Project Management

Seeing is Believing: The Maggie Method

From the Team building for success - from the Project Manager up! Blog
Passion for project management combined with a passion for people creates energy, enthusiasm and engagement. Engagement leads to success. It is when we are most engaged that we will "run through walls" for others. This blog focuses on ways to keep our project teams engaged and the way we can keep ourselves engaged and effective. As Lori Wilson ( described it "Project management is like tap dancing on a moving floor". Let's LEARN TO DANCE!

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adaptability, awe, Character Strengths, character strengths, emotional intelligence, engagement, Focus, Leadership, MBPM, mindset, Project management, SBPM, social intelligence, Stakeholder, Strengths-Based Project Management, Team Building, workplace


This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the questions I ask project managers when we explore being a Project Motivator and the concepts of strengths-based project management. I ask these questions of my readers and workshop attendees, but I think it is important to be transparent, so I share my answers too...

This particular post is based on a case study about Maggie the Project Manager that I share with my groups. To see the case study go here: using password Maggie2019

What were the key contributors to success in the story?

There are many possible answers to this question. My favorites are: Hope – Maggie and the team believe that good things are possible and they take steps to make them happen, Strength – they look for, call out and play to strengths, Brave – they experiment with new things and don’t avoid challenging conversations, Curious – they treat their experiments as a way to answer the questions of how do we get the team motivated and the project done?

What do you recognize in the story? What do you already do?

There is a LOT in the story. At various times I have used some or all of the practices described in the story. At the very least I have worked on my own strengths, and as far as possible I have worked with others on theirs too.

What practices did you read about that you think you can implement right away in a project you currently work on or are about to work on?

I have tried all these techniques LOL!

What practices would you add to this story to make it even better?

I would love to add some coaching practices to the story. When project managers coach their teams – and are coached themselves – performance soars! The ROI of coaching is huge. I would also add some material about decision making and steps to building an effective – and realistic – plan.

Feel free to let me know what YOU would add - message me through the platform.

Strategies for success

  • Be hopeful: What did you observe from the story that will help your team in their daily interactions?
  • Where do I start? The biggest thing is that Maggie puts others first, she pays attention to what they have to say, she gathers the perspective of many rather than just a few.
  • Be strong: From your observations of your team, determine an action that you will take to build on helpful behavior.
  • The biggest single thing that I practice is spotting and calling out strengths. It is a win-win for me as a project manager and my team members and quickly becomes a habit that takes no time and only a small amount of effort. Even when there is conflict or tension, sharing strengths observations helps to bring a more positive mindset into the conversation.
  • Be brave: what is one tough conversation you will have to benefit the team?
  • Highlighting where strengths use may not be working well is a tough conversation and yet it is so worthwhile and still easier to have than some other conflict conversations. I have found that people are much more open to a conversation about how their strength is uncomfortable for another person in a particular context. It is easier to be open to a discussion about something that is essentially a positive even when the specific conversation is about a negative!
  • Be curious: Choose one person on the team whom you will meet with to find out more about his or her perspective.
  • I love to pick people from the team and just sit down and ask them about their take on the project. Depending on the size of the team I may pick a different person each week or I may have less frequent meetings. But there are so many perspectives to be had and they all help to build a 3-D image of the project. This helps with estimating, planning and problem solving as the project progresses!

Posted on: June 17, 2019 06:59 AM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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Eduin Fernando Valdes Alvarado Project Manager| F y F Fabricamos Futuro Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia
Very interesting, thanks for sharing

Ronan O Rourke Retired Executive Manager, Water & Drainage Operations| Retired Bray, Ireland
Thanks for these articles. In this one I particularly like that Maggie puts others first and that you have recommended speaking individually to team members to get their perspective as some don't feel comfortable sharing in a group

Abolfazl Yousefi Darestani Manager, Quality and Continuous Improvement| Hörmann-TNR Industrial Doors Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Yeah. Thank you for sharing your insights on this

LORI WILSON RETIRED - Technical Project Manager| RETIRED - LifePoint Health Clarkston, Wa, USA
Hi Ruth: I've enjoyed these blogs. Thanks!

Mayte Mata-Sivera
Community Champion
Head of PMO| Confidential Ut, USA
Ruth, I'm super fan of those posts. Thank you!

Ruth Pearce Author * Speaker * Transformational Leader * Coach * Cheerleader * | Durham, Nc, USA
Thank you all for your comments. I am so pleased that you are enjoying the posts!

Michael Lambert Materials Manager| Pentair Kansas City, Mo, USA
Enjoyed your perspective. Thank you

Ruth Pearce Author * Speaker * Transformational Leader * Coach * Cheerleader * | Durham, Nc, USA
Thank you all for your comments and feedback. Ronan, thank you for pointing out the speaking to individual team members. Sometimes the opposite is true that people are MORE comfortable speaking in groups of two or three particularly if there is a cultural tradition of hierarchical leadership.
But creating a safe environment where people can express ideas and concerns is so important.

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