Project Management

Building organizational acumen

Organizational acumen is nothing more or less than understanding how things work in your organization. The better you understand the structure, systems, processes and people in the organization, the more effective you will be at getting things done. Find out how you can improve your organizational acumen.

Communication styles

Communication is the key to success in ……. just about everything. But if you’re looking to have a successful career, it’s a foundational skill that you need to master. This blog series will take a look at three aspects of communication.

8 tips for resolving conflict

Wherever there is conflict, there is liable to be escalating stress. As a project manager, your actions and reactions in the face of conflict will set an example for the team. Every conflict is unique, but basically is about managing opposing forces and disagreement. You’ll see that resolving conflict calls on many areas of learning we have covered so far. This blog focuses on bringing it all together.

Accepting “good enough”

Many years ago, I was part of a team of marketers in Europe. Our team was made up of people from many countries in Europe and this American. It was almost all women, with one, very quiet, very discreet man. Marketing was undergoing (yet another) transformation and job descriptions had been changed.

Resolving conflict – start by managing your own stress

Complex work environments give rise to a broad range of handicapping emotions: frustration, overwhelm, worry, blame to name a few. These emotions can trigger a stress reaction which activates adrenalin and cortisol, causing a physical reaction which can then impact our behavior.

6 ways to take care of yourself

As we push through career challenges and look after our families, many of us neglect to take care of ourselves. I know how it is. You’re not eating so healthy since you are often on the run. Getting exercise is a happy ideal that you never have the time for. You’re catching up on work after hours. You’re not sleeping enough.

Managing unrealistic goals at work

Are you tearing your hair out over unrealistic goals at work? Humans have a need for fairness and autonomy (control). As one of the top workplace stressors, unrealistic objectives and demands make us feel overwhelmed, but also angry and powerless. But what can you do about it? 

Working with people you don’t like

We’ve all had to do it – work with someone we really, really don’t like. It can be both physically and emotionally uncomfortable working with people you don’t like. Dislike can be triggered by physical appearances, unconscious bias, attitudes or opinions, even the sound of someone’s voice. Generally speaking, we dislike what we can not relate to and what we do not approve.

5 Ways to Influence Without Authority

Influencing without authority is a critical job skill for project managers. Keeping the cats herded requires a combination of strong project management and communication skills. When you combine that with influencing levers, you can master the most complex projects. Here are five ways to influence without authority.

10 ways a project manager can reduce stress

Every project manager has to deal with stress. Complex projects, difficult deadlines and changing conditions all contribute to a stressful work environment. The project manager is in a unique situation to reduce the stress levels of a project. Here are 10 ways a project manager can reduce stress.

Creating a management system

Whether you are building a new team or launching a new project, you’ll need to establish a management system to keep things on track. If you are stepping into an established role, you will want to evaluate the management system that already exists.

Influencing without Authority – leveraging Relationships

In my blog series about Influencing without Authority, I have covered why you need to even consider it and 3 influence types so far : Expertise, Resources and Information.  Now let’s explore softer skills types of influence. I’ll start with Relationships and the last blog will be all about Attitude.

Influencing without Authority – leveraging information

So after the intro and blogs on Expertise and Resources, let’s focus on Information as a source of influence. Having a level playing field on knowledge about critical information is a must. If team members are not informed of key information, it’s impossible to move in the same direction together. You have information that others need and for sure they also have information you need.

Influencing without Authority – leveraging Resources

In my last two blogs, I focused on why influencing without authority can be so important and on the influencing effects of expertise. Let’s explore how resources are a source of influence. We all know that having the right resources – skills, people, budget – has a direct impact on the success of ambitious projects.

Influencing without Authority – leveraging Expertise

This is part 2 of a blog series on Influencing without Authority. If you missed the introduction blog, you can check it out here. I covered why it’s so important to leverage other types of influence and shared a personal example of what happens when you don’t.  This blog will focus on Expertise as an area of influence.

Influencing without Authority

Over the years, I have worked many complex, cross organizational, cross discipline projects which required influencing without authority. I learned many lessons – both from making mistakes and from applying some sound principles to my work ethic. In this blog series, I’ll be exploring what I consider the core elements of influence as well as some thoughts about creating a shared sense of urgency, which is critical to successful projects.