After managing many projects in my professional life and observing other professionals doing the same, I believe that every project manager is born happy; but it takes years to figure that out. Positive attitude happens when you think it will happen. I found many negative project managers being focused on the negative all the time, I mean focused on problems and issues and all time complaining, instead of being focused on solutions and looking for alternative paths.
Positive attitude happens when you make it happen. You, as a project manager, must think in a positive way every day in your project. You acquire your attitude over time. It's based on your family, your environment, your friends, but also on your experiences in your projects and organizations, and the other facts that constitutes your life.
I found many project managers that said project manager's life is too complicated. I don't know if any of them tried to find out why. Perhaps it would be more effective to focus on developing better and better skills and growing up professionally and personally. Those professionals usually complain about the lack of support from their organizations, the customer pressure, and other usual behaviors. If you are one of them, please change your mind and you will find many opportunities to learn, to be more happy and to make happy your team members, executives and sponsors and other project stakeholders. It is easy to say but difficult to implement. I said "difficult", that does not mean "impossible".
So the point is "how to do it?"
Internal happiness is the beginning of positive attitude, not the achieving of it. All the attributes you need to achieve are inside of you. You must begin to realize that:
1. Attitude is your choice, not your circumstances
2. Attitude is the way you respond to the situation itself
3. You have control over the way you choose, and the way you respond
Positive attitude needs passion (to believe in), persistence (very few times you will be master on something without practice), and patience (it takes time to achieve results, you must wait for). Try to do an attitude self-test. Think about your definition of positive attitude, then write down one or a couple of senteces.
What percentage of your success is dependent on your positive attitude?
What is your attitude when listening, communicating, serving customers, doing your project manager job?
Please rate your positive attitude from 1 to 10. Regardless where you are, based on my experience I can share with you some best practices about how to improve your attitude:
1. Stop blaming circumstances for your situation: It is not the circumstances. It's you. You have a choice in everithing you do.
2. Stop blaming other people (for example your team members) for your situation: Take responsibility for yourself and your actions.
3. Know your customer better: Talk to them, look for more information, find out more data from them.
4. Be persistent until you gain an answer: Insist, repeat and repeat.
5. Know where you are or where you should be: Manage your time effectively.
6. Work on your skills every day: Read books, CDs, attend Seminars.
7. Become solution oriented: Instead of gripping or wallowing in your problems, why not spend the same amount of time working on solutions.
8. Think before talking: People speak without thinking, only to regret what they said.
Your attitude is a difference maker for project success. Cultivate your attitude, practice, practice and practice and you will be able to achieve a great positive attitude. If you want to know more details read my book "Today is a Good Day - Attitudes for Achieving Project Success (www.amazon.com).
Today is a Good Day!