Tag: first aid kit
“The biggest bluff” by Maria Konnikova
Project managers are decision-making machines. Every day, our brains process enormous amounts of information and engage in decision-making almost incessantly. It gives us the feeling of being in control.
Maria Konnikova challenges that with “We humans too often think ourselves in firm control when we are really playing by the rules of chance.” From academic research to gambling/poker, “The biggest bluff: how I learned to pay attention, take control and master the odds” is a witty immersion into psychology, people reading and emotional nuance. The book is beating out a number of illusions we hold dear in decision making.
It is not rare in project management to attribute success exclusively to skill and dismiss pure luck. In all of honesty, some things are pure chance. It is up to how humble we are to recognise it.
« Summing up: a professional memoir» by Bertram Fields
Why is this book on a project management blog? you might ask. Well, I am a believer in learning from every trade.
First about the book. As its title says, you’ll find there the mémoires of a prominent US entertainment lawyer, who is also a writer and teacher. He is also famous for having fired Trump (before his tenure).
His writing style is brilliant, soft and tender, balanced, honest, humorous and slightly ironic. The reader is not exhausted with legalistic tournure de phrase and is treated with care and friendliness. Which makes it inspirational for other lines of business.
There are numerous reasons for featuring this book review on this blog. It has many valuable insights into relationship and stakeholders management, the cornerstone of any project. Project managers can get tips here on negotiations and deals making along with contracts management, intrinsic to the management of any project. I absorbed the parts on his work ethics and the ways he dealt with dilemmas, some of which we also encounter in project management dealings. Never compromise your values regardless of the potential financial loss (see the firing of Trump).
Finally, the graciousness with which the author refers to his numerous opposing counselors and the other parties is worth following as an example in projects and beyond. And just one more – give credit where credit is due, especially to those who work behind the scenes.
«Can you hear me? How to connect with people in the virtual world» by Nick Morgan
This is a book I find to be appealing to different audiences in the same clear and friendly language. If you are looking for advice on your online and social medial presence, this is the book. Equally, if you work in a virtual working environment, this is the book. It is written by Nick Morgan – one of America’s top communication speakers, theorists, and coaches. He also did lots of research for the book and offered us a product of collective wisdom.
The author is tranchant – “ the virtual work is not working”. He brings compelling arguments as to why. “Here’s the main lesson: If you can possibly begin a relationship of any importance in person, you should do so. Period, full stop, end of discussion.” I am fully with him on this.
I found an abundance of great advice and tools here: a revealing empathy quiz, how to create and manage your online persona, where to get started with your remote team, temperature taking at the start of virtual meetings, tips for business email writing, how to manage audioconferences etc.
The webinar got a separate chapter. I was bothered by this new form of “communication” and the author articulated it so well all that was nagging me: “ The webinar is simply a disembodied voice from a relative stranger, emotions stripped out, leaking out of a computer or phone. Or worse—a computer phone.” He calls webinars a “form of torture”. So next time you want to plan a webinar, think twice. I will, definitely.
The book was a page-turner for me. On every page I found tips and valuable advice which is gold for a project manager with remote teams spread on different continents.
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