Project Management

Are You Coachable?

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's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

It takes a certain type of person to be a project manager. You need to be comfortable with uncertainty, you need to be able to sweat the details while keeping one eye on the big picture, and you need to be able to build a team of people who are motivated to work together for a common goal—and do it using influence and personality rather than formal authority.

In some ways, project managers have to be selfless because they are focused on creating an environment where their team can succeed. But they also need a bit of an ego—they need to have the self-belief and confidence that they can get the project delivered no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way.

These personality traits aren’t good or bad, they just are; any other mix and the person likely wouldn’t enjoy project management (and probably wouldn’t succeed at it, either). But there are implications to this kind of personality, and in my experience one of them is that project managers can be harder than some other roles to coach. And that can be a problem because coaching is one of the most effective ways for any professional to grow.

Let’s look at why coaching can be difficult for PMs…

The barriers to coaching success
Project managers need to have self-confidence if they are to be successful. And they must convey that confidence to their team, sponsor and …

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"I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in the work - the chance to find yourself."

- Joseph Conrad