CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
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I am an independent project management consulting specializing in the healthcare space but with clients across all industries. I am committed to helping organizations of all sizes achieve their strategic goals, and I’m particularly interested in working with stakeholders to integrate and manage the changes that result from process development and process improvement.
What is your project management super power?
Taking the time to listen to stakeholders at all levels of influence. In my experience, stakeholders who feel like they have been listened to are more engaged and can facilitate the change process. Stakeholders who feel brushed aside or not included will present more challenges to the project team. This isn’t something that can be rushed or defined as a one-time event; listening is an ongoing, time-intensive activity that pays off throughout the project.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
More women need to be elevated to decision-maker roles. Women bring different perspectives to decision-making and when women are not involved in decision-making, the decisions made may not be as comprehensive.
Increased visibility and availability of mentors can be powerful as well. Women do not only have to mentor women. Men and women can both learn from each other. I think that more PM professionals should actively seek out and nurture mentoring relationships in order to develop professional and also personal skills.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Communication! I think that learning how to communicate so that everyone feels included will be critical, learning how to communicate to senior leadership will be critical (because they seem to have shorter and shorter attention spans!), and learning how to communicate in order to develop trust with stakeholders will be critical. Also, conflict resolution: project managers should anticipate that there will be conflict, so what skills are in their toolbox to either prevent and defuse the conflict, or to resolve the conflict once it’s happened?
How do you recover from difficult situations?
I talk through the situation with a trusted advisor to help me determine 1-2 options for a path forward. I take the time to think through the options and the possible consequences, and then I reach out to the affected parties and work through a resolution. Taking a walk outside is also helpful to clear the mind and to quiet the noise.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
1. Be honest.
2. Find common ground among the affected parties.
3. If possible, speak face to face.
4. Focus on the shared goal, and talk through how to move forward. What has happened is already in the past, so no purpose in dwelling on that, but going forward, how will the parties work together to avoid repeating the conflict?
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
I enjoy being a project manager because I love connecting with people and helping them to be successful. Every client, every stakeholder, every project gives me tremendous opportunities to learn so I am never stagnant.
1. Variety – because every project is different and every day is different
2. Learning – because I’m constantly learning
3. Celebration – the feeling of success when a goal has been achieved is a terrific feeling
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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