7 Things a Project Manager Should Never Do to Team-Members


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The success of every project depends on the farsightedness of the leader, the performance of the other key players, and the level of accountability held by everyone on the team. This success also largely depends on the way a certain project is managed. This is where the relevance of a Project Management profile builds. Being a project manager is quite a job that takes everything to deliver the best as per the client’s expectations.

Project management is a leadership and direction profile that revolves around decision-making and resolution of any issues that might come up. However, the most important part of the functioning of a Project Manager is to interact and collaborate with individuals of different talents and skills and get the work done from start to finish. A Project Manager is a team player and their relationship with the other team members is a crucial determinant of the project’s success or failure.

Strong support is a key ingredient of project success. The right kind of relationship and communication between the Project Manager and the team members can help break the chaos, establish a plan, enforce team-spirit, and implement success. Without the right kind of professional relationship, a project is bound to fail. A lot of times, Project Managers fail to do the right thing and end up damaging the integrity of the overall project. So, here are the 7 things a Project Manager should never say or do to their team members.

Recommended article: Five Factors That Lead to Successful Projects

Ordering around

Like we mentioned before, a Project Manager is a team player; he is expected to play with the team and not order around. Right from the time when the scope of the project is created, they should be involved in the process of arriving on scope points and getting through any hiccups.

A lot of Project Managers take on the method of ordering around and not getting involved in the process. This only develops feelings of mistrust and misconduct and sours the professional relationship. So, Project Managers must make sure that they do not order around the team members but collaborate with them and help them navigate through any project hiccups because participation is the key to success in such projects.

Fixing a deadline before confirming with the team members

We all know that different projects take different timelines to get completed and that there is no absolute way to arrive at a sure-shot deadline that can result in a perfect deliverable. There are always reruns and client changes at the last moment that affect the deadline.

A lot of Project Managers take it upon themselves to set up the deadline for a new project without consulting with the team members or discussing upon it to arrive on a reasonable deadline. This practice is very rampant and can end up jeopardizing the success of the project and the overall relationship with the client if the quality of the project is affected due to this tight deadline.

Imposing ideas on the team members

Starting a new project calls for a team meeting and several brainstorming sessions wherein ideas are churned to make the project a success. To lead a team effectively, a Project Manager should always welcome new ideas from the team members and be ready to implement them. However, the common practice of imposing ideas on the team members is a deal-breaker.

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Listening to the ideas of all the team members not only makes them feel valued but also drives them to work magnificently on their ideas and impress the clients. So, make sure that as a Project Manager, you do not develop the practice of imposing your ideas onto others but also be open to suggestions and ideas of other team members.

Blaming the team members for failures

Not all projects are breezy and absolute success. A lot of them end up getting tanked or rejected for several reasons that might or might not be due to the performance of the team members. Projects are a team activity; hence, everyone on the team, including the Project Manager is accountable and answerable for their failures.

A Project Manager should never make this mistake of blaming the team or individual team members for the entire failure scenario. Critical feedback and negative motivation are a thing but the right method to implement them helps Project Managers make their team members more productive and accountable for their individual actions and contributions to the project.

Read More: What is Project Management? Definition, Types & Examples

All blabbering and no listening

As per a report, 86% of executives state that workplace failures are a direct result of a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication. Since effective communication happens only when both the parties are good speakers as well as listeners, the failure to implement this practice can turn a Project Manager ineffective and incompetent.

As a Project Manager, there is a lot of talking to do. However, effectively listening to what the team members have to say not only builds great relationships but also boosts the morale within the team and makes the team players more productive. So, make sure that the right communication channels are set up and the availability of the Project Manager is absolute if a team member is concerned with any work situation that can impact the successful completion of the project.

Wrong coaching methods

A project manager is an experienced individual who has wide subject knowledge and can effectively coach the freshers and the new team talent. The right coaching methods helps the team members gain the necessary expertise and stay motivated to give their best. Coaching methods that have the expectations set out clearly draw positive commitment from the team members and make them feel valued and empowered. Project Managers can go and start a weekend training program, set up a blog or a training/help channel to coach their team members.

Recommended article: How to Start a Blog

A project manager should never fall from having good motives and have the absolute aim of empowering their team members with the utmost expertise and knowledge. However, the wrong coaching methods can break their confidence and make them feel stressed and confused.

An interaction that reeks of unavailability

Being all big-mouthed and not walking the talk does not go well with the profile of a Project Manager. When delegating the duties of the project, a Project Manager can only demand quality work, if they are available to intervene as a motivator and a coach. They should have the ability to dig deeper into the perspective of others and respect this perspective and listen closely.

Staying available as a Project manager means that they help the team members overcome any issues and appreciate the team members for their hard work. Asking for inputs and ideas and working on them also helps a Project Manager mark their availability. They should be available to resolve any issues that the team members are facing and not demotivate them with the absence or unavailability.

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The mind-set of an individual in a Project management role should be inclined to build morale amongst the team members, enhancing their productivity, improving their skillset, planning the delegation, and valuing every single team member; all in the right manner. Failing to do these things in the right manner and doing any or all of the 7 things above only ends up making a bad Project Manager.

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