A Project Manager needs many skills. And one of the hardest to come to terms with is managing conflict. You won’t use it every day (I hope). But you will need it from time to time. Whether you are called upon to handle a small spat or defuse a mighty row, conflict management needs a place in your project management toolkit.
No matter how well you manage your projects, nor how skilled you are at dealing with people, conflict will arise. It is inevitable when people care about things that are new, important, and complex. And it is sometimes a good thing to air different perspectives in a robust way.
In tough times, project management is not enough. People get scared and uncertain. So they need leadership to keep them motivated, confident and effective. In this article, we’ll look at what Project Leadership adds to project management. And we’ll also look at three of the biggest challenges project leaders face in tough times. What are they and, more important, how can you handle them effectively?
Most managers have it easy. They have the authority to ask, and expect compliance. Unlike them, project managers have little or no formal authority over our team-members. So you have to get things done by persuasion and influence.
This doesn’t come naturally to many people. And we aren’t taught it at school, either. In fact, since your toddler days of tantrums and intransigence, how many new strategies have you developed?
What I hear from Project Managers is that it is these sort of soft skills that concern them most. Planning, monitoring, and risk management are easy to learn. It’s the soft stuff that’s really hard. Things like confidence and assertiveness, or persuasion and influence, are vital skills. Yet project management training rarely covers them.
So this article will introduce you to some key ideas around influence and persuasion. It can only be an introduction. This is a huge topic that is the subject of many books of different styles. They include my own best-selling Brilliant Influence. Its 2nd edition is How to Influence in Any Situation (US, UK).
Social power is the ability to influence other people. And Project Managers need to influence your stakeholders. So an understanding of Power Bases in projects is a valuable tool for your kit-bag.Continue reading