Level the playing field with mutual respect
The first thing I focus on is building trust between each individual team member and myself. Sharing ideas and honest perspectives are usually more forthcoming if there is trust first. We develop team rules and agree that each person’s ideas and opinions are valid and valued. We all agree that no matter how seasoned a colleague is, no idea or opinion is held above another person. As a result, our team has come to understand that some of the best solutions are the least complicated to implement and often get us faster to our end goals. Quite often, these ideas are from the most junior project managers on our team.
At weekly project meetings, we resolve a problem for a project voted on by the colleagues. This pushes us to focus not just on our own project issues but how our ideas can support others. We began using this strategy in 2020 and 2021, and we basically doubled the percentage of targets met in our project plans compared to our 2018 and 2019 performance reviews.
—Danielle Jones Cox, PMP, senior director, public sector modernization division, Office of the Cabinet, Kingston, Jamaica