As part of my upcoming book, “How to be a Kick Ass Project Manager”, I advise project managers to know their flaws. If you want to grow and improve, you have to take an honest look in the mirror. What I have found is that our self-assessment of our strengths and weaknesses does not necessarily align with reality.
This is a fantastic exercise to do with your teams, stakeholders, and even personally with your spouse or family. I absolutely love it’s power and it’s simplicity.
Ask your intended audience:
- What are three things you would like me to stop doing?
- What are three things you would like me to start doing?
- What are three things you would like me to continue doing?
This is an incredible revealing exercise with multiple benefits:
- The fact that you are asking for feedback demonstrates your commitment to the team and to your self-development, earning you leadership points
- You will harvest incredibly valuable information about simple things that can make a big difference to your team: happy team, happy project, happy stakeholders
- Your follow-up on these actions will inspire your team to trust you and recognize your commitment to them
I had recently assumed responsibility for a team that had weathered some pretty difficult times and circumstances. They were frustrated, distrustful, and less than thrilled that I was coming in as their new manager. After a few months in my role, I did the stop/start/continue exercise with them. They chose to do it as a team and I was really impressed and surprised with the feedback:
- Staying in your office with the door closed in the morning
- Multi-tasking during meetings
- Staying late on Friday
- Socializing with us a bit in the morning
- Taking lunch breaks
- Asking for help
- Learning about each of us, personally and professionally
- Having our backs and being proud to be our leader
- Being a creative problem solver with a great “can-do” attitude
I was very surprised with the results and had I taken a guess at what they would say, I guarantee it would be none of these things. Once I addressed the items on the list, our relationships grew and productivity increased.
Let me know if you use this tool and share the results you get!