Self management for Project Managers


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I presented to a group of project managers recently on managing your self. This pack includes some techniques to manage your self and some case examples of when these skills may be useful.

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  • TOPIC 1
  • TOPIC 1
  • TOPIC 3
  • TOPIC 2
  • TOPIC 4
  • Self management for Project Managers

    1. 1. Managing your self as you manage a project “The worst leader is one who cannot lead himself.” 1 © 2012 Niall McShane
    2. 2. Agenda• Why, what, when, where and how of self-management for PMs• What is your authentic self and are you faking it too much?• Knowing yourself is how you change your self• Nine key self-management skills for PMs• PM case examples using self-management• Wrap-up 2 © 2012 Niall McShane
    3. 3. What is “self”?• You as you know you does not exist• You are a collage of self moments• Draw your self WHAT IS SELF? 3 © 2012 Niall McShane
    4. 4. What is your authentic “self”?• You are plastic• You can (and will) change• Read the article and reflect on the questions at the end of the article So what are theImplications for a PM? 4 © 2012 Niall McShane
    5. 5. Your lensSelf Unfiltered realityYour reality So what are the Implications for a PM? 1. Approval points and governance The world IS 2. Consensus may not always be possible They all ARE 3. Communications I AM 4. Know your Is-Are-Am to avoid derailment DNA Experience 5. … 5 © 2012 Niall McShane
    6. 6. Self-knowledgeHow do you get knowledge about one’s self (Is-Are-Am)?1. PIRs or intra-project retrospectives2. Feedback on performance (formal/informal)3. Development programs (professional, leadership)4. Feedback on behaviour (formal/informal)5. Introspection/self-reflection6. Psychological testing (individual and team-based)7. Coaching/mentoring (formal/informal)Share your stories on which have worked for you and why 6 © 2012 Niall McShane
    7. 7. Managing your selfSkill 1—Know your strengths1. Don’t fake it, work to your strengths2. Build a team to allow you to use your strengths3. People know your truth4. Non-preferred roles versus signature strengths5. Uncover hidden strengthsWrite down your strengths (maybe split into competentversus signature) 7 © 2012 Niall McShane
    8. 8. Managing your selfSkill 2—Know your weaknesses1. Don’t fake it, accept and get comfortable with your weaknesses2. Select the weaknesses that are worth investing development effort (be realistic but don’t cop-out)3. Build a team to mitigate your known weaknesses where development is not going to give you a return4. Watch for derailment (mindful)5. Uncover your blind spotsWrite down your weaknesses (maybe split into can becompetent versus will never be competent enough) 8 © 2012 Niall McShane
    9. 9. Managing your selfSkill 3—Recognise you have many selfs1. Situational application of a past selfs2. Work in a non-signature competency as and when required3. Adopt a role-based approach to your many selfs, put them on and off as required, they all make up you.4. Look for a balance of self roles as a PM; if too skewed to weak areas look to mitigate with your teamWrite down the roles you need to play as a PM and when.Which of these are your preferred ones? Which shouldyou mitigate with your team or org support? 9 © 2012 Niall McShane
    10. 10. Managing your selfSkill 4—Letting go1. Reflect-learn-release2. Grudges usually not useful3. Staying present to be there for the issue at hand is a lifelong practice never mastered.4. Letting go of the habits, beliefs and opinions that no longer serve you is at the core of personal and professional development.Write down what about your self you may need to let goof in order to excel as a PM. 10 © 2012 Niall McShane
    11. 11. Managing your selfSkill 5—This too will pass1. Impermanence is useful to keep in mind when situations are overwhelming you2. Forest versus trees balance is important to maintain3. This mindset is central to self-care/resilience and working sustainably to avoid burnoutWrite down when you would expect to be in the heat ofthe moment; where you may be at risk of beingoverwhelmed (and what you will do to not burn out). 11 © 2012 Niall McShane
    12. 12. Managing your selfSkill 6—Visualise success1. Athletes do it as standard practice; well supported by research2. First-person visualisation of success-what are you saying, doing and what are others saying and doing around you?3. Feel what it is like to be in the successful situation4. Allows you to see and feel yourself past challenges and seemingly impassable situations (both operational and inter-personal)Take a minute to visualise what success for a project looks like where you arethe PM? What are people saying/doing around you, how do you feel andwhat does all this tell you about yourself? Your visualisation points to yourleadership style. 12 © 2012 Niall McShane
    13. 13. Managing your selfSkill 7—Your Ego: tame it, don’t stroke itAn old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he saidto the boy."It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow,regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority,and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight isgoing on inside you - and inside every other person, too.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolfwill win?”The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."Make a note where you are at risk of your ego running the show instead of supporting youin a healthy way. What are your taming techniques? 13 © 2012 Niall McShane
    14. 14. Managing your selfSkill 8—Embed reflective practices into your work1. Always doing the doing and not pausing to consider your self2. Just as a project team can do a retrospective, you should regularly conduct retros on your self; reflect on-the-job.3. E.g. meeting with yourself, embed into the schedule4. Hire a coach or meet with a mentorMake a note where in the project lifecycle would youschedule in self-reflective practices to support self-awareness and learning 14 © 2012 Niall McShane
    15. 15. Managing your selfSkill 9—You are plastic1. Use project work to change your self to a better version2. Experiment with your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours to learn on-the-job.3. Life long learning is the key to continual personal and professional performance improvementMake self-development goals a part of your next PM role.List what areas about yourself you would want to growand learn about in your next role. 15 © 2012 Niall McShane
    16. 16. Case example exercise1. Partner up2. Choose a case example3. Read your case example and discuss4. Choose three skills previously listed in the presentation and outline how you could apply them to this example. NOTE: it is not so much about solving the problem but how you manage your self as you solve it.5. Also use any information from the notes you have taken about your self throughout this session.6. Present your findings to the group. 16 © 2012 Niall McShane
    17. 17. Case example 1Dealing with destructive conflictA project resource is in conflict with another team member and youas the PM have had to get involved to diffuse the situation and getthings back on track.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. © 2012 Niall McShane 17
    18. 18. Case example 2Dealing with extreme emotionA project resource has taken some feedback very personally and hasbeen going through some personal challenges that have resulted inthem becoming overly emotional on the job. You need to act.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 18 © 2012 Niall McShane
    19. 19. Case example 3Your key business expert does not like youA project resource has formed a negative opinion of you personally.You value the person and their contribution but there is a risk yourworking relationship may deteriorate and impact the project.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 19 © 2012 Niall McShane
    20. 20. Case example 4You lead analyst has said “NO!” to youA project resource has pushed back on your first and probably onlyrequest to do some additional overtime to get the project over a“bump” and meet a deliverable timeline. You believe the request isreasonable and part of project work but the resource is standingfirm.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 20 © 2012 Niall McShane
    21. 21. Case example 5You make a mistakeAs the PM you make a mistake that results is a significant amount ofre-work for your team. You know you should have handled thingsbetter and now need to face into the issue you are directlyresponsible for creating.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 21 © 2012 Niall McShane
    22. 22. Case example 6You need to leadAs the PM you receive feedback through a formal process that yourteam is not seeing enough “leadership” from you and that they arelacking in motivation as a result.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 22 © 2012 Niall McShane
    23. 23. Case example 7You need to be a “good” and “bad” copAs the PM you receive feedback through a formal process that youneed to be more assertive in how you both performance manageand incentivise your team.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 23 © 2012 Niall McShane
    24. 24. Case example 8You are let downAs the PM your key deliverable date is missed due to a resource nottaking responsibility for its completion on the agreed date.Write some notes on how you would employ three self-management skills during this case example. 24 © 2012 Niall McShane
    25. 25. Wrap-upTake aways: Self-awareness is the keyMy recommended tools of choice are: – Coaching-the single outcome of coaching is awareness combined with action to enable growth and learning – Mindfulness –defined as paying attention on purpose and without judgment to your internal and external environment in the present moment. 25 © 2012 Niall McShane