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5 Ways to Stop Being a Project Jerk

Furious boss yelling at colleagues during a meetingIt isn’t impossible to be a project manager and be a good person at the same time. However, when you are under pressure to meet your milestones you might find that you end up being a project jerk at times.

The good news is that when this happens you can do something about and start being as likeable as you want to be again.

Get the Team Involved

One of the worst things you can do when you are in project jerk mode is to take away the chance for your team members to get involved in the best parts of the work. Sure, it would be great to do all the best jobs on your own at times but you aren’t going to leave everyone else with the boring stuff, are you? A good project leader will make sure that everyone who works in their team gets a chance to do some of the most interesting tasks. Over time this should lead to your team being multi skilled and being happy with the chances they are given to shine and to do something more interesting.

Respect Your Stakeholders

The relationship between the stakeholders and the project manager is one of the most crucial aspects of any piece of project work. This means that you should try and get them onside and working in the same direction as you as quickly as you can. But what if you turn into a project jerk and start arguing with them and stopping them from taking an active part in the work? This could be a potentially disastrous situation and it is something you need to sort out as well as possible. The best first step you could take is to respect your stakeholders and their opinions. If you do this then you will be on your way to building up the kind of relationship which you need to have with them.

Keep Your Promises

Only a real jerk doesn’t keep his promises, especially when he knows that a lot is riding on them. You need to always remember that the project manager role is a very responsible one which a lot of people rely upon. For example, if you have end users who need information or who need trained on a new process then they will want you to provide this when you say that you would. It is all fine and well saying that you are busy on more important matters but what really matters to you isn’t necessarily what is more important to others. Before you make a promise you should ensure that it is something which you can deliver on when you say that you will. It is far better to say that you can’t do what is being asked of you than agree to it and then fail to deliver at the crucial time.

Don’t Go on a Power Trip

It can be easy to let the power go to your head when you first start out in a job with some authority and responsibility. Maybe you will decide to treat your team members badly, try and railroad your ideas through the meetings or else show your new power in some other way. I used to work beside a project manager who would leave a little traffic cone in one of the best parking spaces so that no one else would take it. He had no right to do this but he would go mad if anyone parked there. He was a jerk. The best way to be a better and friendlier type of project leader is to carry on thinking of others and not think that you are suddenly the most important person in the company.

Smile More

Wherever you work and whatever you do each day there are few better ideas than smiling more. People very rarely ever look at someone who is smiling at them and say, “What a jerk”. The problem when you don’t smile much is that it can be easy for someone to misinterpret your mood and think that you are angry or unhappy. If you can add even just a few more moments of smiling into your day then this could make a difference to how others view you. Of course, it will also make you feel better as well and might help you cut down on your stress levels too. Try it during your next project meeting and see what kind of reaction you get. I think you will see the benefits straight away.

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