Technical knowledge is no the only requirement of a Project Manager.  Their most important role is to motivate everybody on the project to get the job done on time.

After all, you cannot just set up a plan for a project and expect it all to happen without any intervention.  The German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke said that, “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. 

The point is that projects have a habit of not going to plan and you must be able to respond to what happens.  That is why social and behavioural skills play such an important role in the Project Management environment.

In my experience, the best teams cope well under pressure and their relationship is stronger as a result. They remain respectful and considerate during a crisis and can support each other to overcome problems.

Most people have had some sort of behavioural profile done at some point in their career; but often do little with them.

We use the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI Profiles) because it provides a deep understanding of the things that motivate others.  Understanding what makes everybody function well on a project is the root to forming strong and lasting relationships, particularly in a project environment, where people are brought together for a relatively short time.

SDI provided this insight because of its ABC approach:

Assess the situation

Borrow the right behaviour

Communicate in the same behaviour – often know as “mirroring”

SDI gets you to assess both your own and your colleagues’ motivations in terms of people, process and performance and encourages you to modify your behaviour and communication to work together more effectively.

I have always found intelligent use of SDI profiles to be of great benefit an organisation or on a project.  You can use them:

  • Board level
  • Project level
  • Team level
  • For long-term partnering or frameworks.

Simply taking the time to understand each other, what makes us tick and how best to react when under pressure must be good for all of us.

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