Stakeholder Management – Moving from emotional to effective engagement

Snakes evoke instinctive fear; our fight or flight responses are activated, emotions take over and rational thought falls away.

The same response can be triggered when dealing with difficult stakeholders or sensitive situations. Emotions well up and inhibit effective engagement. Already complex problems spiral down into the pit of ego and self-interest. Solutions which might have been easily identified and actioned vanish in the grip of recriminations and bitterness.
Yet it is at precisely these times that we need to stay calm and focused.

So how do we keep a level head in the face of perceived danger?

It begins with understanding. Understanding the other party. Understanding the situation. Understanding our own contribution to the issue at hand.

It requires effort, a rewiring of the brain to replace instinctive reaction with effective responses. It combines knowledge with action.

This practical, hands-on seminar, tackles the question of stakeholder management in a unique and innovative manner, presenting Australia’s most venomous snakes as an analogy for how we can gain control of our emotions and effectively assess and engage with even the most challenging stakeholders we’re likely to encounter.

Join snake expert Craig Adams and project leadership educator Jürgen Oschadleus as they help you face your fears, increase your understanding and develop new strategies to deal with snakes – and with people.


  • Review a practical framework for assessing and managing stakeholder impact and risk on a project
  • Assess the characteristics and communication strengths and limitations of key stakeholders
  • Recognise and understand the triggers that evoke emotional responses and challenging behaviours
  • Discover innovative techniques to handle difficult stakeholders
  • Learn correct techniques for treating the victims of snakeholder activity
  • Analyse and evaluate alternative strategies to gain stakeholder support and commitment
  • Create and apply a practical stakeholder engagement plan

Previous public deliveries:

  1. PMI Australia National Conference, Sydney, 3 May 2013.
  2. PMI SeminarsWorld, Orlando, 23-24 June 2014.
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