Project Manager Self Awareness – Podcast
Hi folks, this is After Hours Project Management and I’m James Clements. Now, that your day is done, sit back, relax, feet up, and let’s talk projects.
So, welcome to this first episode of After Hours Project Management. So what I want to talk about today in this first episode is not so much about projects, and tools and processes and all those type of things. I want to talk about you as the project manager and what it takes to make you a better project manager even before you step into work and just the mindset you need to have to be a successful project manager.
So, the first thing I want to do is talk about self-awareness. And this is where you need to be aware of your capabilities, your shortfalls, your strengths and your weaknesses – all those type of things. This is about, typically understanding whether you are introverted or extroverted or whether you are strong technically, or you’re a great leader, a great speaker and so forth. And the best project managers are acutely aware of whether they’re strong or where they’re weak, when they setup project management teams they will cover their weaknesses off. So you need to be aware of these and you need to make sure that weaknesses are covered and you play to your strengths.
One of the things in doing that is when you are forming relationships with people to really understand what’s going on in a project. You need to really be able to actively listen to people and hear what they’re saying to you and hear what’s going on. And that way, not only are you self aware but certainly you are aware of your environment. So, develop great listening skills to be able to hear what’s going on.
And for most of us as project leaders, it’s so easy to just walk into meetings, and kick off meetings and general progress meetings and other types of things and tell it like it is. And I’ve suffer from that for many years, when the pressure is on and you have got time constraints. And you’ve got pressures to get things done, and get to next milestone and so forth. Some of us, just walk in there with a stern voice and say ladies gents his is how we’re going to do it. I’ve sat at home and developed this fantastic strategy and I’ve written a project management plan and so forth. You do that and there’s a no ownership by anyone else except yourself and a couple of weeks down the track say where’s my report, and where’s this and where’s that. And if you haven’t sat down with the people who are producing those reports and even the people who are using those reports, you haven’t heard what they need or what their recommendations are because people bring so much experience to projects, you need to allow them the space to develop and bring these skills to the project – then you’re just going to fail and you’re going to go down a track that you don’t want to go down. This is where, going back to where I started, is to play to your strengths because if you’re not used to writing plans to your project controls managers and for example, you are project control expert and clearly he’s not going to own it. You’re not going to specify the things that really matter and it’s not going to work.