Stakeholders come in all shapes and sizes, from the aggressive to the passive, they all have influence in a project and will have different levels of interest and power.
As a User Researcher you will need to interact with every stakeholder on a project, so it is good to have a plan of approach.
In this case It's not what you do, it's the way you do it.
The Approach Problem
Before you setup the meeting invite you will need to prepare some questions you will want to ask.
Stakeholders tend to have limited time and are usually very busy, so you will want to approach them in a way that will open them up for questioning, without looking like you will take up too much of their time.
You could just send an email with the questions in it, email it to them or send them a meeting request.
Either way you will need to be clever with your approach as the way you communicate to the stakeholder will be crucial for further interactions.
Change The Approach Frame
In a famous past research study some researchers went out and asked stakeholders...
"Can I have some of your time?" of which 29% volunteered
When they changed the approach question and asked...
"Would you say you are a helpful person?" 77% volunteered
It produced some amazing results.
Asking them if they consider themselves helpful puts them in the frame of mind of being helpful!
Critical Questions For Stakeholders
As I stated earlier in this article, stakeholders all have influence in a project and will have different levels of interest and power.
My last few tips for this article are two important questions you could ask stakeholders...
"If you could change one thing, what would that be?"
This will tell you what they are really passionate about.
"Is there one thing that you do not want to change?"
This will tell you what they are really worried about.