Project Management Skills Training – The Assertive Project Manager

by ltconsulting on September 18, 2012

Managing projects is not easy, but it is a crucial task in the workplace. Our Project Management training course will present delegates with useful strategies that will assist them with:

  • organising projects
  • improving project management skills
  • managing projects effectively
  • project planning
  • becoming a great project manager

With ever-increasing workloads and deadlines, the ability to manage our time has never been more important. Project management is a crucial factor in work and our project management courses are created to ensure that delegates can make their work based projects as efficient and effective as possible. We do this by supplying a project management training course that is full of tools and tips for improving project planning, time planning, delegation, organisation and management strategies, managing meetings, as well as handling and using time effectively. Our Project Management Course will cover subjects such as goal setting, improving organisation skills and managing time successfully. Our seminars are packed with useful tips and techniques that allow you to become a better project manager instantly.

THE ASSERTIVE PROJECT MANAGER

Being assertive is usually defined as standing up for your own rights without dismissing the rights of others. It means being honest with yourself and others, putting forward your own views and stating clearly and honestly what you want, think and feel. It means being self-confident and positive but not dogmatic. Managing assertively means being firm in expressing an opinion but understanding the other person’s point of view and being prepared to reach a workable compromise.

Assertiveness can be defined simply as ‘making your point of view in a clear and tactful way’. It does not necessarily mean winning the argument or making the other party fall in line and agree with you. Remember the other party may also demonstrate assertive (or aggressive) behaviours and disagree with you so don’t confuse assertive with ‘always getting your way’; being able to argue or negotiate or debate or stand your ground or persuade, this may allow you to gain an advantage but being assertive will start the process where you move towards your stated objectives. Simply put, the more you make your opinions known; the more you ask for what you need; the greater chance you have of achieving your aims.

In a series of studies at Columbia Business School about leadership strengths and weaknesses. The most common strengths reported included conventional leadership traits like intelligence, self-discipline, and charisma. But the most common weaknesses reported; assertiveness was by far the most frequently-mentioned problem, sometimes more than charisma, intelligence, and self-discipline combined.

The modern project manager must be certain of their ability to be assertive; handling difficult situations and people effectively and producing consistent results. Not all project managers admit their lack of ability in maintaining their assertiveness but it is essential to understand how assertiveness affects our results.

STAGES OF ASSERTIVENESS

There are many ways in which we can be assertive. Let’s look at how some of these are used and how we need to use an escalation or a combination of techniques to become more assertive.

  1. Issuing instructions – Asking for what we need
  2. Giving reasons for what we want
  3. State consequences of actions
  4. Negotiate gently giving options or alternatives
  5. Restate your point of view (increase consequences)

1. Issuing instructions – Asking for what we need

The first rule in assertive language is to be able to state our case/make our point of view. This is best realised when we use positive language, e.g. asking for what we want and need (as opposed to stating what we don’t want).

“I will need this from you…..”

“You need to get it to me by Thursday”

 “I can’t do it now but I’d be happy to do it tomorrow”

2. Giving reasons for what we want

Reasons allow the other party to understand the criteria and why you need something done.  This can also be used when you’re explaining why something is a problem. People are more likely to comply when they understand ‘why’ you need something. Reasons given prior to a request or statement allow the other party to process your needs as ‘reasonable’

“I’ve a client meeting tomorrow so I’ll need it proofed today. Thanks”

“We can’t process that by 5pm so I’ll do it first thing tomorrow”

3. State consequences of actions

Consequences allow the other party to understand the positive (or negative) results of your objectives. Understanding the value of consequences will allow you to become more effective. Our behaviour and the decisions we make are ‘consequence based’, e.g. we decide to confront a colleague’s continual lateness because it’s affecting the time you can leave to go home. In difficult situations ask yourself ‘what will be the consequences if I take no action’ – this can make the decision stronger and allow you to take action. Remember, we are reluctant to change our behaviour unless we are given the opportunity to choose between the consequences of our current actions and the consequences of different actions. The saying ‘the person with the better consequences will persuade the other person’ is very true in assertive situations.

“I’ll be able to help you out next time if you do this for me”

“We won’t process your expenses if we don’t get all the receipts next time”

“I won’t be able to help you unless you give me the full details”

4. Negotiate gently giving options or alternatives

If you meet with resistance you may need to offer options or suggestions as a way forward, or alternatives that may appeal to the other party. It is best if the conversation is conducted in a positive way, as the other party may treat hostility at this stage as a threat and be triggered into aggressive behaviours.

“What we could do in this situation is the following………”

“I’d be willing to look at it further if you were to give me access to the records”

5. Restate your point of view (increase consequences)

If you meet further resistance you may decide to reaffirm your objectives whilst increasing the consequences to the other party. At this stage, more punitive consequences can be introduced to the argument, i.e. threats or sanctions. If you have progressed to this stage it is important to remember that you must be willing and able to carry out your stated consequences if you wish to be successful otherwise you may run the risk of being ignored or challenged in the future.

“After this time I’ll not be able to help you out anymore as you didn’t send me the information”

“We won’t process your expenses this time unless you include the receipts”

“I won’t continue this conversation with you unless you give me the full details”

Project Management Skills Training

The course is designed to help delegates organise their workload while planning a project. This is done with the aid of Gantt charts and project management templates, tools and techniques. This course is also a great option if you seek project management for junior staff in the workplace as it will informatively aid staff in planning successful projects.

There are many benefits of being a project manager such as; better task management; increased self esteem; the ability to negotiate more effectively and reduce the stress which results from a lack of effective planning.

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