CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Emma is an experienced Project Manager with more than ten years of working across state and federal government project initiatives including major large-scale complex projects and events for the Department of Education and the Department of Health, Queensland State Government. She is skilled in Project Delivery, Business Change and building rapport with team members and clients and stakeholders. Emma prides herself on being highly organised and has demonstrated experience with corporate governance and is dedicated to meeting business outcomes.
Emma is also a trained yoga and Pilates instructor and teaches classes for Goodlife Health Clubs.
See Emma’s 2019 Celebrating Women in Project Management profile.
What is your project management super power?
My project management superpower is to get people motivated. I’ve been on several projects where I have come in at the point of delivery and staff have been disengaged. I like to empower and encourage people to work together to drive the outcome. Having a ‘one team’ approach with all the stakeholders really allows everyone to feel like they are a part of the project and part of its success.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
I think that the gender diversity in project management can be greatly improved by projects like ‘#
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Working flexibly and collaboratively across teams will be a skill that Project Managers will need for future success, especially now that teams can operate from different locations. We need to be flexible in how we looks at project resourcing, especially in the public service where we are so used to working the 9 – 5 role at our desks in the same office. In order to ensure we are getting the best out of our teams and our members, we need to implement flexible ways of working that are more aligned to the lifestyles that people lead. This includes embracing the use of various collaborating tools.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
In order to recover from difficult situations, I like to spend some time reflecting on what the difficult situation was, think of what I did, how I could have perhaps responded better, how I can recognise a difficult situation before it escalates and what I could do should it happen again in the future. I also like to discuss these things with my mentors, because most of the time they have been through similar situations and can offer some important insights. There is really no shame in acknowledging when things are difficult and it’s important to understand that this is where the growth happens. In circumstances where I have had the support from my team members and the right leadership from above, the difficult situations have been outstanding opportunities for my own leadership growth.
It’s also important to remember to not be so hard on yourself, we’re all human.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
When it comes to conflict, one of the simplest ways to start to work towards a resolution is the take the time and listen to the individuals involved and give them the opportunity to be heard. In management roles, where there are tight timeframes, it’s easy for people to want to rush to get to a conclusion and in some cases assign blame. I have also been on the receiving end of this from a Project Director, where she jumped to a conclusion and sent me an email without consulting with me about the issue first. In the grand scheme of things, her response taught me the lesson of the type of leader I don’t want to be and the way I don’t want to manage people.
No matter what the issue is, people deserve to be heard and respected. I like to think that everyone wants the best outcome in any situation, so it’s essential to provide people with a platform to have their feelings heard and to ensure that there is a respectful process in place to resolve the conflict.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Flexibility, connection and empowerment.
Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.
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