Category: Room for inspiration

The door to the Room for Inspiration is opened 24 hours a day. It its meant to help put things into a perspective and to discover ways your project management skills can make a difference. Inspiration is a free commodity. I just have to open my eyes and look around me. Sometimes a bird building her nest can help you learn a trick or too about project management for house building :)

The five habits of warmhearted project managers in times of adversity

This global crisis reverberates on many if not all aspects of our lives. Projects are not immune to that. For many project managers, as any other professions, it will became a test of resilience.

Over years, I noticed that a certain magic balance between a cool head and a warm heart transformed good project managers into great leaders at any level, regardless of the team’s size and type of business.

While my fellow colleagues offer seamingly endless manifestations of professional warmth in these times of adversity, I noticed five most common habits of project managers who practice it:

1. Warmhearted project managers do a well-being check first and a delivery status check after. They know or are eager to learn how are everyone’s families.

2. They give praise in public and keep the rest in private. Be it online or in the office.

3. They will “discriminate” in favour of the most vulnerable, be it in the team or among other stakeholders. They will produce that report for a team member who as a single mother has to take care of three little kids while teleworking.

4. When frustration goes up or anger boils up, they will not turn their cheek. They will simply wait until tomorrow. They will pick up the phone and talk it through.

5. They are kind to themselves and to others. They know what to say and when to say it. The also know the value of “silence is gold”. Especially in times of adversity.

The seven habits of mentally strong project managers

Over the last two decades, I worked with numerous project managers from different industries and the ones who are rock strong share a number of things in common. Now more than ever these habits will be tested and new ones will be developed. I’ll leave these ones below for now:

1. Mentally strong project managers practice self-awareness. They know that mental strength is their choice which requires commitment and a big sense of humour. They prefer self-irony to ego.

2. As they are building on self-awareness, they remain pro-active. They will pick up the phone first. They own the mistakes and failure. They act responsibly towards the team, the client and the sponsor.

3. They practice humility. They are humble enough to acknowledge that there are things they cannot control. They will however take seriously damage control. They refocus their attention on the things they can control and take the team through this. They care about what the team and the client thinks. The rest is a facebook thread to them.

4. They say “Hello, gorgeous!” to the unexpected, and projects by definition are plentiful of those. They know that even with the best of planning skills, there is a great deal of unchartered waters. Mentally strong project managers are as flexible as a willow and turn adversity into opportunity to bring return on investment.

5. They are best pals with risk management. They will ponder, calculate, analyse, involve others. They will put people first and thus sleep well.

6. They put relationships first. They know that reports, deliveries and milestones will become past. Relationships last.

7. They keep things in perspective and share it with others. They will respond to a colleague’s call for help and give the best of advice they can.