Project Practitioners > Interaction Skills

Posts Under "Interaction Skills"

Are You a Complete Project Manager?
By Randy Englund
While many professionals develop their craft through advanced education and on the job experiences, there comes a time when an enhanced skill set and a new perspective about working with people is necessary in order to advance to the next level of performance. How do you move beyond this plateau? Are you ready to be more complete as a project manager? Co-author Alfonso Bucero and I, through many years of highs and lows, came to believe that enhanced people skills and systemic thinking are keys to success…in any endeavor. Our work as consultants these days is to help people commit... Read More»


By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Why Do We Do It? As project managers we are responsible for delivering an operating asset, new piece of equipment, new software program, etc. Most companies have the codes, procedures and processes in place. But it takes more than that to get the project done. When we start a project, it is usually just a concept. To get from this concept to the finish, there are the procedures, methods, and tools. However, there is more to project management than these. I was always considered as one who got things done, so from my experience, project management also involves: Being creative.... Read More»

A Confident and Prepared Experience
By Ann Drinkwater
A year ago I had a less than desirable personal service performed. What I was told was a very small, routine dental procedure, that according to the computer would take 18 minutes turned into a situation where I lost all confidence and trust in my dental provider. The issues presented and takeaways really apply to all types of projects and businesses. The first dental issue arose when my procedure started and I realized the dentist hadn’t provided adequate time for numbing or adequate medication before starting the procedure. The second issue came while I was in the dental chair with... Read More»

What teammates say: to lead, be calm (and why that matters)
By Cinda Voegtli
Here's a quick post with an article full of notes on what it means to be seen as a leader by teammates. I am a huge San Francisco Giants' baseball fan, and about to watch game 3 of the World Series tonight. Our local papers are doing a fabulous job posting daily background articles about the team and individual players. In an interview with Wednesday's starting pitcher Jake Peavy, Jale brought up the team's catcher, Buster Posey, "in the midst of a long explanation of why he has been better with the Giants than he was with the Red Sox."... Read More»

Establishing YOUR Project Team's Culture
By Jeff Richardson
You can tell the difference between an effective and ineffective team by simply observing ONE meeting. The underlying set of agreements becomes very apparent to an outsider, while team members are somewhat oblivious to how their team REALLY works because they have been immersed in the minutiae. Just like fish don't think much about water because they immersed in it, teams become resigned to a "that's just the way it is" mentality regarding how they works interact. Changing the way your team works together seems like a daunting task from the insiders perspective, even for many leaders. The complexity of... Read More»

Adapting to Our Partners' Perspective
By Jeff Richardson
Partnering is an evolving practice that is essential for survival in our rapidly growing global economy. On the surface the process seems simple and the savings substantial, but lying below the surface is a host of challenges and conflicts waiting to undermine good intentions. Your NDA’s and legal contracts are the least of your problems. When I first got involved in multi-company collaboration programs I was somewhat naive to the intricate differences in company cultures. There are hundreds of small, seemingly insignificant ways of operating that go unnoticed when immersed in your company’s ‘business as usual’ mode. These differences become... Read More»

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Aligning People on Multi-Cultural Project Teams
By Jeff Richardson
Doesn’t it feel like sometimes the deck is stacked against you? Project success seems elusive as business complexity reaches a tipping point. I miss the days when technology innovation was the primary hurdle to overcome. In today’s environment, project leaders are dealing with complex set of variables that make their work more unpredictable than ever. Matrix structures, cross-cultural members, distributed locations, short term mindsets and unrealistic expectations are the norm in many companies. Managing these compounding factors isn’t as hopeless as it seems, provided you get the team aligned in moving in the right direction. Neuroscience experts are confirming insights... Read More»

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Close the Complaint Department
By Michael Aucoin
Do you have a Complaint Department within your team? By that term, I do not mean the office that receives complaints from customers. Rather, this “department” is how individual team members air grievances about others on the team. For example, Lee has done or said something that Sam doesn’t like. Sam goes to Pat, an uninvolved third party, to complain about Lee. Such third party complaining is detrimental to a team for three reasons. It does not solve the underlying conflict, and creates an environment that prolongs the conflict. It may create factions within a team, meaning that the team... Read More»

The "Secret" Code: a Toolkit of Skills
By Randy Englund
Proman was at a crossroads. The large program had just concluded. What was next? He noticed how engaged he’d felt during the process. Each day he threw himself into the proceedings with renewed vigor. He seemed to know instinctively what to do. People looked to him for direction, even people smarter than he was and higher up in the organization. Sure, there were many moments when he felt like he wanted to strangle someone who would not cooperate. But even these moments challenged him to reach inside himself for an appropriate response that would elicit a positive reaction. He had... Read More»

Are You “In the Game”?
By Randy Englund
In a recent discussion about additional costs being added to my home build project, I made a comment to our builder that “I don’t want to play that game.” He took offense at that comment. I believe he thought I was trivializing the situation and not honoring standard industry practices. The conversation did not go well. To prevent future misunderstanding, I am compelled to clarify the meaning of my statement. I argue that this thinking and use of words are valuable tools in the complete project manager’s toolkit. A context for using this terminology is selecting color for a concrete... Read More»




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