Drill Sgt. or Project Manager?

I had dinner tonight at the Cheesecake Factory.  I sat at the bar ’cause it was so crowded and next to me sat a very lovely lady who was obviously in distress.  We chatted.  Her Project Manager had yelled at her so rudely (in her opinion) that she was seriously considering quitting a job she loved.She explained that she had been sent down from Sacramento to work on a project here in Milpitas because of her area of specialty.  She was well respected in her home office, talented and loved the work she was doing. 

She had been done here for several weeks on an emergency basis, leaving her family behind.  She was tired, over-worked, and lonely.  She’d been working days, evenings, and weekends to bring in the Milpitas project.

Unfortunately, she and several other people failed to procure something important to the project resulting in this Project Manager screaming at her.  She was close to crying and very close to quitting.

She and I talked for a while and I sugested two things.  1:  That she not take it personally, but realize that this was his personal style – not a very good one – one that might have worked on the High School football team, or in the army – but certainly not with adult professionals.  2:  That tomorrow she sit down with him and suggest they both make a list of all the things that are necessary to complete the project.

After eating a gorgeous dessert she left feeling much better and with a strategy in place.

My advice:  Don’t take managers’ moods personally.  Listen carefully to the words, try to understand the real meaning and need – and be willing to admit that you too aren’t perfect.   ArLyne

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1 thought on “Drill Sgt. or Project Manager?”

  1. Ah, the human carnage of people who strike out at others is one of the greatest tradgedies of the high-pressure world of project management. I have been a culprit in the past, and I’ve been the target of such emotional behaviors. What I’ve learned is that the relationships outlast the projectsl, and sometimes the company itself. It’s a very small world, and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t serve us to indulge in emotional outbursts, however carthatic they may be in the momnent. People are human beings, and as such they WILL take things personally. Let’s all drink a cup of compassion and attack the issues, not the people. It’s what adults are expected to do, and I thinmk only adults should be leading projects.

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