a certain ethereal quality to respect.
You tend to know it when you see it—
or when you don’t. For younger team
members looking to make their mark
in the world of project management,
let’s just say respect isn’t always included
in the compensation package. You
have to command it. Here’s how.
Do your work—and do it well.
“Meet your deadlines and do
what you say you’re going to do,”
says Brenda Kallas, CAPM, project
manager at Reed Business Information,
Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA.
Yes, it’s ridiculously obvious, but
proving you’ve got what it takes to get
the job done can be just what up-and-
comers need to snare the right kind of
attention from the upper ranks.
“Management is looking for team
members who will provide quality
work, while staying within company
budgets,” Ms. Kallas says.
preferred communication style with
friends and even some colleagues—but
it’s not for everyone. Communicating
with your project leader and other
high-level colleagues is not simply a
matter of knowing what to say—but
when and how to say it. And no training
manual is going to outline the nuances
of how to communicate effectively in
every situation with every personality
type. It’s something you need to learn
by careful observation and through
trial and error.
“Some managers are very hands-on
and others are hands-off,” Ms. Kallas
explains. “Some managers want a great
deal of communication and others
want only high-level communication.
It’s each team member’s responsibility
to determine when and how much to
communicate with management, and
whether that communication should
be verbal or written.”
Know your audience and
adjust your communication
A constant barrage of instant messages
and updates on Facebook might be the
It’s each team
to determine when
and how much to
—BRENDA KALLAS, CAPM,
REED BUSINESS INFORMATION,
HIGHLANDS RANCH, COLORADO, USA
Point out errors—but with a
strong dose of tact.
Mastering the fine art of communicating the basics to superiors can be
difficult enough. But it can become a
virtual minefield if you need to tell
your project manager that he or she is
wrong or has made a mistake.
Handled properly, spotting and
correcting a problem in your project
can earn you respect for your decision-making capabilities and sound judgment.
Mishandled, it can derail your career
Four years ago, when Mangesh
Sawant, PMP, was a young team member, he faced that very scenario. “In one
of my projects, all team members had
tremendous respect for—and fear of—
the project manager,” he recalls. “One
day, we were discussing the pending
deliverables. Our project manager had
the list, which was prepared by the original project manager who had resigned
and left before the project started. When