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When I received A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Participants, I was immediately captivated. I was struck by the number of people who were most difficult to work with.
My first job as a project manager was interrupted by an ex-army captain. A laid-back security manager stopped us from working on the anti-fraud project.
I was not briefed by a program manager before a meeting and he didn’t show up at all. I was unable to lead a workshop on a topic that I didn’t know much about.
These were all difficult, but not as difficult than the case studies in Difficult Stakeholders. Perhaps it’s because I have never worked in a professional services firm. Perhaps it’s because I have chosen my teams, employers, and projects carefully.
Maybe I inspire people to be their best selves, so it’s not hard for them (ha! It’s amazing that this is what I just wrote. It is more likely that I was lucky.
This book is written by three people who have different experiences. I spoke with them about their advice on how to deal with difficult employees at work.
Today I interview Roger Joby (co-author and managing director at R&NR Consulting Ltd.). His background is as a consultant in the pharma industry.
Hello, Roger. Roger, how is it possible for stakeholders to be involved in projects? How can this behavior be manifested on a project?
Hello, Elizabeth. There are many ways stakeholders could be difficult. There are many ways stakeholders can be difficult. A project manager could select the right team and ensure that they are supportive and motivated. Sponsors would also have the ability to keep a balanced and consistent perspective.
Roger Joby, coauthor of “A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Participants”. My experience shows that reality is often far more complicated than this ideal. Many project team members would prefer to work in a different position or on a different project. Unexpected situations can make sponsors less understanding.
You can’t just motivate your team or placate a sponsor. But you must also be aware of other stakeholders that could ruin your day.
Are people aware of the fact that they are often being difficult? What is your top tip for helping people recognize when they are being difficult?
Although they may not have the primary function of being involved, it is true that there are many stakeholders who are involved in the project. It is possible for finance department members to be unintentionally obstructionist. This problem can be solved by simply explaining to the finance department the situation and how it affects the project.
Yes, I have done it before. Is the sponsor the most important stakeholder of the organization?
The sponsor is often your most important stakeholder because they have the authority. They are directly involved in the project and can use their authority to influence other stakeholders.
I hope for the best. Why did you decide to write this book, and why?
While project management training focuses on processes and tools, the most important factor in project success is the people.
That’s true. It’s true. The PMBOK Guide now has a section on stakeholder management. This topic has been the subject of extensive research.
A Practical Guide for Dealing with Difficult Parties had the primary goal of balancing this by looking at how to interact.
Roger is coauthor of A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Participants. What can project managers learn from this book?
I hope that the book will be a reality-check. No matter how well-designed your tools or systems may be, people will still need their input. They might have a different view of the value of your project.