On Thursday 29. July 2021, I spoke to a small group of Project Managers in the PMI NL Chapter event for Women in leadership. I was asked to speak at this event by Liz Hector who I have known for several years as she is very active in the chapter leadership.
I wanted to share knowledge with the audience on how to develop and become a more effective leader and during this session, I focused on some of the issues that women face in leadership and how we can overcome these barriers. What was really important for me (and PMI NL) was to make this as interactive and interesting as possible so we had a lot of polls and also opportunities for others to share their insights, experiences and best practices.
Some of the key highlights included:
- The number of barriers that we have faced:
- Agism (in both directions), racism, xenophobia,
- What potential action plans we can use in our jobs to resolve or work through the issues that we face
- Understanding your leadership potential and how this affects where you want to go/ what you want to achieve
- Looking critically at your career path and analysing if it’s the right way to go
- Ways to improve your leadership skills: Coaching, networking, mentoring etc.
I wanted to take some time in this blog post to discuss some of the questions raised during the session.
- What do you do if someone that you’re managing just doesnt like you?
- I try to remove any emotion about the situation and try to gain the facts. Why is this person upset/disgruntled? What seems to be the root cause of the issue? Once you understand this, you can work out if this really is a clash of personalities or if the person is frustrated with another aspect of their job
- How can I overcome all of the issues I face? they are seeming insurmountable at the moment
- Break it down into bitesize chunks. Understand one issue at a time and tackle it one by one. Imagine all of your issues are a big pizza. If you can take one slice away at a time, it’ll make the entire pizza more manageable and possible to be eaten.
- What would be your top tip for female leaders today?
- Never stop learning. There are so many options today to improve our skillset and I think never stopping learning is a great way to ensure that you never stand still or become stale with your knowledge. You can study something you’re interested in, or alternatively, you can look at where your leadership / organisation/ industry is going and plan your development this way.
If you are a project manager in the Benelux, please consider working with the PMI NL Chapter. They are currently open for volunteers in several areas (event support, moderation etc).