At the end of the day, humans are just that, human. Success in project management starts with human connection. To be a truly effective project manager, you must be able to establish a strong human connection with the people working on your projects. One way in which strong connections can be established is through conflict. On the surface, the idea of conflict creating strong connections may seem counterintuitive, but if you dig a little deeper, you discover that conflict can be a very powerful relationship and connection building tool.

People do not like conflict because they do not like the uncomfortable conversations that conflict resolution requires; however, everyone likes the feeling of conflict resolution. Most conflicts are rooted in different interpretations of facts, not the facts themselves. Because of this, conflict resolution within a project team requires different team members to see each other’s viewpoints and actively work towards understanding each other. When handled gracefully, conflict resolution can be one of the best relationship-building tools for a project team.

This leadership approach emphasizes the development of workers under the leader for the betterment of the team as a whole. As a servant leader (or project manager), it is important for you to gain the trust and understanding of those working with and around you. You need to identify who you are and why you do what you do before you can expect others to trust you and do the same. This is similar to when you are on an airplane and the oxygen masks drop. You must first put on your own mask before helping others. But once you put that mask on, you can begin to help those around you.

Human Connection - Hands in

This leadership approach emphasizes the development of workers under the leader for the betterment of the team as a whole. As a servant leader (or project manager), it is important for you to gain the trust and understanding of those working with and around you. You need to identify who you are and why you do what you do before you can expect others to trust you and do the same. This is similar to when you are on an airplane and the oxygen masks drop. You must first put on your own mask before helping others. But once you put that mask on, you can begin to help those around you.

There is a famous African proverb that states: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is a perfect adage to describe servant leadership and project management. Long-term, sustained project success only happens with input, effort, and buy-in from everyone, top to bottom. As much as you may want to try to pull the project along at your own pace sometimes, it is important to remember that projects are a team effort and that there wouldn’t be a project team if one person could do it all themselves.