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I am in the middle management and certainly at the crossroad when in conflict with customer and colleagues. This is not made up but picked right from one of the conversation, no, a heated discussion when a team member protested “aren't you supposed to stand by us?” averting their desperate look, I swivelled my chair and stared hard at the table with my eyes focus nowhere in particular but mind probing endless paradoxes and possibilities. Stand by whom? We will have to get educated not to take things personal but when someone slams ‘your idea makes no sense’, how can you detach and differentiate ‘it’s not me that’s criticized but my idea? So that means they are both different? Isn't my thought born out of me and interpreting as impersonal and remain impassive?” Impasse. Don’t dismiss that as banal, as everyone without an exception, at some point in time have introspected on similar lines. “Is it an individual’s interest or collective that matters? Should I have to prove standing by you? Client’s interest precedes and prevails above everything”, the hush in the room was so audible and I knew of touching a raw nerve, and their grievance wasn’t without ground. But if we start listening to such calls and concede ground on behalf of the crew, then there will be no option but pull the shutters down. Clients run the business – we manage. Attitude is all that counts. But a demoralized crew is more dangerous than a deadly weapon, and slighting their service will be huge let-down. So I counsel with an admission “agreed not all calls are fair but we should learn to overlook few just the same way they have accommodated our careless mistakes as ‘oversight’. Eventually business is about give and take, and no need to take things personally. It’s strictly professional. Alright, here is the call: prove them wrong by laying out the outline for closure and I will even it out.” Their eyes lit up. “Wait. What if we fail to deliver?” they sank into their seats. One developer took it up with me “WE WILL DELIVER”. That’s the spirit. I wanted to hear that and those words only. Management are sometime like middlemen who speak for both the side without letting the other down. Not fence sitters, but firmly on the ground. Project Managers must engage stakeholders, who are keen about the bottom line, while also ensuring the team’ morale never suffers at any cost nor become a casualty. It’s difficult to please everyone and unwise to even attempt or aspire. Set the priorities and take calculated risks. It’s not like one’s interest should be affected in order to meet another – that’s a compromise. Make it a win-win for all. Successful Managers are those who factor both the interest – commerce and camaraderie and maintain to sustain a long standing relationship that’s rich in its yield [revenue from client and retention of employees]. The subject is dealt very well in Project Management Certification course, especially in Stakeholder Management, Human Resource Management. You might want to visit know more about our offering http://goo.gl/VljmtT


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