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Influence skills that can be used in project management



I remember that when I participated in the PMP and PRINCE2 project management courses, both courses talked about the importance of some soft skills of project managers, such as influence. At that time, the PMP course recommended a classic book-"Influence" Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Recently I finally bought and read this book.

The influence discussed in the book is a series of techniques that make people obey another person's claims. The challenge often encountered when doing projects is to make people accept the proposition of the project manager and change their self-righteous views. Therefore, the techniques introduced in this book are indeed very useful in many actual project management processes. I will do some simple listings below:

The first chapter talked about the "principle of comparison", and then in the second chapter "reciprocity", a commonly used negotiation technique-"refusal-retreat" was introduced. is that useful? When you need financial resources or human resources, you ask for resources from finance or functional managers, right? If you are facing difficult negotiations, how can you get your resource request with a higher probability? One technique you can choose is to use the "refusal-retreat" rule. In short, go high first, deliberately choose one that seems reasonable but makes the other party unable to bear it, and then express that you have gone through difficult concessions and retreat It will be of great help to reapply to a resource amount that you really want. Of course, this trick should be used as appropriate, not to be abused.

Chapter Two talked about "commitment and agreement." The so-called "everyone has a desire to agree with their words and deeds (or appear to be consistent with their words and deeds)"-let people make a public commitment to his position, and he will automatically have the motivation to maintain it later. Is this useful in project management? I feel that this is almost the most useful influence technique! Think about it, when you do a project, you need a large number of stakeholders to support your project. You need your boss to support your project, and you also need colleagues to support your project. As a project manager, if you have the hardcore support of these people, your project is almost half successful! then what should we do? There are at least two processes that can use this technique! Formulate the project charter-be sure to ask the boss to issue the project charter and publish the chart once the chart is announced, the boss has a commitment to the project. Project mobilization meeting-Let the boss and important stakeholders of the project express their opinions on how to support the project at the meeting. After expressing their opinions, be sure to applaud! The promises they made in front of everyone will naturally make them work hard to complete in the future work.

Chapter Three, "Social Recognition", the so-called "People will judge whether something is correct or not based on the opinions of others." I still want to use the example of the mobilization meeting above to illustrate the application scenarios of this principle. In the kick-off conference, the more people positively expressed how significant the project is, the more participants will feel that it is right and reasonable to support this project, because "when we are uncertain, we are happy to The collective wisdom puts great trust in".

The fourth chapter of influence talks about "likes." The so-called preference is that if people like you, they are more likely to obey you. Have you finally realized that often those successful people care about their own image and appearance; and you have been wondering even they are so shallow? Now I know that if you want to be a good project manager, you must start with bidding farewell to the roughness!

Chapter Five, "Authority". Note that the authority in the book mainly does not refer to the force of power to force others to obey, but to make everyone believe that you are professional and know how to do it, that is, the power of an expert as defined by PMBOK. It is the same principle. You have to maintain the image that you know how to do this project and it will be successful, so that the project team will follow your guidance.

The last chapter "Scarce". A practical example I can think of is that in the process of project implementation and procurement, by promoting scarcity, especially creating a kind of scarcity that suddenly appears and contains competition, you will get more benefits as a purchaser.

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