Effective Team Member Relationships

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

It doesn’t matter how inexperienced you are as a project manager; you know that the team is critical to success. After all, a PM doesn’t directly do anything when it comes to the tasks on the plan—his or her role is to create an environment where each member of the team can perform the tasks assigned to them effectively and efficiently.

That environment only happens when everyone on the team feels part of what’s happening, they’re motivated to be successful, and committed to their colleagues. But how does a PM create that environment? That’s a question that a lot of new project managers find challenging, so I want to offer a few thoughts on the topic here.

Treat everyone equitably, not equally
The first area I want to look at is the biggest mistake I see new project managers make. They confuse the need for being equitable (fair treatment) with the need for equal treatment. It is extremely important to treat every member of the team fairly; you can’t play favorites or set a different standard for some people than for other people.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone has to be treated the same. That’s because different people on the team have different roles, and with those roles come different expectations, different working dynamics with colleagues and the PM, and different approaches to how work gets done.

An …

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