The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Ask For It!

ask_for_it_long_beach_logoHave you started the conversation with your team about Expected Behaviors yet? The dialogue may not be as uncomfortable you may think. Here are a few suggestions to get it going.

Set the context. Set the context by reinforcing the value of teamwork from your perspective. Answer the question, “Why are we doing this?” As the team leader, you should express your personal commitment o demonstrate these behaviors, knowing that you don’t always get them “right” and that you expect the team to hold you accountable. Let staff know that you will be actively seeking input from each team member to ensure that as a leader you are demonstrating the Expected Behaviors. Emphasize that, “We must hold each other accountable for demonstrating these behaviors. This is critical for our team’s success.”

Want to solicit real feedback from your team in a simple manner? Here is an easy exercise to follow:

Set up your meeting room with three easels with paper and markers. Label the three flip charts into color categories:

Red signifies things we need to STOP doing as a team.

Yellow indicates things we need to do more or/less of as a team.

Green signifies things we need to START doing as a team.

Allow ample time for each team member to visit each flipchart. As they move to the next flipchart, encourage team members to spend a few moments reading the previous members’ notes. They should add their own notes, building or adding to the previous members’ contributions as appropriate.

After everyone has had the chance to visit each flipchart and add notes, you can then discuss the results. Using the results as your guide, facilitate a conversation with your team to agree on what you need to stop doing, what are the key things you need to do more, what needs to happen less, and what you should start doing.

After you have developed a list of Must Do, Must Stop, Must Adjust items, discuss how you can ensure (as a team) the necessary changes are made. Once the group decides on key areas of behavior, post the list at the next few meetings as a reminder to the group.

Go on, ask for it!


About the Author

Lisa is a leading force in project and business management. She is the founder of Your Project Office, a PMI©Registered Education Provider, and consulting practice dedicated to introducing project management as a business competency. She is the editor of ProjectBestPractices, a quarterly newsletter from ProjectWorld, and a contributor to PM Network Magazine. She's also the author of Simple Solutions: How "Enterprise Project Management" Supported Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's Journey from Near Collapse to #1 and Project Team Dynamics: Enhancing Performance, Improving Results. Scores of organizations – from college campuses to governmental agencies to Fortune 100 companies have gained from Lisa's insights and tell-it-like-it-is keynotes and programs. She offers a variety of topics, ranging from technical project management practices to teambuilding and business leadership. Audience members and workshop participants leave educated, engaged, and energized – armed with actionable practices for immediate success., e-mail
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