The 2019 PMI EMEA Congress kicks off in Dublin next week, where I will deliver an interactive session on the crucial project management skill of influencing without authority, alongside my colleague and Aspira CEO, Pat Lucey.
Getting things done on time, on budget and not leaving a trail of dead bodies while doing so is always a bonus!
The old style of command and control hierarchy is gone and project managers have to manage by influence, especially in a matrix environment. Often as a project manager you are managing people who don’t typically report to you and may have never worked with you, who are in separate locations and are likely to be at least working on more than one project.
Therefore, to deliver your project successfully, you need to manage by influence.
Make a good first impression
From the start of your project, you need to assume everyone is a potential ally and that the uncooperative will cooperate. You must suspend judgement and be curious about their world.
This is also your time to establish yourself as a credible leader by speaking about your experience of leading similar projects and highlighting your skills.
Your ability to influence is at its highest point at the start of the project, so this is a crucial time to impress your stakeholders.
Communicate the right messages
Begin by communicating what you are trying to achieve and help each person understand the vision and mission of the project and how they are connected to it.
Each person whether down the corridor or across the ocean needs to know, believe in and feel connected to the project story.
Understand your stakeholders
It is important to schedule time with each of your stakeholders to understand their priorities, concerns and objectives.
This will allow you to see the project through their eyes. You will learn how they are rewarded and measured, what is important to them, what keeps them awake at night and what they are passionate about. It will also give you insights into their preferred working styles and methods of communication.
This information will allow you to build rapport and communicate in a way that resonates with them, mapping project benefits to their needs.
If you would like to learn more about how you can influence without authority, click here for an insight to our dedicated training course.
Author: Norma Lynch, Head of Training, Aspira