Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video The social-oriented work style, part of Project Management Foundations: Teams.
At the heart of a project is a team. And the heart needs a rhythm to ensure it beats appropriately. Fortunately, there are team members who have an ideal style to ensure your project's heart beats in perfect rhythm; the social-minded team member. The communicators on your project team are your social-tendency team members. They help you promote team harmony and and good working relationships. Let's examine the six most common traits of social team members.
First; social-oriented team members value working on project objectives with others and appreciate that different personalities and capabilities that come together in a team. As the communicators on your team, social team members almost always use the term "we" even when expressing their own opinions. If you consider which one of your team members is most likely to bring a cake to work for everyone to share, you've probably identified your social team member.
Second; they spread enthusiasm for working and enjoying the project as a team. They do this through conversations to address business problems or arranging a get-together for lunch to celebrate a birthday. Anything that engages the team is a great idea to the social team member. Third; your social team members will often start the project with focus on who's going to be on the project team and will enthusiastically help obtain new team members and at any point can be counted on to make newcomers welcome.
Fourth; as the expert communicators on your team, your social team members will ensure team members understand their role and are always up to speed on what the project is and what is happening at the moment. Generally, they also are adept at engaging the clients and ensuring they participate in project activities. Fifth; your social-style team members typically are adept at producing both product components and project management artifacts as long as they see the communication value of the artifacts to unify the team or please the client.
Lastly; your social team members can serve as your team morale barometer. They're usually quite interested in understanding others and their points of view and can alert you if relationship or progress issues might be surfacing. They will help you keep the project team engaged, can help you focus on the human side of project team leadership as well as ensuring things get done. They can also help keep the client interested and alerted to the progress of the project.
Social-minded team members also have several characteristics that can detract from project success if you're not aware of them and assign tasks accordingly. First; social-minded team members can become uncomfortable in situations where the project work requires team members to go off and think about things on their own. They see the lack of social interaction as a potential loss to the project. I would recommend you alert your social-minded team members to this need and give them other responsibilities to pull the team back together when the individual analysis is completed.
Another concern I want to share with you is that when a team member is overly oriented toward their social style, they can become chatty and engaging conversation that is not always productive. At one time or another, we're all guilty of this, but keep an eye out for this happening too often as your social-oriented team member could frustrate others who are trying to meet their deadlines. Lastly, a final concern; your social-oriented team members can sometimes overlook the positive nature of a healthy dose of stress.
In this case, it is typically important that you recognize their intent, acknowledge what they're trying to accomplish and ask them to help the team focus on the plan and what needs to be produced. A project can be a long haul and having social-minded members can save you a lot of work by helping keep the team together while you accomplish your project goals.
Along the way, discover how to negotiate for key resources, appreciate and maximize individual working styles, use emotional intelligence to add a personal approach to your management style, and resolve conflict.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Understanding the four key work styles
- Negotiating for your team
- Sharing a common objective
- Making team rules
- Directing the team
- Solving team conflicts<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.