Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar iconNot recorded
Adobe PDF icon

Project Management Confidence

~ By Kay Wais

Crossroad signpost saying doubt and confidence

If you have been doing project management for a while, your confidence has probably gotten an occasional shaking. And the resulting lack of confidence hurts you, but it also hurts your team members who need you to be confident and not self-conscious. You're their leader after all, and they want you to have a strong plan, vision, self-esteem and the confidence to lead.

Obsessing over our personal and organisational shortcomings traps us. We may think it is for our own good - to help us truly learn from our past mistakes. But it can spiral downward into embarrassment and shame. And if you find this happening to you, the best advice is to turn it around early. Take the lessons learned with you, but shed the excess baggage of self-doubt. Sounds easy. But there certainly is not a quick fix. I have seen many project managers leave this challenging career path for non-management jobs for this reason. The fix requires having a consecutive series of successful projects to eventually construct a pillar of success.

Often it is an accumulation of shame-inducing situations that results in the loss of confidence. Maybe you have had a series of death-march projects. Set yourself up for success by getting all of these easy things down first, and then you will be in a better place to handle the harder project problems:

Keep your word. It feels good to be considered reliable. So be careful about what you commit to, but then take your commitment (even the really small ones) very seriously. A promise is a promise.

Be on time. Show your self-discipline to yourself and others. It's a healthy habit that keeps you calm. Start on your way early and break the habit of always trying to squeeze in "one more thing" before leaving. It will be there when you get back and aren't hurried.

Be honest, even when it hurts. Stick to the facts. Lying ends up being a bother and you also can get caught, leaving you again with the feeling of shame. Step up to the critical conversations to say the things that are hard to tell.

Cut the gossip. If you have ever walked up to hear comments made behind your back, you know that can be hard to forgive and forget. Don't do it to others. It gives you shame even if you aren't caught. Focus on meaningful talk which will help you accomplish an aim.

Fall on the sword early. If you have bad news to tell, the receiver usually appreciates hearing it sooner (when they have time to help) rather than later.

If the damage is already done and you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, you can still maintain your confidence if you find a way to recover gracefully. Sometimes this takes real creativity, but there is almost always a way.

And finally, don't avoid the people you made a mishap in front of - avoidance will leave you feeling further ashamed. The shame will wear off with faster with quick re-exposure to the people involved. So seek these people back out and re-open the communication.


Successful Projects is a project management training company in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Successful Projects can be found at http://www.successfulprojects.com


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
How many letters are in the word two?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

So You Want to Be a Project Manager

Businessman smiling with hands together

Not sure what skills it takes to become a Project Manager? This article lists the six key skills required to be a successful project manager.

Coming to Terms With the Finish Date

Colourful calendar pages

Every project has a finish date. This article looks at how the finish date for a project is derived and how a project team comes to terms with that date.

10 Steps to Finding a Project Manager

Blond female job applicant handing over her CV to a smiling businessman

Hiring a good project manager means you can sit back and relax knowing that the project tasks are being taken care of in a professional, productive and profitable manner.

10 Steps to Setting SMART Objectives

Measuring tape showing number 10

Setting SMART objectives to guide your team is important for a leader to get right. Badly formulated objectives will steer a team in the wrong direction.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Brian Cassidy commented on…
RACI Matrix
- Sat 14 September 11:38am

Dalia Eldardiry commented on…
Introduction to Project Management
- Sun 1 September 6:42pm

Amber commented on…
Better Coaching Using the GROW Model
- Sun 1 September 1:36pm

Latest tweets

RT @Capterra_UK: Check out our list of the best #ProjectManagement tools for UK SME:  https://t.co/n2Sc0wEjOE @ProjectSmart@asana @evern… about 22 hours ago

General Project Management • Re: What content to include in a status report? https://t.co/oJhRQ9lQaJ about 23 hours ago

General Project Management • What content to include in a status report? https://t.co/dywoExLkXG about 1 day ago