The benefit of communicating face-to-face was the one piece of advice offered unanimously by the finalists at this year’s APM Awards
Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend 45 minutes talking to four of the best project professionals in the UK every year? What is their secret to success? How do they handle stakeholders, risks, issues, planning and everything else? Can we bottle their achievements?
As one of the APM Awards judges, I get to do just this by quizzing our industry’s brightest stars. After the initial round, the four finalists are invited to present, enabling the judges to gain much greater insight into their achievements.
All of the finalists mentioned the same recommendation when asked about their secrets of success. They weren’t prompted and they were not in the room at the same time, but they all listed the same thing as part of their answer.
So what was it that all of the finalists cited as a key driver to their project successes? This is a tech-savvy group, and the answer may not be what you expect. They all pointed to the need for face-to-face contact. Get out from behind your desk. Stop emailing. Go and talk to stakeholders directly.
There is a practical consideration here and, of course, all of the finalists make use of tools such as Skype for Business, but they all emphasised the importance of meeting face-to-face in order to build and maintain good working relationships.
So, have a think. Who is your most difficult team member, customer or supplier? Get out from behind your laptop and go and meet them. Go on. I dare you.
This blog first appeared as an article in the Winter edition of Project Journal.