4.11 Working with Difficult People Part 3

دوره: Project Management- The Basics for Success / فصل: Project Leadership, Teamwork, and Dealing with Difficult People / درس 11

4.11 Working with Difficult People Part 3

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Each and every one of them, we can go back and rely on our tools, and then if that doesn't work, what is it that's going to make this person satisfied on a project now? And a lot of this is based on a nice video you might want to look at sometime on YouTube called the Science of Persuasion. A lot of times we can sit down and talk with each other and try to find that area of agreement and expand that out into something that is acceptable to both of us where we say, okay that looks like a perfectly good way to do this.

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Sometimes we’re going to have some difficulties because some of our stakeholders just don’t like the people that we put on the project. A way to take care of that, one of two things. One we can say, this is the right person to be on the project. We have looked at all the people that can work on this project and do this thing, that are available during the time frame we need this. And are willing to do this actual task. They wanna work on this project. They’re available during the time we need it done. The three things we need to effectively put people on a project recall and we have to have somebody who can do the project or do this task, who will do this task, and somebody who’s available during the timeframe we need the task done. So if somebody says I don’t like that person there. I don’t want that person doing this, then we have to step back and say, we think it’s the right person because of these three things. They’re the right person with the skills, they want to work on this, and they’re available during the time we need them. Then if this difficult person still says you know what, and they have enough power on the project to make these things happen, they say, you know what, I don’t want that person doing it, I don’t care what, get somebody different. Sometimes you may just have to put a different person on there. There’s a number of different places where we’re going to run into difficulties with stakeholders. Each and every one of them, we can go back and rely on our tools, and then if that doesn’t work, what is it that’s going to make this person satisfied on a project now? On this one, we just put somebody new on the task. There’s some other ways to do this, and this gets into the persuasion and influence area. And a lot of this is based on a nice video you might want to look at sometime on YouTube called the Science of Persuasion. And there are six different areas that we can work with when we run into difficulties with people. We want them, we want to get past this, we want to work together with them, we want to come some agreement of what we do next. One is reciprocity, one is scarcity, one is authority, one is consistency, one is liking, and one is consensus. Let’s take a look at reciprocity, what does that mean? It means that other people that we’re working with are more likely to work with us in a positive way Instead of a difficult way if we’ve already done something for them first that has been good for them and beneficial for them. So like our homeowners, if we’re working with them, and we give them free tickets to all of these events at the stadium. And we work with the city, to allow people to park cars in their yard on sporting event days, so any city ordinance against that is not in effect during any day when sporting events are going on. We’ve already done some nice things for them. Now when we go to them and say, and you know what we need to do is we need to close your street off for three days next week to allow us to do some work on the stadium. And here’s how we can get you in and out of your house for those three days. That could be a difficult situation. But if we’ve already done something that these people appreciate and we’ve done something to help them out, they’re a lot more likely to work with us and say, I don’t like that, having my street closed for three days, but I can work with you on this. Here’s another one, scarcity. Sometimes in our project, people just don’t like the way we’re doing things, they don’t like the approach we’re taking. They don’t like the people that are on the team and the way that the team’s working with things. A lot of times all we need to do is explain to them why this is beneficial to them. Out of all the ways we could do this, we’ve come up with this. We think that we are the only team that could actually do this. You can’t find a better team. This is the best team to do this thing, we’re unique. And if you bring somebody else into do it instead of us, you wanna have me replace this entire team, put different people on here, half this team or do it a different approach, what we’re going to lose are these things. You actually stand to loose some things, which might be time and money, or cost and time on our project because we put the other best team we possibly can think of. And this group has come up with the best way to do this project, which is the fastest way to do and the most cost effective way to do it. So if these people want to change things, we need to explain okay. We’re the ones that can do it, and here’s what you can lose if we don’t do it this way. Authority is another thing. You need to be perceived as an authority. If you’re perceived as an authority then people are more likely to work with you well. If you’re not perceived as an authority, then if might be difficult for people to work with you. There’s one project manager who’s gone into a company now. They worked at another company and they did an outstanding job in their company. They were one of the leaders in their company. They did a great job at everything that they did. They ran projects like they got hired to do in the new company, but in the new company, now they’re hearing this new company. They don’t know exactly all the ways that this company does things. So they’re an authority on these kinds of projects. They can come in here, they wouldn’t have to listen to anybody. They could take over one of these projects, do the project beginning to end without having to get any guidance, direction, anything from anybody. However, the new company likes to do things their own way. So now this person is not perceived as an authority in the new company. They are perceived as somebody who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, because they don’t really understand the way the company does things. They are an authority, just not perceived that way. So, if you’re perceived as an authority, people are a lot more likely to work with you and a lot more likely to not cause you any difficulties along the way. Consistency can help you avoid difficulties. And sometimes consistency can be a way to deal with difficulties that do arise. We’re talking about consistency in the way that we approach projects. This is how we approach projects. We do things this way. We always do things this way in our projects. We’re being consistent with that. So we’re being consistent with how we’re doing things in the organization. We have processes in place that we use to get things done. And if somebody wants us to do something different and special, we have to look at that process and say, this is the process, this is how it goes. And what you want us to do will happen at this point along the way. It’s just not going to happen yet. Or, that really is not something that we do. We typically don’t approach it that way. And maybe we could change things a little bit and adapt to what somebody needs. We need some consistency on how we all work together, on how we work together with stakeholders. How the project moves forward, how we work together in the organization. We need consistency for that, and a lot of times we have processes in place to help us do those things. If we don’t have processes in place, we can run in to all kinds of problems. That person who’s the authority from another company and has come to the new company, the new company wants things done their way, the problem is there’s no consistency. They have no processes in place to say this is how we do things around here, so it causes problems with the stakeholders. The stakeholders are always wondering what’s going on, why things are taking this long, why did we did it that way one time, why did we did it another way another time. We’re trying to work with you along the way, the stakeholders say, and we can’t figure it out. What’s going on with you over there? This project manager is having all kinds of problems with people inside the company, with all kinds of stakeholders outside the company. Because there’s no processes in place to make things consistent across the whole organization. Every time a new project starts, what consistency means is whatever high level executive is interested in this project, that’s the way it gets done. So now you have a different high level executive on the second project. Well, the second project gets done in a completely different way because that’s the way this person wants it done. Fortunately, this organization just got a new CEO, that has come in and said, okay, we need consistency across the organization, and we’re going to put processes in place that everyone will go by. Now they’re putting those processes in place. And the first couple projects they piloted some of these things on have gone very well. The teams worked well together, haven’t been any difficulties with team members along the way. And now this project manager who’s piloting a couple of these new processes is also having great success with the stakeholders, and there’s not so many difficulties with the stakeholders along the way. So just get some processes in place that help take care of things along the way. Again, alleviate problems that come along the way, and if we have a process in place and somebody wants us to do something different, all we have to do is say, okay. Here’s how the process works to provide what we usually do. But you want something different, here’s how we can change the process. At least we have a place to start. It’s not just, we want something different than that. Do what you can, and we go try and figure out the best thing we possibly can to do that. We have a process to look at and how do we need to adjust that to get different outcomes. Liking. People are just going to work with us better and we’re gonna have less difficulties if they like us. And that doesn’t mean that we have to be their best friend. It just means that somehow we have to find some common ground, some things that we actually agree with. There are some cultures in the world that before you can do business, you have to actually sit down and talk with people, figure out who they are, who you are. Can we actually work together? Let’s get a little of an idea of how you work together with others, what you’re all about so we can figure out, okay is this somebody I can actually work with and get along with and come to some successful results with? If we work on a project and we have somebody that’s being very difficult with us, sometimes we can try and find some personal common ground along the way. It at least gives us some place that we agree on something and we can start to build that area of agreement. Difficulties are based a lot of times just on somebody has one idea, somebody has another idea and they’re just not coming together at all. If we can find any area of agreement, either personally or sometimes in this professional area and say, oh, you know, yes I do start to understand how you look at things. And I’ve looked at things that way a little bit myself before, I can understand what’s going on now. Let’s start to expand out from there, come to a larger area of agreement. Consensus. Consensus now starts to build on all of these other elements we’ve put together. We all need to agree, this is what we’re going to do and this is how we’re going to do it. Consensus up front in the project, and on every element throughout the project, can avoid some of the difficulties, and when we arrive at a place where we do have some difficulty with someone, there is some sort of conflict along the way. We’re not agreeing on things. We’re not working well together. Some difficulties happened here. A lot of times we can sit down and talk with each other and try to find that area of agreement and expand that out into something that is acceptable to both of us where we say, okay that looks like a perfectly good way to do this. Let’s proceed together with that. So again, we’ve come up with, done looks like this, we both agree on that, and how are we going about, going to go about making that happen. In summary, if we listen to people, listen to all our team members and stakeholders, actually understand what they’re talking about, and we treat everyone with respect along the way, we have a good solid foundation for working with difficult people.

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