People change the fate of complex projects they are managing. When they are inspired, motivated and engaged, they can overcome just about anything. But surprisingly few projects feel like that in practice. Here are some ways to become more ‘people-intelligent’ leaders and make projects work.
Experienced project managers like HPS see that there is more and more evidence that happy people are significantly more productive. When people are productive on a project the bottom line gets a boost, too.
People intelligent leaders need to walk the talk. Most project leaders are committed to achieving success and do what they honestly believe is right. The problem is that accurate self-perception is rare. How many times have you heard a manager say, “I have an open-door policy – I encourage people to tell me the facts,” only to see someone who believes their rhetoric being chewed up and spat out?
You also need to say thank you more often, interestingly financial rewards aren’t all that rewarding. Specific and immediate thanks can actually mean so much more. People need good relationships to flourish and receiving a thank you means that you have been seen and appreciated.
You have to be careful not to assume what is important to you is equally important to everyone else. Only by listening will you will soon find out what is important to most. Communicate by listening more than telling. Aligning interests is the best way to create motivation in others. For anyone particularly interested in this, try investigating Nudge theory, which argues that positive reinforcement can influence decision-making at least as effectively – if not more so – than direct enforcement.
Imagine a world of project managers committed to becoming ‘people intelligent leaders’.United they could influence the world of project management and project management essentials could be constantly updated to support this people-based approach.
If you would like to find out more about this approach why don’t you get in touch with our team?