Project Management

12 Ways to Hurt Relationships

PMI Silver Spring Chapter

Beth Spriggs' professional career began in information technology in 1999. As a certified PMP with over a decade of project management experience, she has combined her love for tech and project management by focusing her career on managing technology projects and portfolios. She is author of The Project Manager's Little Book of Cheats.

Whether you are a project leader or a team member, your relationships with others will probably be the most important factor in your own success, not to mention the success of the initiatives you work on. Here are 12 common traps that can damage relationships. Avoid them at all cost.

In The Power of Relationships (Nov. 9, 2016), I focused on why good work relationships are so important to project success, and three ways to improve your own relationships. This month, let’s tackle the subject from the opposite perspective; let’s explore ways people weaken or break work relationships. Sometimes knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. To that end, here is a list of 12 things that will definitely hurt your relationships, presented with a healthy dose of sarcasm. To be clear, do not follow this “advice.”

1. Don’t get to know anyone personally.

Asking questions about people’s lives outside of work only opens the door for unwanted conversations, and wastes time that could be better spent getting work done. It’s not like you can keep everyone’s kids’ and pets’ names straight, so it’s better not to ask. Demonstrating interest in people personally might mistakenly come across as caring about them.

2. Don’t keep confidences.

When someone confides in you and you agree not to share that…

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"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow."

- Oscar Wilde