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How to Get People to Do What You Ask Them to Do? | Video

How to get people to do what you ask them to do

One of the toughest things for a Project Manager is getting your team to do what you ask them to do. And it’s no surprise that the way you ask matters. But I’d like to suggest a three-step approach that can help you lock-in a mind-set where people want to do what you ask.

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Here’s my three-step approach:

Step 1: Commit to Your Team

Start your project off with a team kick-off meeting that emphasizes your commitment to the team. Prepare for it well – including making sure you know everyone’s names beforehand. This is your chance to start building the kind of team spirit that means team members will want to help each other out.

Step 2: Commit to Your Project

Your team members need to believe in the project. So use your kick-off to start spelling out why it matters. What difference will it make? And why should we all care? Nothing beats a good ‘because’ in the world of motivation. If you want to get people to do what you want, you need them to want to do it!

Step 3: Commit to Each Person

What you start at your kick-off, you need to carry through your whole project. Treat every individual team member with respect. Make yourself their servant, rather than their leader:

  • listen more than you speak
  • praise more than you criticize
  • coach more than you instruct
  • share more than you withhold
  • negotiate more than you tell
  • mediate more than you arbitrate

Getting people to do what you ask them to do means making them feel good about your leadership.

Simple is Not Easy

Three simple steps. But simple isn’t easy. So put a lot of work into each of them. Only then will you reap the rewards of a team that wants to work for you, cares about delivering your project, and so will willingly do what you ask of them.


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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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