Master The Fine Art Of People Management With This 8-Part Guide
Leading a team successfully requires more than just technical know-how.
In today’s workplaces, you’ll need to motivate the unmotivated, inspire shirkers to pull their weight, and manage the psychological minefield of interpersonal relationships that accompany all successful projects.
Zachary Wong‘s The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management is designed to help you navigate these hazardous terrain with clear-cut, actionable advice.
Through eight core people skills such as understanding why businesses resemble wedges rather than pyramids and how to manage attitudes in your team members, you’ll learn tangible solutions on how to bring your project to completion while maintaining your authority in the workplace.
For any project manager looking for a hands-on guide on pushing past people problems, The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management provides a concise framework of strategies that you can implement in today’s workplaces.
The Wedge Model: Transforming Project Management In The Modern Business Environment
The role of team leaders has drastically changed in recent years as businesses have shifted away from a hierarchical pyramid structure to more democratic wedges.
No longer do the small number of executives at the top dictate the actions of everyone else, instead the roles and responsibilities of each individual play an important role in contributing to the success of the whole organization.
Project managers are now placed in this middle space between individual contributors and management, working fluidly between them both; aligning their advice with strategic goals and helping manage relationships among employees.
The job relies on understanding how individual performance affects the company as a whole and requires vital people skills such as problem solving, communication, collaboration and motivation.
They must focus on optimizing performance while also accommodating individual needs, which requires project managers to think differently about their role.
Using A Wedge Model And An Eram Model To Diagnose And Prescribe Solutions For Team Problems
The wedge model is a valuable tool that project managers can use to effectively visualize and manage team performance.
This model is comprised of three sections–individual, team, and management–which represent all the necessary components of your company’s wedge structure.
By looking at each section separately, you can determine where any issues may lie, and how best to address them.
Take for example a team member who is being harassed by a colleague: this would be an issue in the team section of the wedge model.
To appropriately handle this situation, you’d need to refer it up to management as they possess resources and expertise that are necessary for dealing with workplace harassment.
Individuals’ problems can also be addressed with the help of the wedge model and its ERAM system: expectations, resources, ability and motivation.
To properly diagnose someone’s problem and create an action plan designed to increase their productivity, you’ll have to listen carefully to their complaints while taking steps to independently verify their accounts.
After this has been achieved you can then generate clear targets and goals that motivate them to meet those targets.
Managing teams effectively requires time and effort but having access to a dependable visual tool like the wedge model makes it scalable across all types of organisations which makes it an invaluable tool when it comes maintaining high-performing teams which consistently succeed in projects.
Leaders Must Exercise Hard Policies, Not Personal Friendship, In The Modern Workplace
Effective team leadership comes down to understanding the distinction between friendship and friendliness.
While it might seem counterintuitive, being friends with your subordinates isn’t necessarily the key to good relationships.
Instead, a successful leader should strive to foster friendliness without becoming friends.
Take Robert, a project manager at an IT firm, as an example.
He happens upon Thomas, one of his team members, stuck in a ditch on company property.
Robert quickly realizes he’s in an awkward spot—should he be flexible because they are “friends” or should he stay true to company policy and report the incident?
The answer lies in recognizing that while friendship is definitely preferred over antagonism in any workplace, there is still a difference between being friends and just treating those you work with kindly and with respect.
In Robert’s case, the right decision would be to stick with protocol and politely explain why Thomas must follow proper procedure.
By maintaining his position of authority but also demonstrating that he understands Thomas’s predicament shows what it means to truly lead by example in such a situation.
Creating A Sense Of Inclusiveness Is The Key To Building Successful Teams
The cornerstone of every successful team is an emphasis on inclusiveness.
It creates a feeling of safety, trust and support which is essential for any workplace to have the dynamic energy necessary for success.
In order to understand what motivates or demotivates team members, it’s helpful to identify different personality types, such as Rationals, Guardians, Idealists and Artisans.
As each of these types respond differently to various push and pull factors, being able to identify these tendencies can help you craft more effective strategies aimed at fostering inclusiveness among team members.
It’s also important to note that inclusivity isn’t something that just happens organically; it requires work from everyone involved.
It’s up to the project manager and other leaders within the organization to create an environment where “we” is greater than “me” by actively encouraging people to contribute ideas and recognizing individual successes as part of a collective effort.
This can be done through activities like lunches or seminars which promote healthy team-building relationships between coworkers.
By focusing on creating an atmosphere of unity and inclusiveness among project teams, organizations can increase their chances of achieving long-term success.
The Power Of Positive Reinforcement: Making Sure Your Team Gets Their Scoop Of Praise
If you want to get the best results from a team, attitude matters, and there’s an art to managing it.
To be a successful project manager, you have to effectively motivate your team – and that means taking an interest in their feelings, their goals and what motivates them.
Take the hypothetical example of Charlie: when he dropped his ice cream cone at the parlor – despite his mother’s “you should’ve kept your cone up” admonishment – she turned the situation around by speaking kindly to the vendor who gave him another scoop for free.
Simply put, this is what good project management looks like.
Everyone likes being rewarded for working hard, but unfortunately many employers struggle with recognizing employee efforts.
This can lead to de-motivation and eventually poor performance.
Rather than feeling like they’re “getting coned” for doing something good but never receiving recognition or acknowledgment for it, managers ought to make sure their teams are properly rewarded for their efforts by offering sincere praise that is consistent (you don’t want any favoritism), on time, reflective of company values and personalized (it should be tailored specifically to each individual).
Lastly, it helps a lot if people are encouraged to keep looking on the bright side; after all bad things may happen sometimes but there’s no use in throwing in the towel right away – battling through difficult or challenging situations only makes us stronger!
Attitude matters, especially when it comes to project management so take heed of these lessons and show appreciation when appropriate; otherwise you risk having a noncommittal or disinterested team – not exactly conducive to success.
The Past-Present-Future Model: An Effective Tool To Handle Underperforming Employees
Tackling poor performance is one of the most difficult tasks for any manager or team leader.
Every team member should be held accountable for their performance and bad behavior should not be rewarded.
But dealing with an underperforming employee can feel intimidating – surveys have even suggested that some managers are too fearful, inexperienced, or unwilling to approach these issues head-on.
Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help to get troubled employees back on track – the Past-Present-Future Model.
This model requires you to take it step by step: the first step involves active listening and talking through the issue in order to understand the problem; the second is where you make a diagnosis and provide a reality check on what can and cannot be achieved; thirdly, you should ask questions about improving things and set concrete targets for both of you to measure.
Using this model helps to create an open dialogue where both parties can share their thoughts in an environment free from intimidation or judgement.
It’s a great way for managers and team leaders to ensure they tackle problematic behavior effectively while also developing positive relationships with their team members.
How Managers Can Inspire The Right Behavior In Their Teams
It’s a common mistake to think that achieving the desired result justifies whatever path you take to get there.
As Marty, who managed a telecommunications company’s expansion into a new regional market learned, this isn’t always the case.
Despite seeming successful on the surface, an audit revealed that his team had clearly gone too far in trying to win new contracts and it bankrupted the branch office!
What makes this type of situation so avoidable is understanding that behavior doesn’t just happen – it needs to be inspired.
That means setting goals as well as core values, and defining expectations when it comes to employee behavior.
Establishing ground rules not only helps people adopt the right values but also sends subtle reminders or “nudges” of what’s expected.
As much as establishing rules is important so is monitoring them; positive or negative reinforcement can help achieve maximum efficiency at work.
The key takeaway here is that ends don’t always justify means–true and sustainable success comes from focusing on team behavior.
By using a combination of setting goals and values along with getting creative with reinforcement strategies, your business will be able to remain competitive while at the same time ensuring ethical practices are adhered to no matter what circumstances are presented.
Overcoming The Black Box Effect: Learning To Control Fear To Take Necessary Risks In Business
Successful project management often requires taking risks, but uncertainty can make that difficult for most people.
That’s because fear and anxiety inevitably arise when something unpredictable is at stake – this is known as the ‘Black Box Effect’.
Three fears come into play – the fear of circumstance, of ability and of failure.
Risk-takers understand that you can’t beat fear, but you can manage it.
Instead of trying to block out their fears completely, they focus on something else: a positive outcome or the opportunity to help someone.
Firefighters exhibit this by training hard so they are better prepared to respond to emergencies.
Similarly, we can use various steps such as visiting the venue beforehand or familiarizing yourself with equipment prior to public speaking engagements in order to help ourselves prepare for the situation and manage our fear more effectively.
This way you’ll be primed for success!
Getting Along With Your Boss: How To Manage Up And Get Ahead
The key to being an effective team leader lies in having a good understanding of how important it is to manage your boss.
This means more than just obeying orders – it involves proactively taking steps to make yourself more visible and presenting your value to those higher up.
It requires showing respect, trust and honesty in all your interactions and demonstrates that you value their leadership.
One way of doing this is by arriving on time for meetings and refusing to accept any overly abrupt behaviour or dismissals from them.
Additionally, stepping up when others don’t speak up or participating in optional work events such as team drinks or seminars can be seen as proactive support for the boss’s efforts – something they are sure to appreciate.
By managing up with thoughtful involvement, a supportive attitude towards the supervisor and a desire to show one’s worth through actions rather than words, team leaders can establish trusting relationships at all levels of the organization in order to deliver successful projects.
The main takeaway from The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management is that project management can be a psychological minefield.
But you don’t have to feel lost in it – by learning the eight key people skills, you’ll be better prepared to navigate that treacherous terrain and achieve your goals.
These skills include enforcing the 80 percent rule during meetings, so they don’t overrun their allotted time.
This rule forces everyone to focus on the most important points and ensures the entire team is on the same page.
It also helps keep everyone organized, allowing them to complete tasks more efficiently and establish a sense of collective purpose.
Finally, these skills help you respect boundaries with your superiors and establish an atmosphere of equality in the workplace.