How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
An underlying area into which you can dig when exploring and understanding stakeholders are their driving interests. Interests include general areas and specific items that motivate people in a number of different ways.
If you can identify these underlying interests of the stakeholder, you can more effectively work to address the deeper drivers that are motivating them.
Root cause analysis
Seek to find the root cause of any problems that they offer (these are sometimes called presenting problems). For any effect, there is a cause, which itself may be caused by another cause. If you can follow the chain of causes until you can go no further, and if addressing this cause will resolve the problem, then you have found the root cause.
Ask 'What is causing this?' or 'Could you tell me more about that?'. The ideal is to simply to ask 'why', but used as a direct question can be rather harsh, so more indirect methods are often better.
When you have found the root cause, identify the related interest that it is
Another approach is to take a higher-level view, 'chunking up' or helicoptering to see the big picture. Ask 'What is this a part of?' or 'What are you seeking to achieve?' or 'What are your objectives?'
People are often driven by overarching life goals. If you can find these, then you may also be able to find other ways of satisfying them.
Work-related interests are those which are about the work environment. These include present-job-related actions as well as longer term and general concerns.
These may include:
Interests may also be related to the person outside of work, in their home or social life. These can be reasons to distract the person at work.