8 Essential Books on Stakeholder Management

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There are many project management books. Many of them focus on managing stakeholders. These are the top stakeholder management books. They are all great books!
This article:
1. Practical People Engagement
2. Project Communication Tools
3. Stakeholder Engagement on Projects
4. Enchantment
5. Message not received
6. The Project Managers’ Little Book of Cheats
7. Project Management
8. A Practical Guide for Dealing With Difficult Stakeholders
Select your next book

1. Practical People Engagement
Buy Practical People Engagement by Patrick Mayfield, Elbereth Publishing 2013, 2013
This book is easy to read and contains practical, useful tips for stakeholder engagement. Patrick was the first to introduce me to the term “engagement” instead of “management”, and he’s been an expert in this area for a while.
The book outlines a 5-step process to engage others in projects.
2. Project Communication Tools
Purchase Project Management Communication Tools by William Dow & Bruce Taylor from Dow Publishing, 2015.
This book is 700 pages long and is more of a desk reference than a quick guide. This book covers all communication tools, methods, and techniques that you have access to for your projects in great detail.
This guide follows PMI practice and aligns to A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOKr) Guide). High-level templates are available in the book. You can also download them from the book’s website.
3. Engaging stakeholders in projects
Elizabeth Harrin, APM Books 2020, Engaging Stakeholders in Projects
Yes, it is my book! It’s a supplement for the APM Body of Knowledge, but it’s more than that. It’s a huge practical guide on what engagement is and how to do it.
It was my goal to provide tangible ways to help you work effectively with your stakeholders. Because projects are done through others, it is rare that you as a project manager lead a project without anyone else doing any of it.
We have to be able to work with others, and while some of the other books on this list provide inspiration and big picture thinking for change management and stakeholder management, my book is the helpful friend-in-your-pocket (although it is a bit big for pockets) to give you ideas of what to actually do.
4. Enchantment
Buy Enchantment: The Art to Change Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki Portfolio Penguin, 2011.
It’s all about being likeable, trustworthy, and visionary so people will embrace your goals. Enchantment is full of examples and is aimed at people who work with brands to engage consumers. However, there are many tips that you can apply to a project environment. It is a fascinating and informative read.
It was a great read. The cover image is also fantastic. As a marketing lead, it is unlikely that you will be in charge of a major brand refresh. However, you could.
5. Message not received
Buy Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix it by Phil Simon, Wiley 2015
Message Not Received is a sign that business communication has become too complicated and dominated by jargon, and that we have lost the ability of communicating the message effectively. I don’t understand most of the jargon. What does that say about me? But I understand that not everyone does and it hinders my understanding.
Sometimes project management is so complex that the team speaks in a completely different language than our colleagues. Engaging stakeholders requires that you use words they actually understand.
This book is well-researched and helpful in encouraging thinness.