CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Memphis TN, USA
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Leigh Espy has over 15 years of project management experience with a primary focus on IT project management. She’s led multimillion-dollar international projects and corporate strategy initiatives, as well as small, local projects, and loves both. She’s worked in start-ups, the public sector, Fortune 100 companies, and even the Peace Corps. In the past few years she’s focused on a Scaled Agile approach, and has worked as a scrum master, release train engineer, and Product Owner. Her early coaching career teaching skills in communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution give her a solid background in the soft skills required in project management.
Leigh also coaches and mentors project managers and those making the move to a project management career. She writes about project management, leadership, and performance at ProjectBliss.net. She’s the author of Bad Meetings Happen to Good People: How to Run Meetings That Are Effective, Focused, and Produce Results.
What is your project management super power?
Communication! It’s critical at all stages of project management, from beginning to end. It’s important to know how to communicate across all stakeholder types, from team member to executive. It’s important to listen for the nuances that give away potential problems, to keep stakeholders informed, and to communicate changes and bring the customers onboard for successful project execution. All elements of project management are important, but the communication component is critical for ensuring that the completed project is rolled out to the customers successfully.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
Increasing awareness that it’s a viable career track for both men and women equally.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and other soft skills will continue to remain critical. Also, agile approaches are being adopted more broadly as organizations realize they need to respond to market needs more quickly.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
Self reflection helps me assess the situation and determine what needs to be done going forward. It also helps me process what I’ve learned so that I can apply that in the future.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Active listening is at the top of the list. It often comes down to understanding different perspectives and points of view. Conflict arises often from not feeling heard or understood, and when you take the time to listen and understand, and let the speaker know you understand their perspective, the conflict can shift to respectful and productive conversation.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Challenging, interesting, rewarding.
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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