management layer because of their excessive reliance on their own expertise or seniority or even professionalism to get things done. They understand what needs to be done for the success of a project, but are not able to motivate people to do what they aresupposed to do.
This presentation is about understanding what makes people tick, and some simple tools and techniques that everybody can use. It relies on published literature as well as several years of personal and collective experience of working on complex, matrix organizations.
Nature of people
First of all, it is important to understand that every individual is different. They get turned onby different things.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator  is one such framework that helps us understand personality types. This framework identifies four broad parameters based on which people's preferences are classified.
1. How you derive your orientation? (Introvert or Extrovert)
2. How do you receive information? (Sensing or INtuitive)
3. How to you make your choices? (Thinkingor Feeling)
4. What is your action orientation toward the world? (Judging or Perceiving)
I have seen teams that actually have everybody go through a formal assessment and publish personality types to encourage sensitivity when working with other people. Even if this information is not published (or if people are not comfortable publishing this information), being able to understand personalitytypes gives valuable clues about how to customize your conduct with different people so that they will be at their most receptive.
* Introverts would want you to schedule an appointment and double check before you enter into even casual conversations with them, whereas extroverts would want a high level of interaction without any bureaucracy.
* To convince sensers, one needsto provide a lot of data, whereas intuitive people would want to analyze patterns and possibilities.
* Thinking people would normally make a decision based on cold facts, but feeling people would want to understand the impact of their decisions on other people.
* Judging people would fuss if things do not follow a plan, whereas perceiving people always want flexibility and experiment withnew stuff.
A common mistake many managers and teams make is that they assume everybody wants to work for a larger strategic goal and really love to be working in a team with others. While humans generally do have the capability of doing both these, there is no guarantee that they always want to do it. An interesting framework proposed by David Maister  classifies people on the basis of theirpropensity toward team working and short- or long–term thinking (See Fig.1).
Fig.1: Framework for classifying team preferences
The broad classifications are as follows.
* Mountain lions: These are people who prefer to hunt alone and have no tendency to think long term. As long as they have a kill for today, they are fine.
* Beavers: They prefer to work alone, but show...