working with people

How good are you at working with people?

Have you ever considered how good you are at working with people?  Is this something you have considered at all in your role as Project Manager, that it is an important skill that you need to have?

​One of the core skills of being a Project Manager is working with people.

That may involve working with

  • people from different areas within the one organisation;
  • people from external supply organisations or sub-contractors;
  • consultants or contractors bought in to work on the project;
  • Senior Executives and Managers from around the organisation.

​Working with and interacting with each of these different groups of people in itself needs a level of skill without taking into consideration anything to do with that persons own individual characteristics.

In a recent podcast episode I spoke about different learning styles.  This is not something that we normally learn about, and yet it can provide you with some key insights into the ways that a particular person likes to be engaged.

Are there certain types of people that you like working with and others that you don’t?  Have you stopped to consider why you don’t like working with that type of person, what is it that you don’t enjoy about working with them?

Do you enjoy talking to people and explaining things, or does that feel like a chore that you would rather not bother with?  It is valuable to consider if this is a key skill that you need to have and one that might be making the difference between you being successful, and not.

​Have you thought about what it means to ‘work with’ people?  Do you feel the need to be in full control of what is going on and can’t give that up.  For me, working with people is about giving them responsibility and delegating tasks.  When I am managing a project I like the team members to feel that they are responsible for helping US succeed.  This means we both feel good about what we are achieving for the business.

​Collaborating, sharing, openness and trust are all big factors in successfully working with people.  These are the things that I have found make or break me getting the support that I need from the people within the project team whether they are from my organisation or outside of it.

​What if you were to ask for feedback from random team members on your project to see what they think about how you are ‘working’ with them?  I’ve done that before and gained some really valuable insights into what wasn’t working for them.  It is not always easy to hear, when it is not something that you’ve done before.  I would highly recommend it though.