Skip to content

Tag: Attitude

Be candid or be gone

Most performance management processes are designed to collect unsubstantiated feedback on team members. I’ve sometimes been befuddled to determine what people are trying to say when they bring up a perceived weak area. They are comfortable in their anonymity when they provide their feedback. Being able to hide behind a keyboard is one of the reasons we shouldn’t discuss politics on Facebook with strangers. It can get a life of its own very quickly.

Several years ago I changed how I provide feedback on team members. I copy them in my response to the request. This places the burden on me to be truthful and consistent in what I write. If I write an area for improvement that I’ve never discussed with the subject of the feedback, then it’s my bad. I’m the one who needs to improve.

Project managers must have well-developed feedback skills. We are unable to lead a project if we’re not comfortable providing our team with on-the-spot relevant feedback on their performance. The first few times we do this it will be uncomfortable. Over time it becomes second nature and our team members will appreciate the opportunity to grow their skills. They will trust us more and the team as a whole will benefit. If you can’t provide performance feedback when an issue occurs, please find a new career field. Your teams deserve better leadership.

 

Don’t forget to purchase your copy of the almost best selling business book of 2017 – Haiku for Project Managers. Buy a copy for everyone on  your team.

Leave a Comment

Getting to the starting line is sometimes the biggest challenge

I ran in my second half marathon last Saturday in Newport, Rhode Island. I was 86th in a field of 817 runners. They awarded medals to the top 3 in each age group. I was in 4th place for my age group. But that’s not the focus of this blog post.

The race started at 8:00. I woke up at 4:15, which totally surprised our cats. They felt like failures as I left the bed ahead of them. An hour later I was in my truck for the 1.5 hour drive to the parking lot. The last shuttle to the start was leaving at 7:00. My risk management plan included time to pull off the highway in case my hydrating resulted in the need to … you get the idea. I arrived at the lot at 6:35 and boarded the shuttle. I picked up my packet, stowed my warm clothes in a pack and checked them with the organizers. I walked around, took pictures and posted them on Instagram and Facebook. Eventually they called the racers to the start.

My plan was to finish under 8 minutes per mile (or 1:45 for the whole race) and not walk at all. I didn’t get caught up in racing other people. I raced myself. My training plan and my race plan worked. I finished at 1:42.

The day before the race I was talking to a colleague who runs marathons. He said that the hardest part of race day is getting to the start line. He wasn’t lying. I think this applies to many of our goals in life.

Leave a Comment

The waiting is the hardest part

Anticipatory stress is the worst stress. It’s generally more harmful to our health than the actual event we stress over. It keeps us from sleeping. We’re not present with our family, friends, or colleagues. Our mind is stuck in an endless loop of re-runs that deny us of peace.

Dig into the issue and identify the root cause. Confront it as soon as you can. Address the issue, not the person. Do it now.

After you confront it you can move forward without all the extra emotional baggage. Most of the time the issue will be a tempest in a teapot.

Leave a Comment

Haiku for project managers – connecting with developers

Managing IT projects presents us with unique challenges. Developers rarely like to answer a project manager’sraised hand questions. They often view the project manager as a distraction. Someone who doesn’t get it, and adds a layer of bureaucracy where it isn’t needed.

When I ask questions /

It is not to anger you /

Questions are my job

A project manager’s highest value to developers is in being able to translate technical issues into business speak, and business issues into technical words. When a project manager has a full understanding of an issue we can be the development team’s strongest ally.

Never be afraid to ask questions, or to admit when you don’t understand a technical issue. In my experience developers will respect you more if you ask questions, than if you pretend you understand something when you don’t.

Get the best stocking stuffer for your project team available. Haiku for Project Managers.

Leave a Comment