Posted by: kerrywills | February 13, 2010

Tip: Involve difficult people


Every project that I have worked on has had (at least) one difficult person on it. This is the person that is the nay sayer to everything. They can’t meet their dates….management doesnt understand…the plan isn’t reasonable…no one knows anything but them. I am sure every PM has examples of these people. Usually these people have a lot of tenure and informal influence so it is imperative that the PM gets their support, or they could sabotage the project.

What I have found as a very useful technique for managing these ‘difficult’ people is to involve them in the planning of the work. This serves a few purposes:
1. Asking for their input plays to their ego and their sense of “I know everything better than anyone else” so they get motivated
2. I find that generally people can’t complain about activities that they were part of creating so this is a way of getting their buy in

So the next time you are on a project and someone gives you a hard time, just make them accountable for whatever they are complaining about!

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