A project manager’s team is his strongest asset. Each team member contributes an important piece of work to the project. If the team communicates well, then the discrete pieces have a better chance of fitting tightly together to build a successful product.
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That’s all well and good, until it isn’t. More often a project team resembles a Tower of Babel, with each member speaking in his own unique language, than a well-oiled machine spitting out precisely manufactured widgets. Chalk it up to human nature. We’re all a bit unique. Each of us learns, communicates and works in a manner that doesn’t exactly fit to our adjacent team member’s style.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise to the project manager when team members have trouble getting their pieces of work to smoothly connect. The source of the disconnect may be a language barrier, a difference of opinion or a wounded ego. Whatever it is, a good PM takes action to bridge the gap. An effective PM looks for common ground on which his team can stand to resolve their differences. An enlightened PM knows that it’s his job to build paths between team members where none exist.