Val Sopi

Playing at Claritask

I Used To Be a Terrible Project Manager

August 25, 2015

I once heard a client tell me —”...and you’re a great project manager!”.

I felt it was true at that point.

I was managing multiple client-projects and teams at a given time.

I had gotten so great at juggling a few projects at once, that I felt I could take on as many projects as there were requests for our services.

What actually did the trick for me was listening better, and not delegating more, as I thought would have been.

Listening is super tricky.

I used to be terrible at that, because I would get ideas as the other person was speaking and wait until they’re done so I could take my turn, when in fact all I had to do was actually absorb what is being said without any preconceived thoughts about my response.

As I was waiting for the other person to finish and have my go, I would probably miss out other important things that were being conveyed.

You know, a great conversation, can end in silence as well. It doesn’t have to be all Jazz, as the metaphor goes.

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The way listening made me a better project manager, was because I was now able to listen to both what my team conveyed to me and what the client was asking for.

This way, I started to connect the dots much better and have everyone on both sides of the table be more efficient in their deliveries and approvals.

One thing I’m still learning about is how to prioritize and work only on things that truly matter in the wider scheme of things.

It’s easier to take on a bunch of tasks, delegate, and shuffle them around, so they get done quicker. However, I feel the true glory relies in engaging your team in things that really matter, without trying to keep everyone busy.

A work in progress, this learning to become a better project manager is.

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