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John Potter Plymouth Business School University of Plymouth Project Management.

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Presentation on theme: "John Potter Plymouth Business School University of Plymouth Project Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 John Potter Plymouth Business School University of Plymouth Project Management

2 Whatever the nature of the project it requires that people work together effectively No two people are alike and we all have different needs We will look at working preferences with two approaches to enable us to work more effectively with individuals both in the project team and other stakeholders The six psychological concepts relevant to project working are perception, cognition, motivation, personality, communication and behaviour. People – the common thread

3 A key psychological concept in project working is that of perception No two people interpret a situation, experience or event in exactly the same way The internal representation of a situation, experience or event is what we call our perception of that situation, experience or event An important skill of the project manager and leader is to be aware of the perceptions of other people both in the project team and the other stakeholders and understand how those people see events and interpret them. What is perception?

4 Multiple perspectives Situation First positionSecond position Third position Creative Critical Realistic Fourth position etc

5  Human beings process information and make meaning from it in a number of ways  A convenient approach to modes of thinking is the split brain approach introduced by Roger Sperry in the 1960s  The idea is that we have two types of thought process – left brain thinking and right brain thinking  These are not necessarily centred in the left or right brain hemispheres but are more akin to different types of thinking process distributed throughout the brain  An effective project leader and manager needs to have both left brain skills relating to logic, analysis, facts, numbers and so forth together with right brain skills involving patterns, colour, rhythm, spatial issues and other ‘creative’ aspects of the project.  In Western Society most of us rely heavily on left brain skills for success whereas in reality it is access to both modes of thinking behaviour which is important.  Betty Edwards “Drawing on the right side of the Brain is a useful tool for developing right brain skills together with Tony Buzan’s work on Mind mapping.

6  Many models of motivation – Maslow, Herzberg, McGregor, Path-goal theory, House’s work etc  Putting it all together and creating an integrated approach – Potter (2005)  The basic drivers against de-motivation: ◦ Significance ◦ Certainty ◦ Variety ◦ Connection  The two major drivers of motivation: ◦ A sense that the individual is growing as a person ◦ A feeling that the individual is making a valued contribution to something worthwhile

7  Another approach which is attracting interest at present is the SCARF approach  A useful internet reference to the meaning of SCARF is given at  An even more interesting introductory article by David Rock is given at  SCARF is an alternative approach to Potter’s model above and it includes and it is based on the well established approach of approach-avoid in relation to five aspects of an individual’s experience of working in the project team.  The Five aspects are Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

8  Many tools of understanding personality and work style involve the concept of ‘preferences’  The most commonly encountered tool based on preferences is the Myers Briggs Type Inventory MBTI  This looks at four bipolar dimensions: ◦ Where the individual derives their energy from integration with others or reflecting on their own ◦ The type of data they believe that is ‘here and now’ specific data or more diffuse interaction patterns and softer data ◦ Whether they are driven by logic or emotional values ◦ The extent to which they are structured in their way of working. Do they need control or simply to go with the flow.  An awareness of preferences based on the MBTI model is useful as it enables the project leader and manager to deal with each individual in the most effective way.

9  Based on Hippocrates four types of person model  The two classification scales are submissive to assertive and open with emotions to closed in terms of emotional expression  This gives rise to four types of personalities in terms of preference ◦ The blue who is essentially people oriented, fun loving, highly interactive and a good communicator and networker ◦ The yellow who is very people oriented and seeks to build harmony and avoid conflict ◦ The green who is driven by attention to detail ◦ The red who likes to be in control, is drawn to risk and sees themselves as a leader  The key point with this model is to treat people the way they want to be treated. For a full treatment of this approach read “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer

10  A key attribute of the successful team is team spirit sometimes called ‘esprit de corps’  By forming rapport with someone we mean getting on the same ‘wavelength’ as that person  We are in rapport when our words, tone of voice and body language are similar to the words used by the other person, their tone of voice and their body language  If we can develop a common language within the project team and work towards matching both tone of voice and body language we can promote rapport and help develop a common approach to working together and as a result team spirit will develop in a positive way.

11  It is inevitable that conflict will occur in a team and it is important to have ways to handle that conflict.  An effective way of dealing with conflict between two team members is the ‘forced empathy’ approach  Forced empathy involves each person separately explaining their view of the conflict situation to the project leader  The two individuals are then brought together and person A has to explain how they think person B sees the situation until person B is happy with that description. Person B then is asked to explain how they think person A perceives the situation until person A agrees with that description  Many conflicts are caused by a difference in perception and the ‘forced empathy’ approach can be very effective in resolving such conflicts.

12  Changes will inevitably occur during the duration of a project and some project team members will find it hard to deal with these and may become very irritable  The SCRUM approach handles customer driven changes effectively  Project leaders need to be aware that people have a need for certainty, develop comfort zones and are thus sometimes disturbed by changes which they do not understand  Initially they may reject the change through denial, then resist it passively then actively. These are the first two stages of the ‘change response phases’  The project leader’s task is to encourage the individual to experiment with implementing the change and perhaps with new ways of working.  Ultimately the goal of the project manager is to get the individual to accept the change by experiencing small ‘building blocks of success’ and then becoming committed to such an extent that they tell others that the change is a good idea, focusing everyone on the benefits of the change.

13  The Sociogram provides a useful tool for examining the performance and relationships within a project team  We represent each individual by a circle and plot the interactions over say a 20 minute period  Positive, neutral and negative interactions can be recorded and a drawing created which shows which individuals tend to work regularly within others within the project team and which individuals may be seen to be excluded in terms of the communication process  We can see a typical sociogram in the next slide

14 A B C D E F

15 Edwards. B. (1993) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Harper Collins: London For SCARF references see and Buzan. T.(1993) The Mind Map Book. BBC Books: London Littauer. F.(1994) Personality Plus. F.H. Revell : Michigan. References

16 This resource was created by the University of Plymouth, Learning from WOeRk project. This project is funded by HEFCE as part of the HEA/JISC OER release programme.Learning from WOeRk This resource is licensed under the terms of the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license ( The resource, where specified below, contains other 3 rd party materials under their own licenses. The licenses and attributions are outlined below: 1.The name of the University of Plymouth and its logos are unregistered trade marks of the University. The University reserves all rights to these items beyond their inclusion in these CC resources. 2.The JISC logo, the and the logo of the Higher Education Academy are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -non-commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK England & Wales license. All reproductions must comply with the terms of that license. Author John Potter InstituteUniversity of Plymouth Title Managing and Leading the Project and people Date Created 10/06/2011 Educational Level Level 5 Keywords Learning from WOeRK Work Based Learning WBL Continuous Professional Development CPD leadership and management UKOER LFWOER Back page originally developed by the OER phase 1 C-Change project ©University of Plymouth, 2010, some rights reserved Text for audio commentary

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