One of the things that amazes me about project management and for that matter many other areas of business, is the little or no preference given to human emotions, ego and all the issues, conflicts and benefits that derive from emotions. As of today there is no approach, training or strategy in any of the main project management methodologies – for emotions and dealing with the issues they can cause.
Considering how emotions are basically one of the most powerful forces in us and can dictate the success or failure of a project, it is amazing they don not get more reference. Below I have listed some key areas to pay attention to when dealing with emotions and human character. Obviously this is a huge area to discuss so I will visit and re-visit with various posts.
- One of the most important skills you will ever have in life is to be able to listen. This will serve you immeasurably in all aspects of your life. To listen to others and also what you are truly feeling.
- It is highly important to be aware that human character can cultivated for the better. Yours, as well as others. Unfortunately a lot of people are not willing to do what is necessary to implement change for the better. This is very often as simple as not listening to feedback and not taking it on board. If you are not open to coaching you are unlikely to improve.
- It is not a criticism of a person to point out an improvement they can make about themselves or how they apply themselves to their work. It is merely feedback that can either be accepted or rejected. If giving feedback to someone it is always best to put it diplomatically. If they don’t take feedback well this is an interesting insight into their character and often means a lack of confidence and bad egotism or pride.
- Human beings can be very bad at listening to or accepting unsolicited advice. A good project manager or scrum master and all the people working on a project should be open to feedback and advice. At least for the sake of the project.
- Projects should be approached with humility. People with large egos; that make an assumption they are always correct and are not willing to listen to others, can cause disastrous effects on a project. Large egos can create blind sides, disharmony in the team and cut off any chance of correcting badly made decisions.
- A person must have confidence in their abilities and have a willingness to listen. A belief by an individual that their decisions are always correct and they are themselves of high importance, so cannot possibly change or be open to feedback, is a primitive, ego orientated type approach. That will often lead to mistakes being made and not corrected.
- Transparency about the work being undertaken is also very important. It creates confidence in staff members and limits gossip and misinterpretations. The more staff know about a project and about the company or organisation they work for. The more secure they will feel.
- The human brain evolved specifically to survive. This is our primary instinct. The brain taking input from the past; creates opinions and stories based on available data or made up data to fill in the gaps. This way to the brain, the world is manageable and actions can be prepared. These opinions and stories are often incorrect and based on emotional states or negativity. Transparency limits staff from creating such stories or opinions based on nothing more than hear say or non-factual data.
- Finally a calm, mindful, awareness of the project, your own emotions and people’s emotions around you. Will help to create success in projects.