HRM Project Management
Leadership in Project Management
have several negative effects on our body. Nonetheless, they can result essential for our survival
because they prepare the body to defend itself or instinctively escape from dangers.
Although these emotions may determine our survival in critical situations, such as escaping from a
blaze, we can learn how to handle them before acting by instinct and worsen our position during a
One technique, as later I will explain in more details, is to interrupt the conflict and have a break from
it. However, it might not be always possible, or even too late. When we are provoked by a colleague,
whose tone is enkindled for any reason, it is strongly suggested to neither answer back to the
incitement nor acquire a defensive attitude. In other words, we have to keep calm and answer without
letting the others know about our panic or anger. Furthermore, we should curb our negative feelings
and drive our energies to fulfil organizational goals.
We could say: “Keep calm and Breathe”
“Breathe” is the best we could do for calming ourselves down. It sounds easy but most people even
forget of such a power. We should not underestimate the importance of breathing, given its
essentiality in every instant of our life. Therefore, a leader will be successful in driving people’s will if
he is able to manage himself at first, controlling his own body so that he can transmit positive energies
towards the other team-members.
To sum up, a strong one’s self-control is the bedrock for any leader. According to D. Goleman, one’s
self-control is the capability to dominate impulses and the negative feelings. The latter depends on the
functioning of the emotional centres and on their cooperation with the executive ones. These two
fundamentals – the impulses and turmoil control – are at the centre of the emotional competences.
Moreover, restrain, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and innovation are the big five
components for a perfect leader’s behavior. The first is about managing emotions and negative
impulses in an efficient way, which – together with loyalty and integrity – becomes fundamental for
developing team-members’ trust. Conscientiousness, instead, is just a consequence of the second
factor. Indeed, being loyal directly implies the fulfilment of each one’s duties. Further, adaptability is
about flexibility in managing the environmental changes and how quickly a manager is able to
respond to them. Finally, innovation is about being open-minded to new ideas, approaches and
challenges. How could we obtain others’ consensus and acceptance of our ideas?
The way we present ourselves to people says much about our personality and behaviour. Anyhow,
our communication both verbal and non-verbal must be effective and clear. That’s why when we are
about to disclose our idea, namely the aim, the language must be captivating enough to encourage
team’s attention and inspire creativity.
Leadership and Interpersonal Relations 4
Leadership in Project Management
At the same time, the tone should be summoning in order to present only a draft of the concept and
give the public the possibility to better imagine it. Each word should be well calibrated and sufficiently
undimmed, however, they should be vague too, so to let the interlocutor to deduce deeper meanings
out of the same concepts. These messages will be able to win the team over.
Nevertheless, there are diverse difficulties to face too. Firstly, the evocative speech doesn’t actually
exist because it depends on the person’ subjectivity. Secondly, some objectives may not even be well
defined due, for instance, to undefined relationships with suppliers.
However, planning an effective speech has great advantages. In fact, it allows to have greater impact
on the public because through the development process the interlocutor has the chance to get to know
the listeners and adapt the message accordingly. Hence, the result is a classification of each team-
member under three different thinking manners, as Robert Dilts shows in his model. The different
school of thoughts define, moreover, some particular ways of being, particularly, the dreamer, the
realist and the fault-founder. Each of the three styles distinguishes itself for the diverse areas of focus.
Indeed, the dreamer focuses on the representation of the final goal and dreams all possible paths to
achieve it. He has an open and innovating attitude. The realist, instead, takes care of the means needed
to accomplish the task. He is pragmatic and concrete and his scope is to find the operating methods.
Finally, the fault-funder analyses the justifications that have led to define the new scope. He focuses
on the events, which could negatively affect the fulfilment of the project. His main ability is to
objectively observe the situations and find possible obstacles.
Classifying people via their ways of being is an important step for a Project Manager. By doing so, he
can build specific relationships with each team-member and use all individual potentialities in the
best way possible. The four fundamentals of Leadership
What are the bedrocks of leadership?
Leadership is mainly based on four pillars, which are competence, authority, being a model and creativity.
Firstly, a good leader cannot be unqualified, so a Project Manager must be inclined to continuously
develop and strengthen his competences in order to show himself prepared and qualified in front of
other team-members or spokespeople. He has to infuse trust, reliability and strength.
Secondly, the leader is respected by others if he is credible. Furthermore, the Project Manager’s
authority is a result of his inspiring behavior, which is aimed to motivate and drive others towards
the desired direction. Certainty, it is not the consequence of an imposition, whose aim is to the
maintain a strict observance of rules. Moreover, it is necessary to establish long term relationships
based on trust and reliability, while increasing the emotional capabilities for handling harsh situations
and moderate the own exuberance.
Leadership and Interpersonal Relations 5
Leadership in Project Management
Furthermore, being a model for the team, is the third fundamental of leadership. It means to support
and be a guideline in each situation. Generally, people don’t judge on the base of what we say rather
on what we do. In fact, an unreliable person will never be considered a model for the team. Therefore,
a model is a mentor, who gets in line with the team and is emphatic for deeply understanding the
interests and expectations of each individual.
Creativity, the last fundamental, is essential of a Project Manager because it describes the ability to
find new solutions to new problems, employing experience and an innovative way of thinking.
Further, it means to be able to handle the uncertainty and unpredictability of events and being open
to listen to others’ opinions and ideas.
These leading lights are at the base for a manager’s behavior. However, they are not enough because
the leader has to communicate his ideas with an effective language, able to enchant all addresses.
Each day we communicate sending messages, talking and simply interacting with lots of different
people. In my option, communication is at the base of our society because we are social beings and we
instinctively need to express our feelings, ideas and thoughts. In other words, we need to share our
being. However, communication has different means but all have the same aim – sending a message.
Nevertheless, the main issue is to ensure that the listener correctly interprets our words. That’s why a
professional Project Manager learns how to communicate, so to send a clear and precise message and
avoid time-consuming misunderstandings.
The world “communication” comes from the Latin term “communis”, which suggests the will to share
knowledge, expectations and emotions. For this reason, communication is distinguished by
“information”. The latter limits itself spreading only contents, whereas, “communication” takes care
if the received message had been correctly understood and interpreted.
The interpretation of the massage is subjective and it can be easily misunderstood, especially
nowadays, where the use of IT systems such as intranet, internet, socials and emails are the main tools
for communicating, also inside an organization. The time dedicated to face-to-face contact is limited
and it has been replaced by chats and emails. Phoning and chatting save time, but they can damage
relationships and increase difficulties when messages are not well interpreted. In fact, there are several
distorting factors that can even cause conflicts. Firstly, the interpretation of messages is highly
subjective to the person’s personality. Secondly, it depends on the current emotional status of the
listener, who will consequently give a certain kind of response. Thirdly, communication could be
distorted and manipulated on the behalf of the spokesperson.
However, face-to-face contact allows a wider understanding of the emotional status, feelings and
reactions of the consignee. Indeed, the non-verbal communication is fundamental in the
understanding of messages. The latter is strongly tied to the body language, so, gesticulation, attitude,
Leadership in Project Management
posture and tone. It expresses messages about us even preceding our words. The non-verbal
communication can be, therefore, coherent or incoherent to the verbal expressions. In the first case,
the final meaning will be reinforced and it will increase the trust of the listener towards the
spokesperson. Whereas, in the second case, the communication can result confused and ineffective.
Moreover, the Project Manager learns to benefit from all these languages for influencing and
convincing people of his own idea by showing the validity of his thesis. This step represents the final
goal of communication. Only if, at the end of a discussion, the addresses are persuaded from the
validity of the outstanding thesis of the interlocutor, we can affirm that the communication process
In order that to happen, it is necessary that the interlocutor carefully manages three moments, which
define and characterize the development of the communication process. These are the statement of the
message, followed by the listening of other speeches and, finally, responding to all questions given in the
Feedbacks are one of the most frequent messages occurring in a discussion between the leader and a
team member. Certainty, the provision of feedbacks can have positive or negative effects depending
on the way they are given.
On one hand, feedbacks represent a source of motivation for the subject because they provide inputs
for development and improvement of a person’s work.
On the other hand, when feedbacks aren’t given or they are provided as an offensive criticism, the
result is deleterious; the employee will become absent in his work and unmotivated to pursue
organizational goals. Thus, the worker will be emotionally damaged. However, this consequence is
harmful for the organization’s performance too. Having a motivated and passionate human resource
is fundamental for the business’ performance. That’s why a good Project Manager has to provide
feedbacks in a kind manner, in order to correct and let the listener to be aware of his weaknesses and
However, the Project Manager has to take care of how he provides feedbacks. In truth, feedbacks are
a kind of criticism, which can have a negative impact on the addressee. Nevertheless, if the leader is
emphatic with the team-members, he will understand his emotional status and realize the leader’s
Being emphatic is the most important emotional ability for a leader. Empathy allows the interlocutor
to provide a productive feedback, even if the letter is negative. As a consequence, the message is not
going to result as a critic rather as a corrective guideline for the subject, who will feel motivated and
encouraged to improve his work. Hence, the secret of success for a Project Manager is to never let his
Leadership in Project Management
team-members to their own devices, because the direct consequence is the loss of motivation, passion
In addition to empathy, the leader has to be concerned about four meaningful factors, which will
guarantee him a successful speech. These are – be specific, provide a solution or an alternative, be
emotionally present and be sensible. Following these suggestions, the feedback will be perceived as a
mean for improvement and not an offense.
In conclusion, communication will be successful, if the interlocutor is able to drive people’s behavior
with his words. In order to achieve this goal, the Project Manager has to be emphatic and a good
listener first. The Team-Building
Now, I will converge all the element until now I’ve described – interpersonal relations and
communication abilities – in a unique set: the team.
The team is a cohesive group of people that work together pursuing a common scope, sharing values
and believes. The team is very flexible and adaptable to external environmental changes because it
combines different skills and knowledge. These allow the project to survive despite of contingencies
and unpredictable negative events.
To notice the significant difference between a team and a group of people. In the first case, interaction
between members is essential and it represents the pillar for innovation and development. This
happens because people can talk and share knowledge among each other. Further, the team is often
self-managed and the leadership is shared according to the different objectives and skills, the
organization needs. In a group, instead, people are under the control of a supervisor, namely a boss.
The Project Manager is the leader inside his team and he offers a guideline and sets clear objectives.
He employs the team as a political action for relating himself with all members and guiding people’s
behavior towards a single scope. The Project Manager is the father of his own team, indeed, he recruits
people, he supports them and he provides feedbacks, ideas and corrections to work on. Maintaining
serenity and managing conflicts in a team are one of the most demanding tasks. However, both
composure and conflict are definitively necessary, as we will soon see.
It is the effect of synergy among all team-members that increases the performance of the final result
in both qualitative and quantitative way. Interdependence is based on the acknowledgment of
members’ differences and their need to feel cohesive. At the beginning the team begins as a set of
diverse people coming together and discussing upon an idea. Afterwards, the group of people
becomes a team. Now, the colleagues collaborate inside the same environment and towards the same
goal. Each individual develops a feeling of belonging to the group and identifies the latter as an
individual subject, characterized by several needs to grow and develop.
The Team-Building 8
+1 anno fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher beatrice_fontana di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Human Resource Management e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Ca' Foscari Venezia - Unive o del prof Bruni Elena.
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