Managing stakeholder dynamics: Why meeting strategy matters (with Laura Lussier, 10up)

Galen Low is joined at the table by Laura Lussier (a 10up technical project manager). Listen as they share tips and strategies for meeting with complex stakeholder groups.
Interview Highlights
Laura Lussier is a self-confessed project manager geek with a soft spot to people management. With a background in psychology, digital art, and a clear vision, Laura Lussier leads her teams and clients with clarity and efficiency. She also enjoys coaching and mentoring others in soft skills. [0:58]
She is currently a technical project manager at 10up, where she uses scrum agile methodologies for large-scale digital content management projects. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychology and writing novels under a top-secret penname. [1:16]
Laura meditates quite a lot, but she is also a huge gamer. For the past seven years, she has been playing Final Fantasy 14! [2:41]
Laura was an animator when she was in college. She was a producer of short animated films when she was in college. However, she moved into tech after that. She began project managing WordPress websites. She loved the idea of project management, and that’s where her skills really shine. [4:21]
I manage a project but I am also interested in the people who are there and making sure they have what they need to give me back in a less stressful manner.
Laura Lussier Meetings are usually called because the decision cannot be made alone or the problem is too complex to solve via email. Meetings are usually used to solve problems or present ideas to others. [17:21]
A meeting should usually have a specific outcome or direction. It is necessary to have a meeting strategy. [18:06]
Sometimes it’s impossible to predict how someone will react but you can at least understand why they are there and whether they are a decision-maker. [19:55]
When Laura meets with a client’s boss, or any other large stakeholder, they are usually checking their progress, or simply wanting to understand. Or, perhaps they have decided on a specific thing together. [21:56]
We can work together to organize the information so that the person can quickly make a decision.
Laura Lussier. Laura will usually create a deck, a PowerPoint, or some other consumable when she is preparing for a meeting. This is for her audience. [23:16]
A project manager doesn’t want to be the last straw for any authority, particularly subject matter experts. This is already like project managers being proxies. They should have enough knowledge to answer questions, but they should also be able to see the project from your subject matter expert’s perspective. [41:37]
It’s more like an optics lens. You want to reassure clients that you have the right people in place. This means you need to give them opportunities to speak.
Laura Lussier Laura is the project manager. Laura will often play the role of facilitator. Instead of allowing awkward silences to sit, she will actually listen, understand, and clarify. She will ask people to answer her questions to help drive the conversation. Her role is usually to clarify. [43:50]
Except for a few very bad apples Laura has encountered in the past and a few others, most people aren’t out to get you. Even if they say something offensive or miscommunicated, most people don’t really mean it. [53:26]
Guest Bio:
Laura started her career in project management in college as a producer.

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