Safe Environment is Vital
- PMP | Project Manager | Author
"If everybody is responsible for the outcome, everybody deserves to be praised when succeeded"
What does it mean being a Project Manager and taking over the accountability? At the same time, how does it come along with the modern servant leadership style when the team is up to making decisions on a project?
I have come to the team for a project as an invited project manager. It was a new application with the fresh design that should be built with the content app builder tool. The team had to study this technology as they have never done this before. Also, they were the subject matter experts themselves, which made the collaboration easier. But on the other hand it caused a lot of scope creep which I needed to catch and turn into the change requests.
From the above, the challenge was in building the management style for this project. It was quite tricky to mix coaching with sharing responsibilities and supporting the team.
The essential thing is building trustful professional relationships which is the foundation of the Safe Working Environment.
As I was the one who is coming in for the project, the first thing was to build trust and to earn the authority. Coaching would be suitable for the moments when the team does not feel confidence either in the situation, in the requirements or in the technology to use.
However, when the team is performing efficiently and motivated to make informed decisions, it is good switching to the supportive approach and delegate the responsibility.
Together with inspiring and engaging the team, building trust around we need to work on creating the Safe Environment where people are willing to perform on the top of their efficiency.
Mix leadership styles to maintain the environment. When the team needs support, give it. When they need a coach, be a coach. If they want to make decisions, share the responsibility. And take over the accountability if it is time to direct the work.
This means, if there is a problem, we need to hop on it together, discuss and agree on the solution. No blaming, only 'How-to-fix-it' solution is important. It helps to avoid fears when it comes to reporting the problem. Make people feel save and promote the initiative. In this case they will know you are going to support them and help to improve the situation.
And always give rewards to the team. If everybody is responsible for the outcome, everybody deserves to be praised when succeeded.