From Program Managers to Changemakers | Justin Buckwalter | Dharam Singh | Episode 13

From Program Managers to Changemakers | Justin Buckwalter | Dharam Singh | Episode 13

Join Justin Buckwalter, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP and me in our latest episode as we explore the transformative journey “From Program Managers to Changemakers.” We discuss how program managers can evolve into forces of change, leading projects and teams toward impactful innovation. We also differentiate the roles of change managers and changemakers and uncover the strategies that drive successful organizational transformation. Additionally, we delve into the significance of the Agile Manifesto for changemakers and how they emerge as next-generation leaders in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. This episode is a must-watch for those ready to lead change and inspire their teams to do the same.

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Building Stakeholder Relationships That Fuel Innovation and Growth

Building Stakeholder Relationships That Fuel Innovation and Growth

A project manager or leader is much more than someone who develops a strategy and controls all operations within a project. These experts, for example, must be skilled in communication and connection-building because the work requires them to do it frequently. The capacity to develop long-term, trusted relationships with stakeholders is a critical component of project managers’ and leaders’ success. Whether they like it or not, diverse stakeholders directly impact the business. As a result, companies with managers who can foster a deep connection with their stakeholders have a substantial competitive edge in today’s interconnected business environment.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders

Why Stakeholders are Important to a Project

A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization whose interests are affected by the success of a business venture or project. As the name suggests, stakeholders are interested in a project’s success. They might be internal or external to the entity funding the initiative. Stakeholder relationships may positively or negatively impact the project’s life cycle. Therefore you’ll need to identify your key stakeholders and develop a stakeholder management plan to fulfill the requirements.

Every project you manage has stakeholders, whether internal or external. One of the most common reasons for project failure is that the deliverables differ from what the customer requested or did not meet the customer’s demands. To guarantee project success, one should be familiar with the project’s main stakeholders, how they communicate their needs, and what acceptable results are.

Engaging stakeholders throughout the project, especially at the start, will assist, reduce and discover hazards and boost overall “buy-in.” When stakeholders are fully engaged, their impact is amplified. Stakeholders are vital to a project in the following ways.

Importance Of Stakeholders In Project

Importance Of Stakeholders In Project

 

  1. Providing Expertise

Stakeholders are a source of information about current processes, historical data, and industry expertise. When gathering and documenting requirements, it is critical to include all essential stakeholders. Project managers and those in charge of deliverables may be experts on only a few projects. Key stakeholders can contribute to industry-specific needs or limitations that can be useful in identifying project constraints and risks.

  1. Reducing and Uncovering Risk

The more one engages and involves stakeholders in the project, the more they will decrease and identify risks. For example, during discussions, stakeholders may raise concerns regarding satisfying original specifications, project demands, and limits. Identifying risks and developing a plan to manage them before issues arise will significantly improve your initiatives’ success.

  1. Increasing Project Success

Stakeholders should be aware of the project scope, significant milestones, and when they will be asked to evaluate deliverables before final acceptance. Set expectations early in the project life cycle if the business must satisfy stakeholders’ demands due to competing needs or priorities. This move will assist in maintaining the relationship throughout the process.

  1. Granting Project Acceptance

The more frequently you interact and include stakeholders from the beginning, the more likely you will have a successful project outcome. By the end of the project, team members should be aware of delivery expectations and risks and how to reduce those risks. The final acceptance is their last stamp of approval at the project completion phase.

Stakeholder Relationships are key

Building relationships with stakeholders leads to improved trust. People collaborate more readily and successfully when there is trust. Investing time and effort in discovering and cultivating stakeholder connections may boost project confidence, reduce uncertainty, and accelerate issue resolution and decision-making. This concept recommends making a deliberate decision to devote time, attention, and effort to stakeholder relationships. In addition, personal qualities such as self-awareness, mindfulness, respect for others, and courage may be essential to developing trustworthy, open, and honest relationships.

Ways To Approach Stakeholder Relationships

Ways To Approach Stakeholder Relationships

How could we approach it?

  • Determine the stakeholder hierarchy.
  • Create profiles for individual and group stakeholders.
  • Create relationship maps.
  • Determine who should interact with whom and when.
  • Always maintain a professional and genuine demeanor.
  • Build trust and confidence through controlling and satisfying expectations, acting with integrity, honoring commitments, and being trustworthy.
  • Consider how you can assist your stakeholders rather than just how they can assist your project.

Risks of overlooking this concept include:

Risks Of Overlooking Into Stakeholders Relationship Concept

Risks Of Overlooking Into Stakeholders Relationship Concept

  • Increased project risk in terms of time, cost, and quality.
  • Greater known and unknown project opposition.
  • Project management is shattered.
  • Reduced team motivation.
  • Low cohesiveness within the project community.
  • Personal and corporate reputational damage, as well as recrimination.

The benefits of applying this concept include the following:

Benefits Of Building Stakeholder Relationship

Benefits Of Building Stakeholder Relationship

  • Mutual trust and confidence have grown.
  • Stress reduction and a more pleasant working atmosphere.
  • Improved problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Increased bid value and increased possibilities of keeping clients and employees.
  • Opportunities for personal development, maturity, and career progress.
  • Sufficiently prepared to deal with challenging circumstances.
  • Legacy to carry on with future endeavors.

 

Ways to build good relationships with Project Stakeholders

Stakeholders must be effectively taken care of for any firm to succeed. These include the customers, suppliers, partners, investors, workers, and the general public interested in your company. When a stakeholder is neglected, the organization can feel the consequences. Building great connections with stakeholders requires work, time, and a well-thought-out action plan.

Building trusted relationships with key stakeholders and maintaining communication throughout your project is essential. Through active engagement and speedy resolution, engaged stakeholders motivate individuals and keep the project on track.

Project managers establish trust and interact with important stakeholders at the outset. However, as the project progresses and the team size rises, we need to catch up on the importance of maintaining those connections. If unengaged, it usually results in communication failures, a mismatch of expectations, delayed decision-making, and, in extreme cases, misaligned project goals with company strategic objectives.

Here are six suggestions for developing and maintaining effective stakeholder relationships.

Ways To Build Good Relationships With Project Stakeholders

Ways To Build Good Relationships With Project Stakeholders

 

  1. Identify the key stakeholders.

In every project or program, the project manager oversees the initiative and identifies all stakeholders involved in planning, status reporting, or managing the dependencies. However, the focus here is on how you engage your important stakeholders. Who are the most important stakeholders? It is determined by project type, organizational structure, industry, and internal and external relationships.

Key stakeholders in project engagement are:

  • Persons who have decision-making authority.
  • Influence.
  • A vested interest in the project’s result.

They might be part of your project’s organizational structure (such as a project sponsor or business sponsor) or an extended stakeholder (like external customers or funding partners).

Identifying these important stakeholders early in the project allows the PM and team to build trusted relationships and understand their expectations of project deliverables, their role, and their level of engagement on an ongoing basis.

  1. Analyze the individual stakeholders

Analyze the individual stakeholders identified at the previous stage to determine the amount of involvement and time required to create the connection. Historical data, team brainstorming sessions, focus groups, and interviews might provide the necessary knowledge for analysis. Next, each important stakeholder is examined to determine their attitude toward the initiative, level of support, influence, and acceptance of the change.

The project manager would decide on the amount of engagement based on their interest in the project and their ability to affect change. When there is more ambiguity about the program’s scope, objectives, and expected outcome, the PM’s role in managing expectations and relationships is more significant.

  1. Plan on how to keep your stakeholders engaged in your project

Consider organizational culture and attitudes toward the project while developing an engagement plan. For example, understand the stakeholder’s level of support or resistance to team talks.

Define how you will assess when a stakeholder becomes disengaged as part of your strategy; the metric may be anything like the number of mandatory meetings missed by the stakeholder in a month. When a significant stakeholder consistently skips a needed meeting or fails to make timely decisions, it is a source of contention. If not handled, this disengagement will begin to undermine the project.

  1. Keep all key stakeholders informed and updated

The project manager is responsible for keeping all key stakeholders informed and updated as frequently and as early as feasible during the project. Therefore, maintain a proactive approach in your discussions with them.

To build a standardized onboarding process, new stakeholders should become acquainted with a collection of standard artifacts (like the charter, communication plan, business case, and risk register). Also, take the chance to hear from current stakeholders. Feedback from stakeholders who no longer have a vested interest in your endeavor may help you adjust your path.

  1. Maintain involvement

It is critical to maintain your involvement, especially in long-term initiatives. At the end of a project, we’ve seen project teams wear out, with stakeholders eager to move on to the next big thing. The project manager must keep the engagement going. The connections and reputation you build via this involvement can help you succeed in future efforts in large businesses. Maintain contact with your key stakeholders long after the project has been completed and delivered.

Project Management Trends That Will Shape the Future

Project management is crucial in deciding how businesses and organizations will fare in the marketplace. Projects might include implementing a corporate plan, running marketing efforts, or organizing business events. Teams work to interact, manage, and communicate as effectively as possible to complete tasks and meet deadlines.

Organizations flexibly responded to the pandemic’s disruption by developing new methods of operation. However, they were thrust into the era of digitization and had to reconsider their methods of operation. These top 6 project management trends in the future demonstrate the ongoing need for technical innovation and digital transformation regarding the function of project management software in the future by building great stakeholder relationships.

Future Project Management Trends

Future Project Management Trends

  1. AI Automation and Implementation

The use and usage of artificial intelligence are the most obvious of the new current trends in project management. Knowing which initiatives are more successful enables teams to precisely determine which aspects are vital if the firm is to reduce costs and risks. As a result, organizations may increase transparency and productivity. The main factor driving the current increase in the adoption of such software is this characteristic of project management systems.

Let’s look at a few instances:

  • A few businesses currently use automated and machine learning technologies to get alerts about potential issues the company could run into. For instance, suppliers might now get notifications about possible obstacles like bad weather and traffic.
  • Building machine learning algorithms to support a project manager’s decision-making capabilities by evaluating data from several projects in the project portfolio is a promising study area.
  1. Globalized Project Management

As working circumstances got more flexible due to the forced work from home caused by the worldwide pandemic, businesses and teams became even more globalized. It has long since established roots. Mercer estimates that 70% of businesses want to use the hybrid work model.

Although the remote work and hybrid model trend allows for the employment of creative and inventive individuals worldwide, project management has to keep up with it. Collaboration, for example, is challenging when team members are unavailable due to competing schedules created by different time zones.

Software for project management provides a tool that could address this issue. The platform enables all brainstorming sessions and discussions to take place in a single setting, allowing businesses to access talent worldwide.

  1. Hybrid Project Management

The third new development in project management is the rising use of the hybrid approach, which refers to how project teams combine the Waterfall methodology, the systematic approach, with the Agile methodology, which is the quick-moving methodology. A hybrid approach aims to elevate teams to become aware of the specific project lifecycle while providing the ability to support them in changing the plan as necessary.

How do you know what will work for you, and how can you prepare for this trend?

PMs must learn about the most recent techniques, examine some of the fundamentals, and analyze how to use them correctly to obtain a greater understanding of the project situation and its aspects, such as the clients, the corporate objectives, and the purpose of the project, and the team’s attitude.

There is an increasing requirement to adapt your strategy and develop a project plan that enables you to lead projects unconventionally and comprehend different components of multiple techniques that cater to the demands of your team, perceived timeline, environment, end goals, etc.

  1. Stakeholder-Centered design

The fourth most recent trend in project management is an emphasis on delivering transparency for the benefit of the company’s stakeholders and developing products centered on the human perspective. Project managers may communicate with, collaborate with, and inform stakeholders. This design makes it easy for investors and customers to support any project launched as part of a company’s business plan.

  1. Soft Skills

Soft skills have become an essential component of project management. Project managers must interact with stakeholders, clients, and project teams. They will mitigate risks, resolve internal disagreements, and keep the project team engaged. Having a high level of emotional intelligence will also be useful in project management. Therefore, organizations should begin investing in tools and programs that assist employees in acquiring soft skills.

  1. Predictive Data and Simulation-Based Analyses

The most difficult and demotivating aspect of managing several projects is when unanticipated repercussions jeopardize their success. Project managers seek a solution to give them the knowledge to account for the unexpected. Project teams with predictive and data analytics skills may fully use KPIs and benchmarks and execute them proactively by developing data-backed best practices.

Companies cannot afford to bear the repercussions of project failure, given the competitive environments of most markets. Therefore, projects must be started successfully to stand out from the competition. The most recent advancements in project management software demonstrate that technology will play a role in this element of corporate operations in the future. Suppose you want projects to succeed and businesses to thrive. In that case, you should consider introducing project management solutions to simplify your, your teams, and your stakeholders’ lives.

Final Thoughts

Stakeholder involvement will become essential to optimize success as knowing stakeholders becomes increasingly critical for firms. For example, stakeholder engagement may assess reactions, track public impressions of a company’s operations, and assure collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders. In addition, an organization’s long-term performance may be determined by its connections with stakeholders, which provide commitment and buy-in to future initiatives and difficulties. As a result, the company becomes more aware and responsive to the demands of all its users and stakeholders.

Stakeholder management must place a greater emphasis on involvement to move projects from installation to execution. Stakeholder management must be less hierarchically centered while considering companies’ changing political nature. Projects should begin by identifying diverse stakeholders, engaging with them consistently, and coordinating continuously to increase project success.

As a project proceeds, Stakeholder management processes need to account for the dynamic nature of stakeholders’ commitment to a project and the interactions between various stakeholders. As a result, project teams will get the competitive advantage they want by focusing not just on their stakeholder position but also on the other major stakeholders in a project and how they interact. To achieve more effective stakeholder involvement, follow these three steps:

  • Create a stakeholder map and keep it updated as the project progresses.
  • Prioritize essential stakeholders and regularly evaluate assumptions about commitment levels and impact.
  • Create essential stakeholders and increase their commitment to the change.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Justin Buckwalter in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting talktodharam.com

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

The Emotionally Intelligent Project Manager

The Emotionally Intelligent Project Manager

Emotional intelligence in the workplace is becoming increasingly important for leaders and project managers as remote work became more prevalent due to the pandemic. Success in project management and managing cross-functional remote teams is only possible with emotional intelligence.

According to a Capterra survey, emotionally intelligent project managers (PMs) are approximately 11% more successful at managing processes, engaging stakeholders, avoiding scope creep, and efficiently using resources than PMs who lack this skill.

Capterra Survey

According to a Capterra survey, emotionally intelligent project managers (PMs) are approximately 11% more successful at managing processes, engaging stakeholders, avoiding scope creep, and efficiently using resources than PMs who lack this skill.

What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to recognize, control, and communicate emotions.

Emotional Intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to recognize, control, and communicate emotions. People with high emotional intelligence understand how they feel, what their feelings imply, and how their feelings affect others. In interpersonal situations, it is also the ability to empathize with others. Emotional intelligence is about creating a positive work environment, which is critical to the success of any project.

Survey of a LiquidPlanner StudyAccording to a LiquidPlanner study, most project managers commit approximately 10% of their time to people-related activities. Top project managers dedicate 70% of their time to these activities. As a result, we can conclude that emotional intelligence is crucial for project success.

As Per LiquidPlanner Study

According to a LiquidPlanner study, most project managers commit approximately 10% of their time to people-related activities. Top project managers dedicate 70% of their time to these activities. As a result, we can conclude that emotional intelligence is crucial for project success.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

  • Emotional intelligence is essential for leading cohesive, high-performing teams.
  • According to researchers and behavioral scientists, Emotional intelligence impacts how leaders communicate with their teams and how team members interact.
  • Emotionally intelligent leaders and managers understand how to control their emotions and behavior at work, which includes providing safe environments for exchanging ideas and feedback, productive teamwork and performance, good morale, employee engagement, and job satisfaction. They manage workplace stress and conflict with care and educate their team members to do the same.

Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence

What can project managers do to help themselves develop and become more aware? First, let’s examine five abilities for raising emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-Awareness – The ability to sense, identify, and comprehend emotions is self-awareness. Unfortunately, many of us were taught to ignore our emotions in the past. However, it is critical to be aware of your feelings to make appropriate decisions and act accordingly. Those with high self-awareness are self-assured, authentic, open to feedback, and capable of maintaining perspective throughout all project phases.
Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence

Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Self-Management – Self-management is the ability to reason well while understanding feelings. Many frequently react based on their frame of reference rather than selecting a response based on their current unique circumstances. Self-managers are deliberate in decision-making, taking the initiative, framing events appropriately, maintaining perspective, and responding quickly. They understand their feelings and why they have them and effectively manage their responses.
  1. Self-Motivation – Self-motivation is the ability to channel the power of your emotions toward a specific goal. When project teams have a purpose, these ‘P’s follow peace, passion, power, perspective, and potential leverage. Self-motivators who are influential are optimistic and have a positive attitude. They can delay gratification and assert themselves.
  1. Interpersonal Management – The capability to identify and respond properly to the emotions of others is referred to as interpersonal management. If you can connect with people and acknowledge their humanity, they will answer openly, leading to common trust.
  1. Leadership – An emotionally intelligent project manager inspires guides, challenges, and supports the team. Leadership is defined as the ability to create and communicate vision and passion for assisting individuals and organizations in reaching their full potential.
Tips for improving Emotional Intelligence

Tips for improving Emotional Intelligence

Tips for improving Emotional Intelligence

  1. Reflect internally – To become more emotionally aware, one must first understand their emotions and then regulate them in stressful situations. Next, they have to figure out what motivates them. Finally, authenticity is necessary to develop emotional intelligence by leading a successful project team and establishing meaningful relationships with stakeholders.
  2. Know the project team – Project managers are usually aware of the people they must contact when working on a project. However, understanding the project team, from team dynamics to personalities to dealing with conflict and stress, is just as important. To improve emotional intelligence, one must first get to know their team, communicate with them, and understand their emotions. It will also help the success of their project. This job becomes even more important for teams that operate in multiple locations and are diverse.
  3. Self-evolve – Along with other important leadership talents, project managers should work to improve their emotional intelligence regularly. Conditions surrounding a project frequently change; its scope may shift, the number of stakeholders may increase, and projects may eventually end.Every project is distinct, and no project manager can complete a project independently. Therefore, it is advantageous for project managers to consider what they learn during and after a project. For example, consider how a project team operated, what they witnessed during critical times with stakeholders, and their team’s performance.
  4. Employ interpersonal skills everywhere – Emotional intelligence can be helpful in almost any project management situation. For example, people may feel compelled to sign off on a strategy to minimize delays while managing scope changes or project risk. Following the resolution of such issues, an emotionally intelligent project manager would pursue people because they notice that this could lead to more severe problems in the future.
ABCD Trust model

ABCD Trust model

ABCD Trust model

Better relationships will result in better outcomes. That is why developing trusted connections is critical to the success of your organization. When individuals trust one another, they may work efficiently together.

It is well known that low trust harms morale, productivity, and turnover. To prevent these traps, Ken Blanchard created the ABCD Trust Model to help executives understand the activities that affect creating trustworthy relationships.

Blanchard suggests four critical aspects for leaders to develop trust with people: Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable.

  1. Able – The term able refers to the ability to demonstrate competence. Leaders demonstrate competence by possessing the necessary skills, education, credentials, and experience. They also exhibit their capacity to lead by accomplishing achievements. Able leaders can encourage people and collaborate with them to achieve goals.
  2. Believable – Being credible entails operating with honesty. Believable leaders adhere to a set of core beliefs. They know what they stand for and will not compromise their principles under pressure. Being credible also means maintaining promises and not lying or stretching the truth.
  3. Connected – Connected shows concern and care for others. This aspect fosters trust and contributes to a more engaged workplace atmosphere. Being linked entails attending to people’s needs and promoting their well-being. Leaders also build relationships by giving information not only about the organization but also about themselves. Employees are significantly more likely to provide their best effort when they feel linked to leaders.
  4. Dependable – Dependable means showing consistency and following through. It entails holding oneself and others accountable for commitments. A trustworthy leader will accept responsibility for their acts and help their followers face adversity.
7MTF Components

7MTF Components

7MTF Components

The 7MTF model is composed of seven components. We all have all 7 in our personalities; as adults, 2 to 4 will be strong, some will be weak, and others will be ordinary. This mix of elements is one of the most significant variables in deciding our temperament – our emotional predisposition.

  • The R – Regulator (formerly known as the Normal) – A person with a ‘strong R’ has a strong need for Order. They will be mature, responsible, calm, and emotionless. You may hear the words ‘should,’ ‘ought,’ and ‘logical’ in their language. They have high expectations of themselves and others, including those with whom they live and work.
  • The G – GoGetter (formerly known as the Hustler) – A person with a ‘strong G’ has a strong desire for material success. This individual entails enjoying money and the things it can purchase. The G is quick, opportunistic, intelligent, enterprising, and charming. They are short-term in nature, expecting results immediately or very soon. Promising a G a large monetary reward next year is unlikely to pique their attention.
  • The S – Socialiser (formerly known as the Mover) – The ‘strong S’ personality has a great need to communicate. This aspect implies talking about people, fun, events, what you did over the weekend, or anything related to life. Hence, their straightforward, friendly, and frequent grin immediately.
  • The D – Doublechecker – The ‘strong D’ is characterized by a desire to look after others and ensure everyone is safe. When you encounter a strong D, expect someone obedient, loyal, and concerned with doing the right thing. One of their greatest assets is their ability to anticipate difficulties and hazards.
  • The A – Artist – A person with a ‘strong A’ desires to create. “I want to be different,” is what they would say. These hardworking individuals are conscientious and do not wish to offend anyone. Seek for anything unusual about their attire, such as innovative earrings, cufflinks, a six-button jacket, or an all-black ensemble!
  • The P – Politician – A solid handshake and direct eye contact indicate that the ‘strong P’ is determined to win. This person has a determination and strength that others may find challenging. The spoken word is the strong P’s stock in trade – look for status markers like the huge Mercedes in metallic blue.
  • The E – Engineer – A person with a ‘strong E’ personality is driven to accomplish undertakings. The strong E has traits such as process, detail, and procedure. This individual can form a strategy and make it happen as soon as they see anything. The E is concerned with completion. So, unless you can assist, you should avoid getting in the way!

Wisdom – strive for mental stability and individual resilience – 10 Competencies

Wikipedia defines wisdom as the “ability to contemplate and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.” Psychologists have created a list of ten competencies that are typical therapies in their field and are referred to as wisdom. Self-awareness, self-control, and empathy are the three components of emotional intelligence (EI). Although the fourth component of EI is not formally mentioned among the ten competencies, social influence or influencing others may be considered a result of being highly effective in the other areas.

Ten Components of Emotional Intelligence

Ten Components of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Ability to change perspectives – In a bipolar environment, it is possible to remain trapped in one thought and dislike the other viewpoint with strong emotions, which may lead to violence. The ability to look for and identify more points of view implies a shift in viewpoint. Some of the therapies used to treat mental illnesses can help with this. Examples include role-playing, acting, visiting people in various countries, learning about diverse cultures, and brainstorming.
  1. Empathy is the ability to connect – Understanding people’s intentions, current state of mind, emotions, and mindsets is necessary for being heard, establishing trust, and influencing others. In addition, active listening techniques may help you focus outside yourself and view others as humans who vary from ourselves.
  1. Awareness & acceptance of own emotions (self-awareness) – Self-awareness leads to increased self-confidence and sincerity. It refers to mindfulness, or being aware of one’s feelings, and is required for self-control and emotional balance.
  1. Emotional balance, serenity (self-control) – Patience, serenity, and avoiding knee-jerk reactions make you more popular and respected and contribute to mental tranquility. Having a mentor can help you develop and fine-tune this skill.
  1. Knowledge about facts (know what, assimilation) and about problem-solving (know-how, accommodation) – Wisdom includes knowledge; therefore, it has two components.
  • On the one hand, we have factual knowledge about a topic; on the other, we may be specialists in a (typically technical) area. This heuristic knowledge and assimilation are how we apply established systems to circumstances.
  • On the other hand, when we encounter new situations or topics, we use accommodation to apply our problem-solving skills. We employ our epistemic intelligence and heuristics to do this.
  1. Contextualism (consider the situation, timeline, and social relevance) – Even though we have theories and may find similarities in new scenarios, each situation is unique and depends on the circumstances, the context in which the problem develops, and the societal importance. This capacity is achieved via awareness and avoiding picking a solution that works in another context without first examining the present dependencies of the situation.
  1. Relativism for values, tolerance for pluralism, diversity (which is hard if you are part of the same belief systems for most of your life, like nations and churches) – There are many truths (this is known as non-monism), and yours is only one of them. Others have the right to their realities, which are based on the cultures in which they live, their beliefs and experiences, and the facts to which they have access. Value relativism allows one to accept and appreciate the values of others.
  1. Orientation towards sustainability, willpower, and delay instant gratification (perspective of linear and circular time flow) – We can pursue long-term goals and make decisions with both short and long-term consequences in mind.
  1. Uncertainty tolerance, ability to strategize (imaging solutions for scenarios) – Accept that life is unpredictable and swim through it like a river, adapting to currents and waves as they come.
  1. Self-distance, humility – Do not believe you are the center of the universe, which will remain when you die. Avoid being a taker rather than a giver by avoiding jealousy, bragging, pride, and greed.

Final Thoughts

For today’s project managers, emotional intelligence is a critical concept. Many companies are looking for project managers with strong technical and soft skills. Emotional intelligence is crucial in project management because it enables project managers to improve communication and collaboration in the workplace. It is essential to mention that emotional intelligence can be imparted and nurtured. This aspect implies that as a project manager, one can better oneself by controlling feelings and emotions and developing positive behaviors to influence others at work. One will make better decisions about other people’s emotions, strengths, and weaknesses once they have recognized their thoughts.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting http://talktodharam.com/

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

People Skills for Project, Program & Portfolio Managers

People Skills for Project, Program & Portfolio Managers

What makes a successful Project/Program/Portfolio Manager? Is it the number of years of experience? Technical know-how? Or the one who is good at managing people?

Creating objectives, critical path analysis, work breakdown structures, resource scheduling, and risk management are just a few of the technical areas of project management that project managers usually get training in. However, understanding pertinent people and management issues is important to a project’s success. In addition, a project manager must also continually deal with clients and other stakeholders. As a result, project managers’ people skills, also known as soft skills, are becoming increasingly important.

People Skills

People Skills

People skills

People skills are linked with behavioral patterns or behavioral interactions that assist one in communicating effectively with people. Project leaders with strong people skills may favorably influence others, socialize effortlessly, and overcome public anxiety.

Project Leaders With Strong People Skills

Project Leaders With Strong People Skills

They are transferrable social abilities that allow one to collaborate well with others. The three main types are personal, interaction, and interpersonal skills. These categories achieve the same overall objective: making the working connections with others mutually satisfying, pleasant, and productive.

Types of People Skills

Types Of People Skills

Types of People Skills

  • Personal skills: These include the capacity to communicate your skills and exhibit yourself to others successfully. It comprises characteristics such as self-assurance, honesty, and aggressiveness. Furthermore, one must be able to recognize their limitations and make sound judgments based on logic rather than emotion.
Personal Skills

Personal Skills

  • Interaction skills: It is essential for understanding the behavior and ideas of others while preserving limits and creating connections. A project manager, for example, should have social etiquettes that need empathy and listening skills to know that you have listened to them and given respect for their limits and requirements to connect with co-workers and clients productively.
Interaction Skills

Interaction Skills

  • Interpersonal skills: These are related to intercession skills, but they apply mainly to situations in which the persons involved have opposing interests or viewpoints.

Contrary to popular belief, people skills are not subjective concepts. On the contrary, these skills are critical, particularly in the project management role, which is largely concerned with people.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal Skills

Project management is more than just completing the project; it is also about how you lead and assist your team. Leading others and leading them through the whole project lifecycle entails a certain amount of responsibility and necessitates certain abilities.

Furthermore, as work evolves, businesses embrace a varied workforce. As a result, people skills are essential for embracing tolerance and diversity. In short, good project management is based on human communication and connection.

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

A successful project professional must possess a wide range of skills. Those that come to mind first are the technical skills required to create a project plan, schedule, budget, and all relevant paperwork. One must also have the conceptual skills to “see” the project as it develops.

However, such talents will only assure project success if the project manager can supplement their technical skills with a wide range of interpersonal skills or people skills. Here are some of the essential people skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers:

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

  1. Leadership

One of the crucial skills a successful project manager has to have is leadership. This skill is essential because the project manager frequently has little control over the team members involved. This aspect calls for leadership on their part to handle the project. Although managing via leadership rather than authority might be more challenging, it is typically more effective since it is based on respect and trust.

At the start of a project, a leader must establish their vision and express it to the team. It makes supporting the project’s objectives easier for everyone on the team. Effective leadership will also keep the team members inspired and motivated to perform at their highest level.

  1. Team Building

Another vital skill for a competent project manager is team building. Because of the nature of projects, personnel from diverse departments are engaged. Most employees might have never worked together and may not even be familiar with one other’s departments. If the project manager can unite these individuals into a cohesive team with the same goal, the project may stay within its objectives.

Although some of the project’s individuals or sub-teams may execute their jobs individually, they must feel like they are part of the overall team. When choosing their part of the project, they must consider what is best for the project, not simply what is best for them and their departmental problem. A sense of belonging to a team that solves an issue for the entire company (rather than playing departmental favoritism) may go a long way.

Creating a team in which each member feels comfortable reaching out to the others will also guarantee that minor problems do not escalate into major concerns later in the project. It is consequently critical that project managers not only understand the duties and procedures involved in team building but also have the skill and finesse to apply them correctly.

  1. Motivation

If you want your project to succeed, you should concentrate on improving your motivating skills. Having these qualities will assist your project team members to stay interested in the project, strive for excellence, and work toward a common objective.

Good motivating skills will enable a project leader to create an environment where team members can fulfill project objectives while being satisfied with their work.

  1. Communication

Most professions require excellent communication skills. Some project managers believe the communication part of project management to be their primary job obligation.

Excellent communication skills are essential for building relationships among project team members, establishing trust, and keeping everyone motivated and on track.

A project involves several stakeholders informed of its status, timeframes, progress, risks, and concerns. A skilled project leader must convey all of these facts to project stakeholders on time and in the manner they anticipate. Project managers must also interact effectively with top management within their business.

Giving the interested stakeholders too much or not enough information might prevent the project from reaching its full potential.

  1. Influencing

It is critical to be able to influence people if you want to be a successful project manager. But what is important is understanding when and how to utilize such skills and avoid becoming a manipulator. There is a narrow path to follow.

A project manager’s responsibility is to bring employees from disparate departments together and get them to work together toward a similar objective. Sometimes, getting these diverse people to comprehend and agree on the specifics of achieving that goal might not be easy. A skilled project leader will utilize their skills to persuade others and assist them in reaching an agreement.

So, think about your relationship and influence over people not just for the time of the project but also for how things will proceed long after the project is complete. After the project, customers and end-users will utilize the goods, deliverables, and outcomes developed by the project. A powerful and positive effect creates a trusting atmosphere among all team members during and even after the project.

  1. Decision Making

A successful project manager must acquire various talents, one of which is decision-making skills. There are four primary decision-making styles: Directive, Analytical, Conceptual, and Behavioral. Project managers should be conversant with all four since either has to be leveraged at some time. In addition, consultation, consensus, command, and random styles are provided.

Having a decision-making model will facilitate this process. In addition, since so many people who may disagree with a decision are involved in the project, having a process to follow can be very helpful in gaining consensus with the group.

  1. Political and Cultural Awareness

In today’s world, project managers work in a more globalized context than in the past. As a result, cultural diversity is another critical component of effectively navigating the corporate world as a project leader. A successful project manager must be able to notice and comprehend cultural differences and incorporate them into the project plan.

Cultural differences can impact decision-making and the pace with which work is performed. It can also lead to members acting without sufficient forethought. Recognizing cultural differences can lead to conflict and stress within the project, further delaying it.

Furthermore, it is critical to understand the politics at work in the project environment. The use of political skills can greatly aid a project manager’s success. More significantly, failing to recognize the politics involved can lead to substantial challenges and impediments that can cause a project to be delayed or even destroyed.

  1. Negotiation

The nature of a project manager’s work necessitates being skilled negotiators. Typically, several stakeholders are involved in the project, and most projects include team members from many departments. This aspect frequently leads to a variety of points of view, which can make it challenging to keep the project on track and within the intended scope.

Negotiation skills can assist a project manager in obtaining an agreement or making a compromise on an issue that may be causing difficulty or delay.

There are several negotiation skills that the project leader should be able to employ. These include assessing each scenario, being an engaged listener, and communicating coherently throughout the dialogue. It can be important to distinguish between the wants and requirements of the people concerned. Another critical focus is recognizing the distinction between people’s perspectives and their interests and concerns directly relevant to the project.

  1. Trust Building

When collaborating on a project, trust is really valuable. A trusting environment promotes effective relationships and communication among team members and stakeholders. Therefore, a project leader wants to foster an atmosphere of mutual trust. This trust helps to maintain morale, keep conflict at a minimum, and keep everyone working effectively together.

If you were working on a project, you would want everyone participating and working hard to see it through to completion. When you work hard, you expect that others are also working hard to achieve the project objectives. The team leader wants to trust a team member who suggests they can execute a task properly and on time. If someone in the team wants assistance, they want a team that will support and collaborate to achieve the work. So don’t waste time second-guessing someone who isn’t telling the truth or has bad motives.

There are several approaches for a project manager to establish trust. First, a project leader must be a great and open communicator to reduce misunderstandings and build confidence among team members. Often, one may have to put their self-interests aside for the team’s sake and must model and display the behavior they demand from others.

  1. Conflict Management

On a project, conflict is almost unavoidable. Members of the project team and stakeholders may have differing perspectives, areas of expertise, interests, personalities, work styles, and so on. When one adds additional factors to the mix, such as tight deadlines, resource limits, and communication challenges, it’s easy to understand how conflict might arise.

Conflict often leads to a better solution to a problem. For example, if a team member would prefer to agree or accept the status quo, then risk causing conflict by pointing out a problem, asking a question, or suggesting an improvement. In that case, it is simpler to accept a suboptimal solution. However, disagreement frequently stops the team from working successfully together and diverts attention away from the duties at hand.

The goal is to prevent conflict or its escalation or to know how to regulate or lessen it when it arises if they cannot avoid it. For example, a project manager may use several tactics or methods when dealing with a dispute. They can be aggressive, accommodating, avoiding, or compromising. Some approaches work better in particular situations than others.

The project manager and team members involved in the conflict influence the team’s efficacy. A project manager can also utilize many approaches; if one fails, they may have to try another to see if it is more successful.

Why are people skills important?

People skills are crucial because it is much more difficult for people in an organization to work together to achieve common goals if they fail to express themselves or understand how their co-workers feel about a certain project, task, or difficulty.

As a result, the organization’s production and profitability suffer while creativity and innovation endure. People skills, in particular, may assist us in the following:

Why Are People Skills Important?

Why Are People Skills Important?

  • Avoid misunderstandings: People are less likely to misinterpret what you’re saying if you communicate ideas and instructions.
  • Win support: If you can communicate effectively and understand what your team wants to hear, it will be much simpler to persuade them and get them “on board.”
  • Improve customer support: You’ll be better positioned to fix their difficulties if you can get inside their minds and comprehend their key problems.
  • Solve conflicts: Conflict isn’t always unpleasant, but if it goes unresolved, it can harm morale and productivity. Strong people skills allow us to see things from a new perspective and identify similarities, which reduces the likelihood of significant conflicts.

How to develop people skills?

Even while people skills are critical, they are frequently undervalued by employers when it comes to job advancement. Internal training sessions are frequently centered on teaching hard skills, such as completing a given activity or utilizing a specific piece of software. These methods make it more difficult for professionals to build their interpersonal skills.

How To Develop People Skills?

How To Develop People Skills?

But just because something is more difficult does not make it impossible. Here are four suggestions for improving people skills and becoming a more attractive prospect are:

  • Learn to listen properly
  • Applaud other people’s work
  • Expand the network
  • Study (and respect) cultural differences

Final Thoughts

Effective project management is challenging but having people skills may help project leaders run projects more efficiently and with less stress. Furthermore, it enables building a team that can handle the most challenging tasks and is more successful and resilient during difficult times.

People skills, on their own, will not keep a project team motivated and engaged. However, arming oneself with the necessary technical skills and intelligent tools may dramatically enhance the workflow and contribute to the project’s success.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

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