Project ManagementRisk Management

Project Managers: Lose the Attitude

Attitude is everything. An employee who engages in positive behavior will in turn have a positive attitude. Keith Mathis, writing for PM Hut, elaborates on why and how a project manager should motivate their team into exuding a positive attitude.

Change is inevitable; however, it takes a little extra effort in order to ensure that the change is permanent. Project managers need to take on the responsibility of helping their employees “anchor” these changes and make them a part of their daily lives. Mathis shares a quote from author Charles Swindoll, “The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” Positive reinforcement and praise help motivate employees to do better work, and it is an action that costs absolutely nothing. Spread a few encouraging words and watch as people grow appreciative and do better work.

Praise is also a means to illustrate to the employee that they have been noticed. Too often, managers do not directly acknowledge the individual doing the great work. They tell everyone else but forget to thank and encourage the employee. Long has the Pygmalion Effect been recognized as a pertinent tool in organizational behavior. This effect emphasizes the importance of those in supervisory roles to believe in their subordinates, because when someone else has high expectations of a person, that person begins to believe in themselves and perform at a higher level. If the errors are the only thing that ever gets attention, then the employee begins to believe that no good is ever recognized, resulting in discouragement. They become fixated on the negative.

Many people have the tendency to do whatever it takes for them to be noticed, whether it is because of good or bad behavior. It is up to project managers to help direct that behavior and reinforce a positive message.

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