Written by Dana Civitano-Hendrickson, PMP of Aspen Advisors
Integrity/Respect in Project Teams
What is the key to having a successful project and project team? I believe that the values I was taught – honesty, respect, integrity – are the very key. I’ve tried to apply these same values to my work (in my work habits). I saw these embodied in the first project manager that I ever worked for. She led her team by example: integrity and respect for others, from her belief in building a person up, and enabling them to grow and move up (and out of the organization, if they wanted).
Enabling Your Project Team
To be successful, you need to have the framework in place for your team. Encourage them to take ownership of their tasks. Let them feel that they have a stake in the projects’ success or failure. Give them the tools – whether it is training, coaching, or productive feedback – to succeed.
Ask, Don’t Tell
A project manager, or any manager for that matter, should ask — even though they are really managing — a team member to perform a task or action to provide a deliverable. By asking, the PM allows the team member to feel as if they are part of the team and not just another cog in the wheel. Ask for their opinions or thoughts on how best to accomplish that deliverable. If a team member comes up with a great idea for something, recognize them and do it in front of others! This should be for any contribution, no matter how big or small.
Lead By Example
Your team must see how you interact with others. They must see you holding yourself to the same standards that you expect them to exhibit. If your team members see this and can trust you, they will then begin, or continue, to be invested in the project and in the organization. This is a key factor.
Get to Know Your Team
People like to feel valued. They need to feel as if they are part of a team. My father had a kidney transplant. Our VP knew this. From time to time he would see me in the hallway and ask how my dad was doing, what his progress was in his recovery. This meant a lot to me that my VP, someone who is running an organization of over approximately 200 people, would remember my Dad! Get to know your team…at least some small item about them. It could be a bit about their hobbies, their family or their interests. At the start of each project call, go around the horn and ask each team member how they are, about John’s family or Sue’s hobby. It will foster a team environment and a sense of community. It will show that you respect them enough to remember and to ask about it.
Whether it is a new ATS system or recruiting process, a merger or separation, these principles can be applied equally across any project in any organization or company. They are universal.