You go to conferences… and there are moments when you pick stuff up that can help you do your job. But, once and awhile, there are those special moments when people share things in sessions that permanently change how you look at the work you do. It’s rare… but it’s awesome.
That happened for me this September in Memphis at the 2018 Digital PM Summit. I attended a session led by Abby Fretz called "Sustaining the Project Honeymoon Phase: How to Build Effective Client Education.” In the session, Abby drew a connection between the relationship we have with our clients and the relationships students have with teachers. She reminded everyone that all of our clients are not just emotional humans, but they are also family members, friends, and experts, and that we need to care for them as a teacher would care for a student. Moreover, she reminded everyone that as much as we are the teachers of our clients, they are our teachers as well.
I wish someone had said this to me 20 years ago.
In this podcast, Abby and I discuss her session from the 2018 Digital PM Summit, what led her to her metaphor, and how it has impacted her work. There is some powerful stuff in this interview and I hope it will be as valuable for you as it was for me. I am very indebted to Abby for teaching me something that seems like such common sense— I’m a little ashamed I had not though of clients this way before.
Here are some of the links mentioned in the podcast:
In this interview, Mika Trottier and I talk through a subtle but significant shift that has to occur in the mindset of a traditional PM who is trying to adopt an Agile mindset. How do you flip that switch in your brain that thinks of the people who do work as resources and make them start thinking of them as people?
During the conversation, Mika and I also dig into some of the challenges facing introverts who become project managers and some of the coping mechanisms that have aided each of us.
If you’d like to get in touch with Mika, you can reach her via LinkedIn: