Posts tagged ‘communication’

May 19, 2010

Top Traits of a Good PM – PMI Metrolina May Meeting

I attended the local PMI chapter meeting last night.   NouvEON had a strong presence which was great to see since they sponsored the meeting last night.  I also took some notes on the speaker — of course I didn’t write his name down.   He began by outlining the characteristics that make up a good Project Manager to “Win at the PM Game” – the subject of his presentation:
1. being assertive & an extrovert
2. communication skills
3. ability to manage sponsors
4. adding value
5. presentation matters
6. ROI
There’s probably more but those are what I captured and I’d be interested in hearing other people’s ideas on what makes up a good PM.  The bulk his presentation focused on communication as 90% of what a PM does….which flowed into building trust, relationships, listening to voice of customer, knowing the audience, negotiation, defining goals/objectives, etc…   Dr Phil he was not, but he raised some good points about communcation.
One of the most important things relating to communcation was building a relationship and trust — which can be achieved through openness and our ability to communicate across time & space.   While he mentioned email, oral, and written communication — no where did he mention collaboration tools like SharePoint — which in my opinion can help achieve trust and openness and provide visibility of information.   A woman from the audience even asked about how we can build relationships & trust in virtual teams — which we ALL work in today.   The speaker really didn’t have a good response.   I almost jumped in to respond and wanted to argue that email actually is a bad way to have discussions and build relationships.  Many times, people write TOO much in an email and immediately we dismiss them or ignore their communication — which doesn’t help the overall relationship.   With email you lose context, miss discussions & important information, etc, etc….   The “message” and the meaning and actionable items often get lost in email.    Of course if we use a technology like SharePoint correctly, it can be a very powerful tool for communication, building trust, providing transparency & visibility for any team — virtually or locally in the same building (let’s face it, we often times email people down the hall or on another floor!)
Anyway, the last takewaways from the speaker were the following:
The speaker’s formula to breakdown communication and relationships:
-Simplicity + Lack of Communication – Trust – R – Credibility x Adaptability
(Unfortunately I can’t remember what the R was for).
And one participant in the audience mentioned Steven Covey’s new book “The Speed of Trust” which talks about all of this.  Perhaps the speaker read Mr Coveys book and based his presentation on it without citing him! 🙂    When that was mentioned I thought of another book I read when I first started as a consultant: “Managing the Professional Services Firm“.  There were 3 things that I remember to this day that help me as a consultant & PM:
1. Confidence
2. Competence
3. Credibility
I guess we could add a 4th C and include “Communication”….