In an earlier blog posting of mine, I shared with readers 2 principles which I believe are essential in handling negative stakeholder feedback. They are ...
Firstly, the stakeholder's unhappiness must be acknowledged as genuine and the response must directly address this. A common mistake made is to provide a general response to the concern raised. Doing so, the organisation not only "trivialises" the stakeholder's concerns, but demonstrates a lack of understanding of the situation. This is likely to instigate the stakeholder to continue his "attacks" on the organisation as he feels that he has not been “heard”.
Secondly, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, the organisation must avoid addressing the concern at the "tactical" level. The stakeholder's concern must be elevated and linked to universal principles like fairness, safety or perhaps corporate social responsibilities. Doing this will avoid a drawn out PR battle as it is very difficult for an unhappy stakeholder to argue against universally accepted principles.
Hence, in order to effectively address negative stakeholder feedback, the PA must do 2 things - (a) acknowledge the stakeholder's concerns; and (b) elevate and link the concern to a "universal principle" before offering a solution.
Based on Ms Ooi's second response, it is my opinion that this is not likely to be the end of this matter.
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