How do you deal with your internal stakeholders conflicts?

Any product managers here who can share some experience about dealing with internal stakeholders conflicts and making a way for your product feature in those conflicts in a collaborative way :smiley:?


Not exactly about product management, but this book helped me navigating a similar scenario in the past, maybe it can help you too


Without having much context it seems like the feature being discussed is being questioned by some of the internal stakeholders. Put yourself in their shoes and determine how to move the needle.
You may want to consider finding 1x1 time with the particular stakeholders which hold the most influence and get their buy in before you meet as a larger group. If the influential stakeholders are bought in then you may find that others with objections fall in line.


Thanks for the comments @MarcoSilva.

I have got the most influential on my side, who are the Business users who have approved the path on Prototypes, but the internal stakeholder is the Head of Product team for me (who was involved with Product earlier and got promoted to different position)

The product got passed on to me and this is one of the area, where i am clearing some of the past backlog which was partially done on the specs but already developed.
Business users rejected the idea and needed better solution (Post development).You are correct, the stakeholder is influential and very direct. When they don’t like the idea, they just don’t move ahead. So I have come to a point, where I have given my idea a backseat and have asked the stakeholder to explore better ideas on this. I have got the users voice in my use cases , but the stakeholder has always felt that the users voice and use cases shared are not correct, not rock solid.

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This somehow kills me sometimes, as I also believe users voice does not speak the solution, but the problem itself. And the Stakeholder did not believe so far that the problem exists. I am proposing ideas based on data, user journeys and sample POCs on prototypes, but it was not working out and I think more of the soft skills is needed to bring them onboard. I am giving few options to try out (1-1 meeting was one of them), where our 1-1 resulted in helping the stakeholder understand that the problem I am trying to share Exists. I want to work in a collaborative way, and am listening more to the counter use cases shared. Hoping that it gets worked out.

Sorry for the long post, its a bit of anxiety as well I guess :smiley:

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@CarlosDubois, I can empathize with dealing with a strong opinionated stakeholder. If you have the reigns now, it does come down to you now and you are the decision maker. Just because you don’t take the input of the stakeholder, that doesn’t mean you aren’t working collaboratively.
I need to read the article posted above, but I appreciate the anxiety involved in your decision making. It does sound like you are building a solid case, and it’s ok to tell a stakeholder you disagree. Or ask them how sure they are that they know more than the user and the data? Are they willing to bet lunch they are correct? What about their car? Their house? I think you can call them out…

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@Naomi, Thanks, I would love to talk more on the topic. The part about betting car, house was funny, also because, one of the comments from the stakeholders is I can bet they won’t be using the functionality even if we developed it. Things have now progressed a bit, everyone is on the same page where we are able to tell that the problem exists and needs attention. The group brainstorming session helped.
I tried to dig deeper with the Stakeholder to understand the challenge or the blocker. More of questions asked had no answers from the other side which eventually came to a situation, that we give a solution to the users. What solution, is where I am working on now.
I have been into conflicts earlier, but this was altogether a new and great learning exercise.

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@Carlos, Haha, I stole that phrase from Jeff Patton, and he coined it precisely because so many stakeholders will say “I bet…“. Calling their bluff is effective! Glad to hear you’ve made some progress, congrats. Some days it’s the very small wins that count!!

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