Have you stepped back and looked at yourself?

From the The Healthy Project Manager Blog
Matching up wellness coaching and motivational interviewing techniques with project management—along with inclusion and inspiration—is my goal.

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Have you ever asked someone to shadow you while facilitating meetings to provide feedback - with the goal to measure and improve your PM performance?  It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is an excellent way to grow.  Some ideas:

Self-improvement:  Several years ago I created a Meeting Mentoring Observation Worksheet and asked several people to score me during a meeting.  I try to do this at least 1x year.  The scoring is charted on a scale: 1 (poor) – 5 (exceptional) and I asked mentors to score me on some interesting things like:

  • My overall communication skills
  • How prepared I was for the meeting (agenda, documentation, knowledge of subject etc.)
  • My understanding/comprehension of the conversations during the meeting
  • How important it was to hold the meeting – could the information presented in the meeting have been shared more effectively in any other format (report, graph, e-mail, etc.)
  • How the meeting flow and organization of thoughts came across to others
  • My speaking tone – professionalism/respectfulness to others
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Recognition of others
  • Skill at asking open-ended questions
  • Active listening skills 
  • And more….Asking for feedback allows one to explore the perceptions of others.  It’s a great way to double check my personal style and look for opportunities for self-improvement beyond some typical things like taking a class or increasing my knowledge in some way.

Self-development:  Grow, grow, grow – I try to stretch myself.  For example – volunteering to speak at PMI chapter meetings or seminars.  It’s a great way to grow and develop personally while sharing insights with others.  Volunteering is a wonderful way to increase self-development.  In November, I will be speaking at the PMO Symposium 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  Scary, but an excellent self-development opportunity!

Self-control:  Ever get hot under the collar during a meeting or take something said in a meeting personally?  I’m trying to learn to subdue my emotions in meetings – not easy for a “Type-A” personality, but there is actually power and strength in this.  It’s allows one to step back, enabling longer pauses, waiting for responses, not spitting out the answers so quickly but allowing others to find the right answer before stepping back into the conversation.  Listening more.  Instead of sharing my perspective, I’ve been trying to spend more time asking others about their thoughts and viewpoints.  If someone uses a statement that bubbles up an emotion, I try to spend an extra moment pondering it from their vantage point before responding.  This takes self-control and is another excellent aspect of growth and development.

How do you encourage self-improvement, self-development and self-control?  I’m anxious to hear what works for you!

Posted on: July 01, 2019 05:21 PM | Permalink

Comments (10)

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Hi Lori,

I really appreciate your postings; they are relevant and enjoyable!

I’ve been on a journey this last year, trying to break out of a four-decade pattern of project businesses that constantly excused me from giving back to our industry and doing things that I have always enjoyed but rarely did such as writing, volunteering and assisting others in their pursuits. So yes, I have been working on and reflecting on self-x3.

Everything in life comes down to a choice, especially when dealing with aspects of self-control. I can now look back at and laugh at myself over the last couple of decades of high-stress projects and recognize the transformation that has occurred due to reflection, acceptance and better choices (among other things).

Keep up the good work!

Thoughtful read on self-development.
Build self-resiliency and self-discipline to take charge of the direction of personal development. Help colleagues in their development as well.

Excellent tip Lori!

Project Managers should always look for ways to improve their communication skills.

Excellent set of tips. Think that twice a year would help improve more rapidly, no?

Very insightful Lori, thank you

Hi Vincent: I agree that maybe increasing the frequency would only help improve my skills more rapidly - great suggestion! Do you ask others for feedback? How has that experience gone for you? I recognize you are a gifted coach, trainer, speaker and advisor. Is it hard to find others to help support you with mentoring and feedback?

Great information. I’m going to share with my organization.

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