Ten emotions to use for better projects
I know what your thinking, surely you can’t be talking about emotions in the workplace! especially not in a steely nose business environment or a stressful project delivery 🙂 Well think again, these emotions are essential for success in life as in any project.
I was reading Tony Robbins book on “Awakening the giant within” and The ten key emotions of power and thinking how appropriate this is not just for a balanced lifestyle and good mental health but also for motivating teams and implementing successful projects.
Love and warmth
I think this starts with a genuine interest in your colleagues well being. Not just coming to work to get a paycheque but coming to use our gifts and abilities the best we can. Each group of people working together develops its own habits whether it is all going for lunch together or some office banter or competition. As we invariably spend a lot of our waking hours with our colleagues it’s important to understand what motivates each other. I’ve always found you can learn something new from everyone you meet and also perhaps impart something of benefit to them as well.
Appreciation and gratitude
Together Everyone Accomplishes more (TEAM) is something I heartily agree in. Appreciation of team members’ contribution and thankfulness as they deliver their elements of the project is a great way to motivate a team. It’s going to be a much more satisfying project if everyone is recognised for their contribution. The coder creating art through their code as much as the graphic designer producing some stunning graphics. The lawyer wordsmithing the latest legal text or the UX designer reducing user frustration. All need appreciating as they contribute to the deliverable.
How can we make things work better. How can we use the technology and the constraints of the project to deliver something that challenges the norms. With a constant source of information and technologies around us, there is no excuse to keep the status quo. Curiosity may have killed the cat but it can make a mediocre project a great project.
Excitement and passion
Motivating the team to deliver, letting the creative juices flow and enabling people to move into their productive zone. To be clear there are always going to be peaks and troughs in any project delivery. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a team member truely fulfilling all their potential and pushing the creative boundaries further. It stimulates the rest of the team to up their game and improves their delivery.
Things go wrong as they surely will, but persistence will always lead to a good delivery. Building in those processes with checks and balances is a key role of the project manager. Many problems can be solved by persistently following a process and eliminating all the unknowns until the problem is solved. I’ve worked in teams where no one wants to tackle that difficult question and its sometimes a tricky balance to push people for answers but you need to be persistent and help people solve the problem.
Plans don’t always run as expected, the budget is not approved, the technical problem can’t be resolved or the legal position won’t move. That’s when flexibility is needed where everyone needs to think outside of the box. Delve outside of their comfort zone. We have to put our hands up and get stuck into the problem to find a workaround. It may not be comfortable at the time but in the long term it gives a better delivery.
Confidence in the project and team’s success and ability to inspire them that it can be done. That’s where it is great to be working in cross-functional teams as everyone has different perspectives but can come together. I may not have the solution myself but I am confident that the team around me can come up with a practical solution. They just need to believe that the project sponsor is confident in their abilities.
Start every conversation with a smile and that can go a long way to break down some tensions. No one likes a miserable co-worker. I think it all comes back to building those team dynamics by being a good example of the emotions described above. There is usually someone in the team who is a natural comedian and its good to use that natural talent to help at difficult times.
A living breathing project which develops from a basic idea into a fully birthed product or service is a thing of beauty. The project develops a natural pace and cadence and that gives it health and energy. There may be some times when long hours are called for but for good health, this needs to be the exception rather than the norm. There needs to be a time for fun as well which allows everyone to unwind and unload and stress.
Making sure that each team member is delivering their optimum. Everyone has their potential and a great team recognises that life happens and sometimes people are not 100%. A healthy team will take up the slack and pull their colleagues through. We all want to do our best but sometimes we can fail or be going through a rough time outside of work. That’s when we need compassion and once we get through it there is a deeper trust and stronger team bonds which is only a good thing for the next challenge.
What are your thoughts on these emotions and how they work within teams? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.