Voices CAREER Q&A
For young project managers, outstanding performance
is the fastest route to a strong reputation. Also: how to
switch sectors and when to train in agile.
By Lindsay Scott
As a young project manager, I get the feeling that my age and inexperience work against me. Do you have any tips on how to command more respect?
The straightforward answer is to make sure you
deliver successfully. This is the case for any project
practitioner regardless of age or experience level.
Do an outstanding job—deliver the project suc-
cessfully but also make sure you’re managing the
expectations of those around you. Sure, some peo-
ple may get results by being aggressive or confron-
tational. But your long-term strategy for earning
the respect of your colleagues should be to deliver
results and be a good person to work with.
All that said, you also should take a look at your
own experience level and think about what areas
you need to improve in. Don’t just look at technical project management knowledge: Consider the
areas that make a difference to the type of manager
you are. Study and practice nuances relative to
leadership, team creation and management, conflict resolution, motivation techniques, negotiation
and delegation. Development in all these areas will
help you grow and become a practitioner worthy
of respect from both your superiors and team.
Also, consider finding a mentor within your
organization who can act as a sounding board as
you develop. It’s up to you to choose which man-