High Performing Business – Planning – Kindness
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
Expediency in completing projects is my main goal. I find I can move fastest with kindness as the foundation. Projects are about people working together towards completing a significant goal. The key words here are “people working together.” Kindness and consideration in the planning phase goes a long way in expediently completing the project.
I activate kindness in the planning phase in three ways:
- Accommodate – how and when someone does their work is their responsibility. When people know others are dependent on them to start or finish their work, they typically accommodate those requirements far better than if the schedule is dictated. As the project manager, I make it my responsibility to understand people’s availability to do the work required and accommodate the schedule to their availability or find other resources that are available.
- Acknowledge – each of us has unique skills and strengths. Acknowledging these helps better coordinate who is the best person to accomplish specific tasks. For example, it makes no sense to have the detail oriented person create the overall theme for an event yet they may be the right person to ready a space for hosting the event.
- Appreciate – showing gratitude and graciousness of how people can and do contribute while planning carries over into actually doing the work. I use appreciative inquiry about my contributor’s desired future state with how they can best deliver.
Over the years of leading projects I’ve seen two things can hurt people’s ability to keep it kind during planning:
- Righteousness -this is the belief that “my way is the best way”.
- Entitlement – this means the belief that others in some way owe you something.
By following the three A’s of Accommodate, Acknowledge, and Appreciate; and being conscious of the stumbling blocks of righteousness and entitlement, kindness can be the foundation of an expedient project plan.
Cheetah students learn how to bring these principles alive in projects close to home in Cheetah Action Project (CHAP). This is where they learn how to improve their project management skills by doing a project at home or work with those closest to them. Learn how to make kindness your project planning foundation.