How to Manage Project Personalities

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To be an excellent project manager you need to have a blend of what the, methodology suggests, experience and character. Through the year I’ve worked with different types of personalities in a single project. Every person on a project has a role, a unique talent, not everyone has the same knowledge or leadership.

But how can a Project Manager (PM) engage people in the project (stakeholder, developer, analyst, tester)… using the “World Peace” phrase?  Sending emails containing a long list of tasks to be performed? Complaining about the output? Pointing people about whose fault it is? Lecturing people working on the project?  These are options that some project managers might use or may consider good options; for me they are all wrong. That does not mean that sometimes they are the only option, but in most cases there is always a right way to do things and one that can benefit every side.

Instead of discussing more about these options and their repercussions, I’m going to address my focus on Personality. Engage people through their personality, learn what they like and dislike, their character and how they see themselves in the project. If we are aware of the kind of person we are working with, then we can prepare, and plan ahead. These are some of my rules in the workplace:

  • How to Manage Software Project PersonalitiesCOMMUNICATEDon’t wait hours to report an issue, if something does not look right talk to the project manager or a co-worker… For me if I don’t have a solution or an idea of what to do in 30 minutes, I know that I have to talk to someone.
  •  Get to KNOW your team, mean it and do it! As long as you know who you are working with everything will run smoothly, this helps emphasizes team work.
  • SEEK the good in people, it could be risky but most time, it is worth it.
  •  Everyone can BE A LEADER in their job, allow them. We are working in a very dynamic environment we need more good leaders.
  •  Make them LAUGH, We work with so much stress that we forget to calm down, a joke or two are not going to kill anyone.

 

Tips on How to Manage Project Personalities

  • RESPECT different opinions…LISTEN. Everyone works differently and sees things in different ways, it is very important for every project manager to remember this.
  •  Less talk more RESULTS. Do more. Don’t promise things you can’t accomplish, keep it low key so at the end, your work speaks for you.
  •  Always speak the TRUTH. Honesty is a great quality to have, don’t waste it.
  •  Anybody in a project can TEACH something new, LEARN IT!

 

Projects are challenging, don’t let personalities became one of them. If you work with a person who is difficult to deal with, the application of these rules can help solve the problem. But if this persists, the best option is to try to understand what might be bothering this person. Working with people that differ in personalities can be hard but you should visualize this as a challenge. Project success is the sum of all the effort of the people involved in the project and that includes the project manager’s effort in working with different personalities between coworkers.

Have additional project management tips? Share it with us in the comments section.

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