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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2014
MARK RANDALL (CPPP) With an extensive background in learning and development, Mark Randall has held educational leadership and management roles in some of Australia's largest organisations, using project management methodologies to roll out large and complex organisational development and learning initiatives. 12 Project Manager THOUGHT LEADERS Influencing for success If project managers leave stakeholders to draw their own conclusions, there is a risk that those conclusions will not align with the PM's intent or the project's needs. Strategically, influencing a stakeholder from their ambivalent perspective to a supporting position will benefit projects. Here's how to do it. WE INFLUENCE CONTINUOUSLY, BUT most of it goes unnoticed. When a leader motivates his or her team to great heights, to achieve the previously unachievable, they do so with an element of influence. When a child happens to mention the joy they would experience from that new toy or gadget on the market, just prior to their upcoming birthday, they are inf luencing your decision- making process. As we saw at the end of last year, as politicians promise policy refor m to win your vote at the election, they seek to in uence you. Each of these examples is underpinned by a constant equation: action + response = bene t. Understanding why people behave as they do can assist us to be more e ective in our day-to- day work, not to mention our personal lives. If we can a ect their choices and in uence their responses, we will make our lives easier. In fact, in uence can have signi cant bearing on how successful we are, especially in task- related goals. Further, it makes sense that an ability to in uence would for m a major part of the project manager's capability, as their work is based on communication and ability to achieve through motivation of others. Considering this, the new 'must have' skill set or capability of any project manager is the ability to in uence. Identifying it is the easy part; developing it may take considerably longer. e good news is that we have been doing it our entire lives, so we have already begun the jour ney. Numerous people have theorised as to the elements of in uence, identifying tips and tricks to being more in uential, and this is all good. Most, though, miss the vital piece to this very complicated puzzle: the why. One who doesn't miss this point is Simon Sinek. Have a look at his Golden Circle approach on YouTube, you will come to realise that answering the 'why' question brings clarity and purpose. Without the 'why', as well as consideration of Stephen Covey's fth habit, from his in uential book e Seven Habits of Highly E ective People -- "Seek rst to understand, then to be understood" -- our ability to in uence diminishes. Further complicating this equation, if we factor in empathy -- a deep-seated care for and understanding of others -- it is easy to understand what makes in uencing so di cult to achieve. Empathy is the vital third leg to balancing our moral standard. Morally, in uencing others should only be considered right when in pursuit of the greater good so, when seeking to in uence as part of the organisational need, our ethical and moral compasses need to guide our ways. As project managers, we will not be successful in our roles unless we in uence. Our roles are about enacting change and, as we are aware, change is not an easy thing to achieve. It is important to recognise at this point that the people we seek to in uence in our roles are not resistant to change. ey actually resist the fear of loss that is associated with change. With this understanding, our attempts to in uence are made a little easier, so let's have a look at how we can in uence. Take a strategic approach To assist us in in uencing others, project managers need to be strategic in approaches to managing stakeholders. at is to say that we should not leave things to chance. If we leave our stakeholders to draw their ow n conclusions, we risk that those conclusions will not align with our intent or need. Strategically, in uencing a stakeholder from
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
Project Manager Apr May 2014