How to Have a Positive Impact Regardless of Your Role
Avoid the Voices of Dysfunction
We’ve all heard them. Not just inside our head. When we work, the voices are everywhere, including in other cubicles, in the hall, and most importantly, during meetings. The loudest voices are negative.
O Voice of Whining o Voice of Whining “What were they thinking? We can’t count on them. It’s all their fault.”
The Voice of the Past – “We can’t try that…we’ve always done it this way.”
O Voice of Upset – “You are wrong. I am right. How can you be so stupid?”
None of them are positive. They cause the team to be dysfunctional. They undermine trust. They also result in a lower project or team performance.
Be you the Voice of Reason on your project team.
You don’t need to be the project leader to become the Voice of Reason. Everyone on the team has the ability to speak out and make a significant impact on the group.
It is essential to make yourself known at the right time.
You must have something positive to say.
Focus on Zones of Control
In our daily lives as project managers, we face four distinct types of problems. We can affect some, but we aren’t able to. The question is, where should we put our efforts?
Zone 1 Controls the things that the project team is concerned about and is in direct control of.
Zone 2 – Influence Items that fall into this category are those that the team is concerned about but cannot influence.
Zone 3 – Concern Things we are concerned about but cannot do anything about.
Zone 4 – All other things Things which aren’t being discussed right now.
What’s the cause?
The issue lies in The issue is with Zone 3 items. The team is wasting valuable time and energy complaining, moaning, and grumbling (WMG) about issues that they cannot do anything about. We’ve all witnessed it. It’s incredibly demoralizing and ineffective. More importantly, these negative emotions and thoughts are echoed throughout the entire project. Morale sinks. People become outraged. The progress of the team slows.
Let’s look at an instance:
In the meeting, we discover that we’re being offered the services of a new CIO and the one who’s going is only here for eight months. The entire group groans and moans and grumbles. “How could she leave when we’ve just started to implement all her process changes? The new person will have all new ideas, and we’ll have to do all this over again. Why did management let this happen?”
It is easy to tell the team is in zone 3 by the words”they,” “they,” as well as blame and blame phrases.
You have the chance to become the Voice of Reason.
Then you speak up, and you say, “Let’s look at this in light of Zones of Control. Is it in Zone 1? No, we can’t control it. Is it in Zone 2? No, we can’t have any influence on it. Is it in Zone 3? Yes, we really care about getting a good person. And since we can’t control or influence Zone 3 things, We must accept them as something we have to live with and get on with the project. What’s the next item on the agenda?”
Zone of Control is an effective tool to concentrate team effort on the most critical projects that will lead to success.
Zones 1, 2, and 3 must be integrated into the structure of the work breakdown along with the schedule and resources to be assigned.
Concentrating on empowering Zones 1 and 2 will boost the energy of the whole project and help propel this project along.
For Zone 3 items, “Let it go and get on with your life.”