Effective Project Teams
While working with others to complete projects is riddled with many challenges, the benefits of the synergistic team approach are boundless.
Ten ideas to increase your success with team projects include:
- Ensure that the team’s goals are specific, measurable, relevant, timed and known to all members.
- Make frequent reference to the goals.
- Share the leadership.
- Ensure that the roles and responsibilities are clear.
- Expect, regulate and resolve conflict.
- Treat mistakes as learning opportunities.
- Monitor and provide performance feedback.
- Communicate frequently, openly and honestly.
- Utilize all team members.
- Share the power.
Knowing How to Ask
Making requests is an art.
Nine ideas to increase your success in asking include:
1. Know what you really need or want.
2. Be specific with regard to time frame or quantity.
3. Ask the right person. Identify the decision maker or the person who has control.
4. Prepare your case including the benefits to the person you are asking.
5. Be prepared to give in order to receive.
6. Overcome your reluctance to asking.
7. Request or invite; never demand or beg.
8. Show respect.
9. Ask …and keep asking. Persistence does pay off.
Crisis Prevention & Management
You can’t turn on a dime if you’re always fumbling and trying to recover from crisis.
Twelve ideas to increase your success in avoiding & managing crisis include:
- Identify your priorities and consistently work on what counts.
- Stay focused. Finish your tasks before moving to another.
- Anticipate potential crisis develop alternate solutions.
- Overestimate the time required to complete tasks.
- Turn a crisis into an opportunity to demonstrate your talent.
- Stay calm.
- Use extra adrenaline to find solutions.
- Think & plan – – Run the crisis… avoid creating a second crisis by acting too quickly.
- Delegate what you can but don’t start another fire.
- Ask yourself: What’s your A1 priority.
- Have all affected parties participate in generating possible solutions to the problem.
- Set up controls to ensure the situation doesn’t recur.
When pressure mounts and difficult situations arise, asking yourself a few key questions will help you to learn from your challenges.
Five ideas to increase your success in dealing with challenges include:
- Ask yourself, “How did I get into this?”
- Ask yourself, “What would a calm person do?”
- Ask yourself, “Does this need to be done at all?”
- Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
- Ask yourself, “What is this challenge telling me?”
From the way that you handle yourself on the telephone, your caller can quickly assess whether you are:
Ten ideas to increase your success with the telephone include:
- Remember it’s 10% what you say and 80% the way you say it that counts on the phone.
- Be prepared to make a written record of all information.
- Be on stage – assume a “professional ” role – unemotional, problem-solving oriented.
- Practice consistency.
- Regularly critique yourself. Try to get feedback from others that you trust.
- Smile as you speak.
- Never show agitation or fatigue; end the call graciously and call back when you are composed.
- Monitor your tone – project energy
- Provide a positive approach by focusing on what you can do.
- Listen to voice mails you leave and eliminate your “ums” or “ahs” by closing your lips at the end of each sentence.
Before committing to important decisions it is wise to invest time and effort in considering the issue and alternate solutions.
Six ideas to increase your success in problem-solving include:
- Identify the problem – state the problem in the form of several different questions.
- Identify the solution criteria – On what basis should you make the decision? What will the solution look like? What concerns will you have addressed? What factors need to be considered?
- Identify all of the possible causes of the problem.
- Generate alternatives/ideas considering all of the questions framed when identifying the problem; all of the solution criteria and all of the possible causes.
- Select the best alternatives using the solution criteria.
- After implementation, follow-up to confirm the success of your problem-solving process.
- Demonstrate genuine interest and concern
- Generate new ideas
- Facilitate learning
- Build commitment to solutions and plans
Eight ideas to increase your success in asking questions include:
- Create a culture where questions are welcome. Encourage questions and be open when you respond.
- Follow the KISS rule. Keep your questions short and simple. One question at a time; not more that twelve words long.
- Consider the three “R’s”
- right time
- right manner
- right person
- Always start with an open question to encourage others to share. i.e. “Tell me about…?” or How…? or What…?
- Be prepared to record any important details. A short pencil is better that a long memory.
- Frame questions positively. Instead of asking “What went wrong?” ask “What could be done differently?”88,
- Support by asking, “How can I help? ”Learn by ask, “What would you do?” Empower by asking, “What do you think we should do?” Innovate by asking, “What are our competitors going to do?”
- Listen to the answers provided. If the issue is complicated, demonstrate your understanding by paraphrasing the question before you respond.
Compliments are fertilizer for people. If you complement, people with improve and grow.
Six ideas to increase your success in complimenting others include:
- Be specific. Broad statements like “great job” are not as effective as specific statements like “I appreciate the fact that your reports are always on time.”
- Be real. Compliment when the praise is deserved not just because you are in a good mood.
- Be timely. Make complimenting a priority.
- Be daily. Look for opportunities to make people feel good about themselves each day.
- Be singular. Avoid stringing compliments together.
- Be genuine. Avoid complimenting before making a special request.
Issues that require decisions are everyday occurrences.
Eleven ideas to increase your success in decision-making include:
- Distinguish big from little decisions.
- Delegate all of the smaller decisions you can.
- Learn all about a problem before trying to decide it.
- Get into a relaxed frame of mind.
- Avoid crisis decisions.
- Don’t be deceived by logic, most problems are full of emotions.
- Don’t expect to be right all the time.
- Don’t be afraid of failure.
- Don’t put off making decisions.
- Try to keep alternative solutions up your sleeve.
- Mull before you make a decision…but once you’ve made a decision move on!
Time is our most precious resource; it can never be replenished. Today, we are required to process and produce faster in the same amount of time.
Eleven ideas to increase your success in saving time include:
- Create a brochure for the most common questions you are asked.
- Use drafts for emails, letters, memos.
- Use check lists for repeated activities.
- Have regular scheduled meeting with your boss
- Meet at other people desks so you can make a faster exit.
- Don’t keep a chair at your desk so visitors won’t linger.
- Use quiet hour for A priorities
- Use body language that says “don’t interrupt me. i.e. – walk quickly; don’t look up
- Assert yourself – say no “you caught me at a bad time can it wait until ……”?
- Clean and organize your work space at the end of each day.
- Foster independence – help others find answers for themselves.