“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces back when he hits the bottom.” ~General George Patton
As another year is quickly coming to a close, so often organizations reflect on metrics that the firm did or did not achieve for the year – whether financial, strategic, process-driven, etc., firms are not only examining how they did this past year but making sure they use the reflections to further define what is needed next year. Whether a new initiative, new technology, or new process, it is important to take the time to remember team members as well. Whether you run a team of 2, or 1,000, as a manager you are responsible for keeping your team on track, regardless of what roadblocks may come.
In today’s environment of complex projects and demands for faster/cheaper/better project implementation, managers also must be there for their team – even when things fall through sometimes. It is a tall order and incredibly hard amidst this ever changing regulatory environment where new rules pop up by the minute to slow down and think about the human aspect of managing a team. So, below are a few tips to help maintain positive energy going into the New Year:
- Know your Team. Knowing your team members well enables you to communicate with them in the most effective way whether the news is good or bad, about a personal mistake they made, or a true “team loss.”
- Prevention is better than Treatment. Keep a pulse on your team daily. Serve as a mentor and be available. Everyone has good, bad, and regular days - don’t wait to intervene and/or focus on the progression of the project only when something negative happens.
- Celebrate Project Success. Project managers tend to move quickly from one project to the next without looking back. However, it’s important to give your team some credit and kudos. Celebrate even when it’s a smaller achievement or incremental milestone towards a bigger goal.
- When Something Goes Wrong. Keep your perspective. The team will take their cues from you – if you are down and dejected, they will be, too. This doesn’t mean having to fake positivity, just recognize that your response will be watched. Bring them together and explore lessons learned. Discuss what went wrong to avoid it next time, and then stop looking back. In doing so, you not only create a clear plan for success next time, but you have taught your team how to recover quickly.
To have a successful team you need to invest in maintaining a positive and healthy morale for them. One of the key metrics by which a firm can determine success is by the characteristics of what the team does and how they work together. Never underestimate how far appreciation, in whatever form it is expressed, can take you. Happy Holidays!
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